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Burn Out

Energizer-Bunny Remember those Energizer Bunny commercials that were very popular in the 90's: He keeps going and going and going and... well you get the point. The one thing those commercials never showed was when the bunny finally ran out of steam  and came to a complete standstill.

Well that's what's happened to me this week. I'd been "multi-tasking" and juggling the hell out of my schedule while sharing a car with my husband, yes I'm currently without my own since mine was totaled by a driver on the 101 freeway a few weeks ago. While we figure out what car I should get- that is both big enough for our growing family yet still affordable- I am now the taxi mom who has to drop everyone off, pick everyone up, go to work at night and still make it to auditions looking bright and fresh when I can get called in. Needless to say my body quickly had enough and it just. shut. down.

What do you do when you're running on E but you feel like you can't set anything down because ALL of it is important? Take a break from writing? No! I have too many thoughts swirling in my head not to get them out on the page. Take a break from class? No! I'm only there once a week and it's needed to keep me from getting rusty, besides one could argue that once a week is nowhere near enough time to put in towards your training efforts anyhow. Take a break from work? Hello, have you seen California gas prices lately? One needs a job just to afford the ridiculous $3.89 per gallon that most stations are demanding. Take a break from networking and self-submitting? No! How will one who is agent-less get seen if they don't hustle to get their own work? Take a break from parenting? Ha! That's laughable. So with all these no's that my will was telling the rest of me, my body just said fine, forget it. If you won't take time to give me what I need, I'll take it from you. And just like that I woke up one morning unable to move except to run to the bathroom to regurgitate. Cold, feverish, achy all over and bowing to the porcelain god I had no choice but to turn off everything and literally stay in my bedroom. No TV, no email, no phone, no Actors Access, no LA Casting, no twitter, no facebook, no husband, no kids, nothing. Just me with water and sleep. 

1brandi_f_066.jpg Now that I'm at about 75%, appetite is still gone and my energy level isn't quite there yet, I realize how important it is for me to slow down some times. I'm not an overachiever. I didn't graduate any type of cum laude {though I came close} and I give a half-assed effort to things I don't really care to do, if I give any real effort at all. But I am ambitious and sometimes overly so. And while my ambition has served me well in the proactive department, it can at times lead to my detriment, especially if I don't temper it with some balance

So the rest of my appointments for the week have either become phone calls rather than in-person meetings or have been rescheduled altogether with a TBD date as I'm not about to put myself right back in the same position next week. This was a hard, painful lesson to learn and to be quite honest it's one I'll probably have to be reminded of many times in the future, that's how it is with us overly ambitious alphanista types. But for now I'm taking it to heart and I'm setting aside time to really take care of me.

How do you guys handle burn out? Do you take time off from everything around you or do you take measures to prevent it from happening in the first place?

-- Brandi Ford

{photos courtesy of Freakingnews  and Bradford Rogne}

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It's useful to take a moment and remember that taking a break will help you continue to do all the hard work you are doing. Devote an hour a day to you time or one day a week, whatever you can do. Clearly you saw your body hit the point where it takes over and says, "F you. We're stopping now."

Think of your hour breaks as preventative care for your wellbeing. It helps your craft and career just as much as everything else you're doing.

Reminding myself of that... that's how I deal with it. I'm not going to lie either. It's hard to stop myself. Have your husband promise to check in on you and make sure you're taking care of yourself. He might suffer from your wrath for a moment, as my boyfriend does, but I'm sure he'll do it for you.

Good luck my friend! Drink a glass of your beverage of choice and convince that husband of yours to give you a massage. :) That's actually the best cure.

Much love,

Brandi Ford

Jordan thanks for the tip! Having my hubby check in on me is an excellent idea because I know he'll really hold me to it. Besides I'll take any reason to get a massage. And you are right, there are times when he'll tell me to take it easy and I don't want to hear it at all! That needs to stop right now.


Maybe meditating in the morning or evening before or after everyone's awake for a few minutes to give yourself sometime to catch your breath and get centered again...plus getting another car will probably be a huge help.

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