With the world seeming a little crazy right now, endless juggling and responsibilities, it can be easy to burnout.
Through her work as TV and radio presenter, best-selling Hay House author, inspirational keynote speaker and media consultant for some of the world's leading brands, Dawn Breslin has inspired thousands of individuals to heal, re-energize and transform their lives.
I caught up with her to ask her about her own story and to share her tips for finding some harmony in these turbulent times.
Dawn, how did you find the inspiration to create your Harmonizing wellbeing coaching process?
“Well Harmonizing is a process where you come into alignment with your natural organic thoughts, and the natural energy of your body. And I came into alignment with all of them because I was completely OUT of alignment and overwhelmed!
I had this amazing career, working in television, radio and with some really big brands. I lived near to London. And I had an opportunity to work with Procter and Gamble on a very, very big project. But this was around the 2008 economic crash and the project didn't go ahead.
But in the months before that project I had moved my life from the South and traveled back to Scotland with my daughter, sunk all my savings to renovate this gorgeous house by the sea, and the deal didn't come off.
My life was turned upside down in an instant, and then I just started going through this catalogue of disasters. Over the next 24 months, I set up an online business, but I was in a $100,000 debt. And around 27 things happened in my family, with my daughter, heart attacks, my mum's partner, and it was just one thing after another.
And I was a single mum trying to look after my family. Trying to keep the business going and holding on to this whole identity as one of the leading coaches in the UK. With the fear that, if things were really gonna start to fail I might go bankrupt, I might even lose the house.
But there came a day where I just had to let it all go. And I realized when I stopped working, how adrenally fatigued I was. I had hit burnout. My body just stopped. I had no energy. I was almost catatonic. I'd been holding on for two years through this mess. So I was absolutely empty and I was on my onset of menopause as well at that point.
I had to sign up for government support, but I just had enough to get by. And what was really interesting was within about three weeks of that happening, there was this peace that came over me. Suddenly my life was very uncomplicated. There was no business, there was no job, I couldn't work.
I was in the garden, and I remember just feeling this sense of presence and breath and connection and spaciousness with life. It was like, Oh my God, this is what it feels like to breathe and really feel alive without pressure. It took me nearly three years to properly heal and find real inner peace.”
Many people listening will be in that stage of pre-burnout, that hamster wheel of life. How do we make space to even try and get a little bit of that inner peace?
“I've coached a lot of corporate execs who are in that space. One of the ways to avoid burnout is start to give yourself what you need. I work on helping them give themselves permission to care for themselves, like they would their child, like they would their mother. You've gotta give yourself space. You've gotta slow down. you've gotta spend time prioritizing your tasks. Instead of just being suspended in the overwhelm.
Getting out of the office at lunchtime or get out into nature. In nature, everything grows. Whether it's a tree, a plant, flower. It goes through a cycle of growing, resting, repairing, growing again. And that's the natural cycle of growth in life. That is not the trajectory that most businesses operate under.
We just do growth. You go to your line manager every year and you've done really well. But it's just ‘how can we do even more'? It's like growth, growth, perpetual growth.
When you learn to trust your body, the rhythm of life and nature, you recognize that if your energy is low and you're depleted for a period of time, if you manage that, the energy will come back again and you will have a period of productivity.
So you learn to work in the productive phases and you learn to be more reflective, more creative, more inward in the quieter phases and the inward phases.
And you might not see the consequence of constantly giving out, of never slowing down. But it's accumulating in your body on a physical level.
So we have a commitment that we need to make to look after ourselves. If we want to be here for our families. We want to be here for others. We have to look at this seriously. What do you do? Do you just keep going, and keep going until burnout? Or do you learn to take a step back? Nourish yourself, find a compromise where you are giving and receiving in equal measure.
We are so disconnected from the natural world. We are so disconnected from what will keep us really healthy, bring us wholeness, meaning, beauty, spaciousness, bring us into quality of life.”
So what would you suggest to someone who is exhausted and stressed out, trying to find some meaning, but not really knowing where to start?
“Well, the first thing is just think of three dreamy words, three emotions that you would love to feel each day. Sit with those three emotions and say to yourself, how can I have these? What would it look like for me to have them? And then you can create a goal chart from there.
The other one is just give yourself a break. Find a way, to find that compassion for yourself. Give yourself a break. And get support.
If you're interested in connecting with us. I have a whole range of coaches around the country who offered the Harmonizing process. So get in touch with us and we'll put you in touch with a coach.”
Thank you Dawn for sharing that inspirational story.
You can find out more about Dawn and her coaching here.