Burnout, Boundaries & Balance


I'm Rachel Strella.

and I'm Vixen Divine.

Well, for today's topic, we're talking

about something I believe that a lot of us

have experienced and may even be

experiencing now.




Let's dive into activity time.

So Vixen and I took a quiz.

It was for mind tools and it assesses your

burnout level by asking you a series of


It's really fast, about five minutes.

So we actually don't know the answers to

each other's quiz yet, so this should be


I also will say that one of the things I

noticed is it will give you a number and a

range of where that like you fall within

that particular like number but I don't

know where I fall in the numbers outside

of my own so we're gonna see if you guys

want to take the quiz and let us know your


Yeah, we don't know if there's a higher or

a lower, like how that works or what the

highest is or what the lowest is.

Yes, yeah, so let's start with our numbers

and how we did.

Vixen, tell me how you fared.

Well, okay, this is what it said to me.

My score was actually 26.

And it said what 26 is, oh, it gave me a


26 is my score, but then I'm within this

range of 19 to 32 is my range.

And that means little sign of burnout here

unless there are some other factors like

that they don't know about.

Okay, okay, so it sounds like on a burnout

scale, it wasn't too bad where you were



I have some more room to abuse myself


I have more room to push it.

Okay, well, my score was 43 and my range

was 33 to 49 where it said, be careful,

you may be at risk of burnout,

particularly if several scores are high.

So like several different things within


So we know that there was at least a 49

and I'm a 43 on that scale.

So I don't know if there's like full on

burnout meltdown mode beyond that.

Or if there's even calmer than Vixen, so

if you guys want to take the quiz through

Mind Tools and let us know, I welcome it.

Hey, I wanna meet the person who gets like

a five.

Me too.

I need some tips

Well, inquiring minds want to know while

we're on this really fun topic.

Tell a story of when you felt your most

burnt out.

Oh my gosh, I got one.

It just came like right now, right now.

But, and ladies or aunts sometimes can

relate to this.

I'm a mom.

Honestly, when my kid, and maybe it's more

than most because of my circumstances.

If you guys don't know or haven't watched

the podcast before, both of my kids are


And at one point I was a single mom with

two autistic kids.

The burnout, I just, I could have pictured


in like a street gutter hole just away

from my kids.

It was just like talk about pulling out

like the hair like it was just.

To me, like at that time, it was just

like, it just didn't get any worse.

So for me, the combination of being just a

single mom, you guys know how hard that

would be.

And then you have these special needs


So you had to have more, oh my gosh.

That was, that was yeah, for me.

Did you find that there were other factors

that compounded that too?

Like your job or, you know, any other

factors that you felt like it wasn't just

the kids, it was like multiple factors.

No, because the job that I had was very


Being a nurse was really, really flexible.

So I didn't have the constraint of having

to be somewhere at a certain time, per se,

other than like, cause I worked like the

weekends where you only worked like

Saturday and Sunday or the overnight shift

where the kids were sleeping, like that

kind of, so it was really flexible.

So it wasn't the job.

It was really just, and you got to think

though, mine is back in the day.


We didn't have a lot of resources.

We just kind of figured it out and just,

you just tried not to die.

Well, it's been hard for me to pinpoint

like the most burnout because I can gain

like a handful of times when I've been

really fried.

But one that really comes into focus for

me and it was just basically a perfect

storm, you know, like.

Our biggest client was in like their first

six month renewal and we're trying to get

all of our results together to kind of

prove like, hey, we're ready to do this

and renew our contract.

It was at the end of the year where a lot

of our clients are already coming into new

contract terms and coming up with new

strategies for the next year.

You know, I've had my parents, I was still

kind of dealing with some things there to

take care of them.

And we just, we just had a lot of

different, there was just a lot of

different components that made me feel

just overwhelmed.

And I just call it crashing into the


I remember writing a blog post about it

because it was 2019.

It was just like, no matter where I

turned, no matter what I did, it was just

one more thing that compounded that pile.

And it didn't get any smaller.

Yeah, yeah, I get it.

Totally get it.


Yeah, I mean, you and I have a unique

perspective because we're business owners

and that comes with its own, you know, set

things that can then easily cause burnout.

And I think they're.

it's tough.

It can cause burnout, but at the same

time, because you're a business owner,

don't you feel like you have the power

sometimes to turn it off?

Yes and no.

I mean, I think, you know, when I was

just, when it was just me, I didn't

because that was just me and I needed to

respond or handle it.

But, and especially in a business like

social media where something would come

up, now that it's actually a team of

people, I feel like I have to be there to

support them if there's something that

comes up that they need.

So there's like never really a full escape


feeling like I constantly need to be


Okay, alright.

I got it.

It's better now, like with Laney, you

know, she's been amazing.

Hope she's listening.

You know, that was that was huge.

But we're experiencing our own level of

things now we're with the business and

growing and trying to do different things

in that creates another element.

So in any event, you know, let's talk


what exactly burnout is.

You know and and actually a friend said to

me today make sure you talk about how it

varies from being tired you know so what

do you think is you know burnout versus

like just you know stress or fatigue.

Well, see, here's the thing about that.

Burnout, actually, when you look at the

definition of burnout, actually within the

definition is fatigue and stress.

So a lot of times, and rightfully so, a

lot of people use the burnout in the same

sentence, in the same way as they do with

stress and fatigue.

So I don't really think that...

There may be minuscule differences, but

really when people say that, they really

just kind of mean the same thing in a

context of words.

I think that burnout to me is a little

more compounded.

Like, I feel like stress or fatigue is

sort of symptomatic.

You know, it's sort of acute and happens

here and there.

But like when you're talking burnout, like

you've like had, you're done.

It's chronic.

You're tired mentally, you know,

physically, emotionally.

And I feel like you're on a rabbit wheel,

like not a rabbit, what do they call it?

Like a hamster, hamster wheel, yeah.

You know, and you're feeling like doing

all these things and you're not getting

any closer to your end goal.

Well, if you think of it that way, then I

would put, I would put it at the end, if

that makes any sense.

Okay, so to be burned out is like the end

of the stress, the end of the fatigue.

Like you've had the stress, like, oh my

God, I had a stressful day.

But then I feel like burnout, you're done.

Like you've had the stress and it's now


Burned out, you're at the end of the road.

I could totally see that and I feel like

sometimes your motivation is just

completely gone.

You're just done, you're fried.

Pull the plug.

But if we can control our stress, which is

really exasperates a lot of our actual

health conditions, we can stop ourselves

from going to fatigue, from going to


So I think it could be incremental.

So there's other ways of doing that.

So we'll talk about that in a little bit.

I do agree with you there.

And yeah, that's why I say perfect storm


Because sometimes there'll be like these

things that are happening and you're like,

okay, I can deal with that stress and then

more things keep happening over here and

over here.

And then you're like, okay, now I don't

know how to have I don't have the tools to

deal with all of these things coming at me

at once, you know.


So we've talked a little bit about the

signs, you know, the symptoms.

I think that tiredness and fatigue and all

of that is a big part of it.

But I think there's also like sometimes

this feeling of hopelessness, you know,

just like beyond measure, how you feel

like you're never gonna come out the other

side, you know.

I agree with you on that.

For burnout, to be done, as we said,

basically, to be done, it is a hopeless

feeling because you don't know how you're

gonna come back from it.

But if you're burned out, that's why I say

you gotta get it early.

You gotta get it early.

So I feel like those stress and fatigues

are signs that you're going in that

direction of burnout.

Yes, yeah.


it's the little things in our everyday

lives, even if you don't have like a big

situation, you know, if it's something

that you can't get a handle on, cause some

people handle it.

Everybody has stress, I think.

I haven't met the person yet that doesn't

have stress, but how you handle it, I

think people, some people can go for a


They're good.

Like that's their thing, you know?

So it's how you handle that little bit of


on whether you get to the fatigue and then

you get to the burnout.

Yes, yeah.

I think it shows up physically for you


Like I find if you're feeling like you're

getting sick more often, run down, you

know, and it's just, it's not just one

day, you know, it's starting to compound.

So obviously this is a podcast for women.

How do you think these things manifest

themselves differently with women versus


Well, with women, one thing about women is

we tend to talk.

Most of us talk.

Not everybody, obviously, but, and even if

you, as we talked about introvert,

extrovert, even if you're an introvert,

you talk to somebody, even if it's your


That's, believe it or not, that is


To talk to even your cat because it's a


Now your cat's not going to tell anybody.

That's the big difference, but it is a


So to talk about it, to tell someone, that

is a good way of how we tend to talk about

it and how we're going to release it and

how we tend to deal with it.

Men tend to, and I'm generally speaking,

of course, but men tend to shut down.

They tend to, they're figuring it out

almost in their head or they think they

are almost in their head.

And you can kind of see, you can see the

smoke coming up from, you can see the

smoke forming like, okay.

And then the woman will usually say,

what's wrong?


I think men compartmentalize, they're more

kind of impersonal about it.

They just kind of like standoffish,

whatever they'll deal with it.

And I think women, it's more of an

emotional thing and they take comfort

talking to other people about it, and

having a support system.

And that's true.

We do.

We find.

I was talking to my husband about

something about what men talk about.

I'm like, what do you guys even talk


Because, you know, women will walk up to a

woman that we will not know.

Girl, where did you get those shoes?

We truly want to know where she got those

shoes and hope she got them this season.

And where did you get them?

How much did they cost?

And when can are they out of them?

Was it new or they just out?

Like, you ask all these things and

my husband told me guys don't do that.

They don't, no matter if they got the best

suit on, you know, the, the, the tie, the

cufflinks, whatever it is, they, they

don't go up there and they might say, yo

man, that's dope or something, but they

will not ask them like where they got it.

Like they won't be that, you know, unless

they know them.

I do think that comes out of personality

trait too.

You know, like extroverts, introverts.

Like I don't know that I would ask

somebody where they got their shoes, but I

have personalities that would.

But I do say, I will say that when I'm

feeling a certain way, like talking to

somebody makes me feel better.

You know, like a friend, you know, talking

to somebody that I feel like I can confide


Now in this day and age though, is it also

something that you can type about?

Because remember, now there's the texting

and the emailing.

How many times have you wanted to respond

to say a Facebook post?

Because they said something, you type it,

and then you delete it.


Yeah, I'm a total keyboard warrior.

When I'm upset, I will type my response

and walk away just because I have it out

of my brain.

Then I'll come back with a fresh head and

rethink it.

But that's if I'm upset.

I'm thinking more about when I'm upset and

I just want to talk to somebody about it.

Then I'm kind of like, it's a little


It doesn't matter how I do it.

You know, as long as I can talk to

somebody and kind of have them commiserate

with me a little bit.

So the manifesting differently in the men

and women is really about how do they let

it go?

How do they get it out or do that?



And I think that men probably keep it to

themselves a lot more than women.



let's see here.

So, while we're talking about men and

women, do you think there are any specific

gender related factors that contribute to

burnout specifically for women?

Probably, honestly, as culture, even

though we are more diverse now than we

used to be, it is still oftentimes put on

the woman to take care of the kids, to be

the main caretaker, I should say, of the



They might pick them up from school or

something, but the main caretaker

generally is still the woman, even if she

has a job.

Like they still don't split it.

Do you know what I mean?

So the getting the groceries most of the

time is still her job.

Like there's so many more factors, home

factors besides the work, because now

we're doing the work too.

But we still haven't.

figured out how to split up the home

factors and not feel guilty about it.



that, and then when you do, you'll ask

them, can you help me with, as opposed to

just splitting it up, you know, okay,

you're in charge of this, I'm in charge of


No, so it's still how that's contributing.

So there's so much more over here.

It's so unbalanced, but you can burn out,

but you feel it's your responsibility.

Yeah, I totally see that.

And I think women take on more of what I

call the niceties.

You know, they send the holiday cards, the

birthday cards, they typically wrap the

gifts and do that shopping, you know, like

all of those other little fluffy things

that just come with a woman's touch.

Oh, um, yes, I'm really lucky because I,

my husband does a lot around the house,

you know, and, and that's really great

that he's so helpful and he runs the

errands and things like that.

But a lot of cases, it's just going to

assume that the women does, they just do

everything they do the housework, they do

the cooking, they do everything.

Yeah, so we're still not, and like I

always say, generally speaking, we're

still not really, we still haven't gotten

that mindset yet that is we need to take

care of, everybody needs to push, pick in,

you know, get a little thing and you do

this, you do that, you know, and I'm

noticing, and you tell me if you've

noticed it, I'm noticing now some

kids aren't even doing chores.

Yeah, I couldn't imagine that.

From growing up, like that was what you


You made your bed, you know, you took the

trash out, you helped your parents, you

know, whatever, you bought groceries in,

like, and now if they do something they

want paid for it, you want a trophy.

I just go, what?

And then they complain and whine.

You know, I just, it just blows my mind.

So that's not that, you know, those things

that used to, even the little things like

loading the dishwasher or washing dishes,

whichever you have, you know, that used to

be a teenager thing or a preteen thing,

you know.

A lot of people are not delegating that

now to the kids because they're too busy.

They have homework.

Well, we all had homework.

You know, it just, so again, so that's

piling back on

to that parent list.

Where those are things, little things like

that can be delegated and taken off the

plate, whereas, but they're not doing that

anymore like they used to.

So again, burnout, too many factors.

Yeah, I agree with you there.

So, you know, you're kind of a specialist

in self care.

So, you know, what are some strategies

that you think could help women sort of

prevent or alleviate burnout?

I have one simple thing that could really,

really help you.

Taking a pause.

That sounds so trivial, so tiny.

I know that.

But honest to goodness, taking a pause can

really, really do a lot for you.

I think I was talking about this earlier.

So this shirt I'm wearing, this shirt, OK,

so it's a cotton shirt.

Wrinkles super, super easily.

You touch it, it's wrinkled, right?

So what I did was, because I'm lazy like

that, I put it in the dryer.

Because that's what I do.

I put it in the dryer for five minutes,

maybe seven.

So while it's in the dryer, also in the

basement is where like my exercise stuff


So while it's in the dryer, I go to the

other side of the basement and I stand on

this thing.

It's a shake, I call it a shaker.

It's a human shaker.

Honestly, goodness, I stand on it, I press

the button and it just shakes me like


So those five to seven minutes really


it gets the oxygen going through you and

everything like, you know, everything's

going through the lymph is everything's


So you feel alive.

You feel oxygen just those few minutes.

And then, so I got, got my shirt out, went

upstairs and then I stood outside for

literally maybe I did three deep breaths.

I just held it for like a couple of

seconds and let it out.

Breathe that breathe.

That's all I did.

I just took.

Honest, all together, that took less than 10

minutes, less than 10 minutes to do


And you don't have to do that, but just

taking a pause, that will bring you down.

If you are up here, that literally will

bring you down.

And it might not change your day, but

it'll help you start over with your cup

that's boiling over.

I with that.

It's a reset button for a minute.

It's so easy to get caught up in what

we're doing and then, ah, you know, it's

so true.

I'm learning that more and more as I get


Just pause.

I don't have a self -care technique, but I

will say the one thing that helps me when

I'm feeling overwhelmed, there's like,

sometimes you feel like you need to

procrastinate because there's so much, you

just don't know how to start.

You know, I take everything I do that

seems daunting and I break it into smaller


That seems super simple, just like you're

taking a pause.

But, you know, I look at, okay, I gotta, I

gotta pay my taxes, you know, and I break

that into five separate steps, you know, I

gotta figure out what they are.

I gotta write the check, you know, I all

that other stuff.

And it's just like, okay, now I have

these, these steps.

It's easier for me to tackle then letting

it sit there on the pile of 10 other

things that I need to do.

I have a calendar too if you know for

breaking stuff up if honest goodness I

because I because I have this that to do

and this other thing and all these other

things to do if it's not written down I

very well may forget to do it not because

I didn't want to do it but because I just

didn't remember and then I'm like oh was I

supposed to do that because I completely


You have to write it down.

It doesn't matter how small it is, it will

leave your head in the blink of an eye.

We used Trello for that.

It doesn't matter what it is.

Order contacts.

I write it down right away because I'll

forget and then I'm out of contacts and

then I'm not happy.

You're absolutely right.

You know, burnout is not isolated to just

women like us, you know.

Um, there are celebrities that suffer from


You know, one of the things that I

remember probably because it was when I

was younger, um, early two thousands,

Mariah Carey had like a complete mental

and emotional exhausted breakdown.

Um, and I, she went on TRL and she was

just being really goofy, you know, she was

all over the place and you're just like,

what is she on?

You know?


And it was right after that that she she

hospitalized with, you know, exhaustion.

And at that time, I think that record

company she was working with paid her a

lot of money to actually just run.

You know, because it was such a mess.

And there are several other, you know,

celebrities that suffer from burnout and

they're vocal about it, you know, that's

more modern, like Lady Gaga, you know, is

one of them, Selena Gomez.

These are these, you know,

When you're in a career where the pressure

is high, you know, it's really hard to

turn that off.

And I feel like women too, we tend to put

pressure on ourselves, our expectations

for ourselves and what we want to


I just think are generally higher.

That is true.

I will tell you though, there is that I

notably thought was really, I really

commend him for doing this.

Eminem, Eminem guards his peace like it is

like gold.

It is, it is, he, he, I literally am like,

I'm not making this up.

Like even in the industry, only like four

people have his phone number.

You cannot, it's like talking to the


Like you can't just talk to Eminem.

You go through his people and if he wants

to talk to you, like that, that's how that


He didn't even like, he turned down like

millions of dollars because he did not

want to leave his daughter, you know, when

she was growing up, um, on, you know, on

tour and that sort of thing.

He wouldn't go.

Like he guards his peace like nobody's

business, but he's the only celebrity male

that I've heard of that really takes it to

that level.

That's great advice though, because you

know, an advantage of being accessible is

that, you know, you can get things right


But that's a huge disadvantage too,

because a lot of people will be like,

well, I can just bug Eminem for anything

that I need.

It becomes like a lot of things that they

probably don't need to bother that person


You know, those boundaries are sometimes

really important.

Well, I think also too, if you do that, if

you like, and if you decide, if you're

listening to this and you decide, Hey, I

need to do that or do something like that.

When you do make that call or when you do

send that text, your text or phone call

becomes 10 times more valuable.

Cause they know that if you don't take

this now, they're not calling you back.

True, very true.

I mean, we don't have the advantage of

being a celebrity, but that small tactic

of being unavailable, you know, really

does work.

It's one that I need to do a little more


Well, I tell you what, I think with all

the people that we're talking about, just

even naming those, they are all better off

for it.

Like now in these years past, now they're

better off for it being this way, because

now their careers are still going strong,

they're fine, you know, and they're not

really, at least I don't see that they're

having any problems.

Right, absolutely.

I mean, it just takes a little bit of not

like that fear of missing out type

attitude to be okay with that decision.

do have to be okay with that and fear of

missing out is real.

I get fear of missing out even for a sale.

So I probably can't do that.

I probably can't do that.

Well, we're coming to the end of the


Is there anything else that you'd like to

add about this topic?

I just want to emphasize for you to

recognize, even take the test.

Where was the test?

What was the website for that?

Mind tools.

Mindtools.com right?


Take the test and see if you're in any


Some people they know, they already know,

they're burned out.

But if you have any doubt, just take the

test and see where you are.

And then it will not hurt you to take

those 5 minutes, 10 minutes to pause.

Just try it, just try it, pause and see.

I always say what?

Try it for a week.

If you don't see a difference then stop.



Right, give it a try.

I'll say I really like the book

Essentialism and one of the things that he

emphasizes in the book is burnout is not a

badge of honor.

And that speaks to the people that suffer

the most from burnout too are the

perfectionist, the overachievers, the type


It's not something to be proud of, you

know, so it's so important that you

protect yourself.

Hey, well, thanks for tuning in to the

Light Her Project podcast.

You can follow the conversation online

with our hashtag.

So in the meantime, keep it real, real


with Real Talk.


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