Avoiding Burnout... and Food Poisoning

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My husband swears I tried to kill him last week. I think he’s being a teensy bit dramatic, but I did make him sick – I’ll give him that.

The past few weeks have been crazy busy. It’s just one of those seasons, I guess. We haven’t been home much at all, including last weekend, so Sunday night when it came time for dinner I couldn’t even remember the last time I’d gone to the grocery store. I looked in the refrigerator and found some ground turkey meat and spaghetti squash I had planned to make the week before but never got around to. The meat was expired, but I figured it was fine. (You can already tell how this is going to end.)

I cooked the turkey and it had a bit of a smell to it, but I was just way too tired to think about going to the store and at this point I had already cut up and baked the spaghetti squash, so there really wasn’t an option to turn back.

Tyler walked into the kitchen as I was finishing up and sniffed a few times. “What’s that smell?” he asked. 

“I think it’s the meat,” I said. “It’s a little expired, but it should be fine.”

He made an “are you kidding me, this is a terrible idea” face, but fixed his plate and sat down at the table to eat anyway. 

We both ate it. It honestly didn’t taste terrible. Not great, but also not like it was going to kill us. Somewhere in the middle. 

All was quiet until around midnight when Tyler woke me up and told me he felt sick. I figured he was just being whiney. A few minutes later, he got up, ran to the bathroom and began throwing up spaghetti squash and spoiled turkey meat. 

Ooops.

I immediately ran to the bathroom to rub his back and just be there with him because I knew this was all my fault. He continued to puke several more times during the night and had to call in sick to work on Monday. I, on the other hand, was totally fine.

At first, anyway.

When my alarm went off, I got up and went straight to the store and got my food-poisoned husband some crackers, soup and Sprite. Partially because I am a good wife, but mostly because I felt guilty. 

I set everything by the bed for him, along with some medicine and a little trash bin to vomit in, and went to my office to work. I got a few things done and then decided to go for a run. I felt a little nauseous, but I figured it was due to the fact that I had been up with Tyler all night. 

I was wrong.

I had to stop my run a couple of miles in because I started feeling so sick and weak, I could barely walk. I made it back home and got horribly sick. Freaking spaghetti squash. 

I crawled in bed with Tyler, and we spent the rest of the day passing the medicine, Sprite and puke can between the two of us. It was a little bit sweet, but mostly just disgusting. 

The following day, we were feeling better, and he called from work on his lunch break. “You tried to kill me,” he said, “but you’re gonna have to try harder than that.”

(Insert eye-roll emoji)

While I did not, in fact, try to kill him, I probably should have utilized common sense and not cooked meat that had been expired for a number of days I’m not prepared to admit in this post. 

In busy seasons, we tend to put everything else above our own needs. We go go go and do do do and bump our own personal errands (like going to the grocery store) farther and farther down the to-do list. If you’re like me, you also bump down things like rest and play: two vital components to a happy life. 

But it’s important to rest, and it’s important to play, and it’s important to go to the grocery store and not cook spoiled meat. These are all necessary to avoid burnout. Burnout in your work, in your relationships and just in the day to day madness that life throws your way.

Burnout is very real, and it threatens our productivity, our creativity, our peace of mind and worst of all our general happiness. In a world where we are expected to keep working even after we “leave work,” where we get emails to our phones 24 hours a day and where we see how seemingly perfect everyone else’s lives appear to be on social media, it’s easy to work ourselves until we hit a wall. And when we hit the wall, it hurts. 

I don’t want you to hit the wall. Or maybe just hit it as few times as possible. So I’ve put together a list of 3 ways to avoid burnout that I think you’ll find helpful. Oh, and I promise it will be more insightful than “try not to die from food poisoning.” 

If you’ve signed up for my email list, my strategy to avoid burnout is sitting in your inbox (or your spam folder if haven’t moved me over yet). If you haven’t signed up for my email list and would like to receive this burnout-avoiding strategy (plus other cool stuff), you can do so below.

I would also like to let you know about a 30-day self care challenge I am putting together. Starting in April, I'll email you once a week and challenge you with seven unique ways to press pause and take care of yourself that week, ideally one a day. I've learned it's much easier to spread love to others (and not give anyone food poisoning) when you are taking proper care of yourself. Click here to get more information on the self-care challenge or to sign up.