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This time last year I was STRESSED out – Big Time!  My nails were non-existent, bitten down to nothing, I had that haunted look about me, and I was up in the night two to three times a week with chronic stomach ache, nausea and vomiting – nice!  Visits to the specialists and various exploratory examinations came up with nothing.  No physiological reason for my pain.

I suppose the last straw came one morning when, after being taken to the emergency room during the night, I actually got up and went into work.  I had been flown to the UK for a training course and I felt bad not taking part.  WHAT?  What on earth was I thinking?  As I sat in the first session feeling like I was going to pass out I gradually came to my senses, got up, walked out of the building, back to my room and got into bed where I stayed for the rest of the day.

I was almost at the end of my work contract but had pretty much agreed to sign another.  I didn’t want to but with nothing else organised I was running out of time to stall. Looking back now I’m not quite sure how I had managed to get myself into that situation.  The work I really wanted to do, my beloved massage and aromatherapy, had taken a back seat while I worked in a job I really didn’t care about, getting stressed and ill for something I didn’t believe in.

Back from the training course and my boyfriend and I had a big heart to heart.  Realising that we were both exhausted and jaded from our jobs in the city, we decided to take a bold step forward, finish our contracts, leave the city and head back to nature and some much-needed quiet time to find ourselves again.

I still remember the relief of making that decision.  I have not been up in the night with stomach ache since!

We packed up our things, said our goodbyes, went on a camping trip and hoped that our idea to become housesitters for the next year would work out.

It did, and we have now been in the middle of Western France for just over nine months.  I can’t even start to explain how much things have changed.  I’ve seen more full moons and stars than I ever remember, more sunrises and sunsets, more wildflowers and animals.  We’ve worked hard on our own projects but we’ve also taken time to enjoy breakfast in bed, morning coffee outside, walks and bike rides in the country lanes.  I’ve enjoyed getting up and greeting the day every single morning.

So if you are also feeling exhausted and jaded then remember this and repeat after me:

Yes, it is all about me

Yes, I do have a choice

Yes, there is always another way

Yes, I can change my life for the better

And no, I don’t have to put up with pain and illness that comes through stress and lack of self-care

What do you do to look after yourself and avoid burnout?  Go to the comments and let me know ♥


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