Trying to juggle it all? How to avoid burn out

Let me start by saying I am not a super hero. But last week I told you I was trying to get back into this blog writing game and when I asked what I should talk about this came back from a few of you…so here we go.

To lay the foundations here is a snap shot of what my personal and working life looks like at the moment:

  • I live between Reading and Lytham, but I also work in London and Oxford.
  • I teach online and at the same time I host around about 10 Retreats a year.
  • I am (hopefully) running London Marathon again in spring, I practice myself (not as much as I would like but I do) and I get to the gym a few times a week.
  • I am getting married in December.

I was asked: “how do you juggle it all? How do you avoid burning out?”

I haven’t juggled a big corporate job or a family at the same time so to me this isn’t that impressive but I am going to share what works for me and keeps me feeling fresh incase it helps one or two of you!

Routine and Rest

I am an early riser, it is when I work my best and I am my most productive (currently writing this at 5.45am) so 90% of the time I set an early alarm which means I need to go to bed early. I try to protect 7 hours of sleep a night, we are all different but this works for me. I avoid caffeine after lunch, this is hugeeee of me, one coffee the wrong side of midday and I am not sleeping! Notice that I said 90%…now I don’t have science to support this, but I believe that every now and then you need to go to bed without an alarm and just sleep till your body is ready to wake up. Do you agree? Try it if you. haven’t. Being consistent with my sleep and morning routine also really helps and I notice if I have more days where I don’t set an alarm the struggle to wake on the early days creeps in.

Say NO

I say no to some social things, not many but a few and that really doesn’t bother me. Maybe years of working away and not actually having many people to make social plans with has made me pretty good with my own company. I also say no to crappy food and alcohol because they’re not helping my sleep, how I feel, my energy levels. I would love more take aways and more desserts *by no means do I completely restrict, I love a good gooey chocolate dessert* but when I am out or with friends I am conscious of my choices. On eating well I have to say one new thing we’ve done this year is have an Odd Box subscription and its been fantastic and certainly something I recommend for reducing some of your shopping load and helping you eat more varied and more seasonal.

Pen to Paper

This helps me personally and professionally:

  • Personally – most days I take a moment to journal, sometimes its only a sentence or two but it just pulls me into my day and out of a potentially out of a negative mood (example – 3 things I am grateful for, 3 things I am excited about, how am I feeling, what would be a great outcome of today). I also plan out when I can see friends and family.
  • Professionally – I have everything written down for retreats on google sheets so I can access on both my phone and laptop, that way it doesn’t matter where I am (Lytham, London, Reading or Oxford) I feel I can always manage that / new bookings etc. Everything for The JL Collective is also online which is ‘easy’ now I am used to it, so thank you if you are member and you support this because being able to travel between home, friends and family whilst ‘working’ at the same time is just a dream.


Non negotiable. Wherever I am. Sometimes the means a 5am workout, a very wet (in the moment quite miserable) run or a 15 minute daily movement video but I NEVER REGRET IT (cliche as that may be). I also have a coach and that’s been a big game changer for me. I am fully qualified to put my own programme together but the accountability of showing up for someone is massive, I don’t see him in person he simply helps me plan my week out but its money well spent and certainly a huge part of the reason I hit my time at London Marathon.

A few other things…

  • Loads of water – I go everywhere with a water bottle! Thinking about it one of the biggest physical benefits is probably that it helps me maintain healthy / regular digestion and without this I feel naff and grouchy.
  • Lots of walks – Big long walks yes but also the small ones too (just 15 minutes whilst dinner cooks adds up if you do if daily). I try and avoid driving and I use public transport where I can especially getting in and out of Reading, Oxford and London and those extra steps to and from the station soon add up.
  • Lots of podcasts – I find podcasts spark ideas for me, I enjoy listening to other peoples stories and its a great way to either pass miles in the car or get you. out for a walk. I am currently enjoying The diary of a CEO, Happy Place, The high performance podcast, How to Fail, Rich Roll, The Power Hour, Working Hard or Hardly Working and On Purpose.
  • We’ve got a wedding planner – This means that my free time isn’t occupied worrying about the stuff she knows inside out and instead I can spend that time at home with friends / family or walk the dog. I guess it’s appreciating what your strengths are and looking for people who can do things better than you?

I think that wraps it up? Even if you have just taken away a podcast recommendation or two.

Thanks for sticking with me and my likely spelling mistakes! Jess x

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