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Do you frequently feel burnt out and exhausted? If the answer is yes, you're not going to want to miss the next two episodes of the Whole Assistant Show. I'm going to be sharing with you my own personal story with burnout and what I'm doing to avoid a relapse. Assistants, if you would like more self-care and productivity strategies geared towards you, please subscribe to my channel and hit the bell to be notified when my weekly episodes go live. If you're anything like me, you've battled burnout at least once during your career as an assistant. Today, I'm going to be sharing with you my rather dramatic story to show you what can happen when we don't take care of ourselves. The story I'm about to share with you is deeply, deeply personal, and private. In fact, I've never shared this story publicly before, but with the encouragement of my friends and what I plan to do with Whole Assistant in terms of self-care, I feel that now is the right time to share this story.
I'd like to invite you to journey back with me to March 14th, 2012. On March 14th, 2012, I was working as an executive assistant to the CEO of an accounting firm in my hometown of Twin Falls, Idaho. I'd moved back to Idaho after marrying my first husband in Boston, and I never thought I'd be back in Idaho. I never saw myself there, but my ex-husband actually got a job back there. So, that brought us back to Idaho. On March 14th, 2012, I had made no friends, even though I had been living in Idaho for four years, four or five years at that point, and life just felt really hard. It felt like I was going upstream in every area of my life.
The most important thing to take away from this portion of my life was that I really wasn't taking care of myself at all. I was out of touch with myself. I wasn't listening to that still small inner voice or that gut feeling. I just ignored it. I ignored it because I was trying to save my marriage. I was trying to make things work when I probably shouldn't have, and so that is the basis of this. That is a starting point of this story. It was that I was kind of miserable living in Idaho. Late that night I woke up with a splitting headache, a splitting headache on March 14th, 2012. I took a couple of Advil and I went back to sleep. I woke up the next morning and I went to my office, and I explained to my coworkers that something didn't quite feel right and that I had this splitting awful headache and I just felt a little off that day.
About mid-morning I decided to get up, and I go to the back of the office to grab something to eat. Then I noticed something strange start to happen. I noticed that I started to blackout, and I couldn't speak, and my heart was racing. I knew I had to make it back up to the front of the office where all my colleagues and coworkers were. As I make my way back to the front of the office, my left leg starts to drag behind me and my left arm goes rigid, like this. It's just up like this. I noticed that I was floating out of myself. I was somewhere up here floating out of myself, watching myself walk to the front of the office. I had so many words in my head, but I couldn't say them. What was happening was I was experiencing a massive stroke.
The night before, when I woke up with a headache, I had split ... My carotid artery had randomly dissected, a random dissection the doctors call it of my carotid artery. I had just woke up with a headache because of that. Where the artery had split a clot had formed, and the clot broke loose and went up into my brain and caused a massive stroke. Needless to say, here I am in the middle of my office. All my coworkers are experiencing this as well. They are all noticing that something is wrong with me. One colleague put her arm around me. Another called the ambulance. They also noticed that half of my face was drooping like is typical with a stroke victim. I was life-flighted to Boise, Idaho, which is the nearest capable facility to manage my care.
I was literally dying in the helicopter. In that time, in that moment, I had this moment of clarity. I'm like, if I die in this moment, everything will be okay, and if I live, everything will be different. Now, this stroke happened because I wasn't taking care of myself. I wasn't listening to what my body needed. I wasn't listening to what I needed as a person, as a human. I was just trying to take care of and manage all the things like we tend to do as assistants. Also, I didn't trust myself. I didn't trust that I knew what was best for myself. I gained a lot of my self worth from the approval of other people.
I want you to tune in next week, where I share two lessons I learned through having the stroke and through the recovery period of having the stroke and all those things, among many, many lessons, but the two most important lessons that I learned. So, please tune in next week for that. Now, I want to hear from you guys. Maybe you've experienced a traumatic event at the office, or maybe you have had some trial, or maybe you haven't taken care of yourself and you are experiencing the result of that. I want to hear about that. So, please email me at Annie@WholeAssistant.com or leave a comment below. If you want to take better care of yourself and develop your own self-care plan, I encourage you to check out my mini masterclass entitled Three Steps To Beautifully Vanish Burnout. The link is below. If you liked this video, please hit the like button below to let me know, and also subscribe and share this video with your fellow assistants and administrative professionals. Last but not least, if this video has helped you, please leave a comment below sharing how.
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