planning

How to recover from 20+ years of exhaustion

This summer, I have truly experienced vitality again. Looking back, it has been over 20 years that I've felt this good, energised, and able to do what I loved. I think I was exhausted during my first MedSchool years already, studying and working nightshifts in an elderly home to pay the bills. I loved caring for people with dementia, it was a rewarding job, but I never got time to rest and recover and this became a pattern for me that eventually led to burnout and chronic illness.

I know that when you are not feeling energised and happy, it is a challenge to read about others who do, and it can be something to turn away from. Like it isn't possible for you. 

I should add that I still cope with Fibromyalgia and that winters are usually way more challenging for me. However, to feel aliveness, energy, and being able to hike uphill for hours, swim with my kids, and support my wonderful clients in their businesses, makes me feel so grateful. 

My goal is to tell a story about HOPE. That it truly can be better. That you have a choice. And that it is in your hands to feel better, no matter what the circumstances are. You are the creator of your life, your reality, your story. And you can chance anytime you want. 

What I did to feel better:

  • rest, rest & rest

  • learn how to set aside guilt and shame in order to be able to not only listen to my body but also act on the signals

  • change my relationship with success and productivity (success isn't the high-paying medical job that turned me into a walking zombie, it is being able to enjoy daily life, laugh, and feel good)

  • track my cycle and plan accordingly

  • eat as much organic food as possible, grow my own food in our veggie garden

  • stay away from the news and clean up my social feeds - I unfollow people who post news items, political statements, and the good thing is that the social media algorithms pick up on that and only show me positive news and things I care about like nature, diversity, equality, and eco-living

  • get support from holistic practitioners and coaches

  • work on my scarcity mindset with coaches

  • invested in personal development and healing

  • followed my joy (focusing on feeling good)

What I didn't do to feel better: 

  • rely on the medical system to cure me (I knew that the body-mind connection is unchartered territory there and not considered a 'valid' illness)

  • take supplements and vitamins, because I believe that food is medicine and supplements can never replace healthy food (although I did get myself tested for the biggest vitamin deficiencies and hormonal imbalances, and I had none according to Western medicine)

  • wait to be rescued in some way

  • punish of judge myself for not being 'there' yet

  • pushing myself over the edge

Of course, this was my personal healing path, and I'm sharing to inspire, not to prescribe. I have never been a doctor like that and now I'm not a medical doctor anymore, so I'm done with prescribing completely... (I changed my career to Online Business Manager (find me at www.willemijnmaas.com) and Energy Coach for Women and I love it!). 

My biggest AHA...

What helped me the most to get my energy back was following my menstrual cycle, and planning accordingly. I plan my business activities, projects, and life around my cycle in an empowering way. I know my 4 phases, and I know what I'm capable of in each of them. It is so helpful to be aware that when you are doing something during a phase of the cycle where your hormones aren't aligned, it will take you so much more effort and energy. 

I'm absolutely thrilled that more and more women find out about this and learn to use and look at their cycle in a completely different way.

Are you in tune with your cycle? What did you discover? What do you want to learn? Let me know in the comments!