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#156: What to Do When You're Burnt Out, with Chiropractor Haley Day

Burnt Out Chiropractor

Today’s podcast is going to be a little bit different. It may not be applicable to you today, but listen anyway, because you might find yourself in this moment in the next couple months and want to come back to this podcast and listen to it. I’m normally an extremely positive person. It doesn’t take long or much effort for me to work through disappointments or tough times. As a student, associate, and practice owner you will have those times when life isn't going your way. I think we’ve all seen the graph of an entrepreneur. It’s very up and down. Well this podcast is going to help you mitigate those down times so you can find inspiration and focus, and power through, so you can keep the momentum to continue growing your practice, and realizing your dreams.

If you’re prone to negative thoughts and letting these times get the best of you, then you’ll definitely want to listen. These are tools you need when you’re in practice! These were the tools we needed when we couldn’t make rent one month in practice, when we realized our initial associate wasn’t going to work out as planned, when we decided to finish the chiroplanner by a certain date and were working over-overtime on it, and when we were taken advantage of by a friend. These tools helped us get through many hard moments in practice and life and what I’ve learned is that the quicker you can cope, the quicker you can get back your momentum, the better you will be and the more you will succeed. These tools will help you too!

Point of Exhaustion

A couple weeks ago I was having a hard moment. I felt uninspired...I didn’t want to write, i didn’t want to come up with new material for the blog or the podcast, because i didn’t have the energy for it. I needed a break! My brain was forcing me to take my foot off the pedal and slow down. How did I get to that point? I had been super inspired, excited to work, and launch The Ideal Associate course a few weeks ago, but creating the podcast and marketing the course was a lot of work for many, many months, so i probably got a bit burnt out from that. I was also really hoping to help more of you through the process of finding your ideal associate position. I’m excited to be helping those of you in the course, but man, i wanted to help more. Like when you’re in practice and you want to treat more people, but they aren’t coming in.  

Burn Out

Anyway, I was burnt out. I had been working super hard, following my plan, writing blogs, creating podcasts, interacting on social media, and i loved it, but once the course launched and i had done my part, i felt a little lost. In practice this could happen after plateauing several months, having one really bad month, or after attending a marketing event that doesn’t pan out the way you thought it would. You’ll feel like you wasted your time. You might get discouraged with practice. You might start to feel like you’re not enough. Those are some of the feelings I had.

The ending of the course launch also coincided with our two oldest girls finally going back to school after 7 months of caring for them 24/7, entertaining them, and trying to homeschool them. I love my kids but for any of you who went through that with me, mental exhaustion is a thing. Kids need a lot of thought, attention, and care. 

I’ve also been frustrated that I’m not in the office like I thought I’d be this year. Our third daughter was supposed to be in school full time but we chose to keep her home because of this year's circumstances. So with all these different things coming to a head a couple weeks ago, I was feeling too many things at once, as I’m sure many of you have experienced...

The 2020 Chiropractor

I’m guessing you’ve had times like this in your life, maybe you’ve been doing all the things too this year-stressing about covid, caring for your kids, thinking about whether or not boards would get cancelled, rescheduling of seminars you were excited about, closing of campus clinics or your clinic. This year has been a lot to handle for all of us! I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but there will inevitably be more times like these. Even just the rest of this year there are so many unknowns.

Hitting a Wall

We’re all working so hard, passionately pursuing our dreams, the vision you have for your future that I spoke about in last week’s podcast. 2020 has been a lot to handle all on it’s own. These moments will happen, so I want to talk about the process or road I took to get back to being inspired, in such a short amount of time. What helped me get back to strategizing, and working on another plan to bring you all more inspirational, helpful content. I hope it helps you the next time you feel burnt out, like you have nothing more to give. Maybe you're in that moment now. Giving a lot of yourself to patients, family, school, or work...you’re not living your best life. I bet you’re only moments away from changing that feeling back to one of inspiration and focus, so stick with me here…

A Support System

When we were in practice we would hit these same sort of barriers. I think having the two of us helped because it’s very rare that both of us would have weeks like this at the same time. So when I hit a wall, Rich was able to carry the torch, and when Rich hit a wall, I would have energy and push us through. If you’re already in practice, but don’t work with your spouse then maybe you have a non-chiro spouse or CA that helps support you through these times. Either way the first element to conquering these times is having a good support system. Someone you can rely on to help you through these times. A couple weeks ago when I was having my moment I leaned on Rich for extra support and guidance, my friends all got together(not for me), but the timing was perfect, to just hangout and laugh. I think there’s been so much less of that this year, and our small gathering was just what I needed. If you try to push through hard times without the support of others, try to develop at least one relationship with someone who can help you through this. If you feel like no one around you understands you, then reach out to a peer you have or had in school that you studied with. We all need these relationships. Identify those around you that you can lean on, and be around them when you’re in your funk. In return, who do you support in this way? We all need to give, in order to get. So, make sure you are supporting those in your life that you rely on. Maybe if they don’t get you, it’s because you aren’t taking the time to get them?

Take Ownership

Another foundational element having to do with this is taking ownership of everything happening in your life. If this is a hard concept for you then check out the book, Parenting the QBQ Way, by John G Miller. Even if you aren’t a parent, but especially if you are one. I think this book is awesome. It explains how you can take ownership of your life and help those around you do the same, your kids, your spouse, your coworkers. We need to start holding ourselves accountable and taking ownership of our wins and losses. Think about something you’re frustrated with right now, how can you change things? What can you do to create a better life or circumstance? Avoid placing blame on others. 

Be Grateful - Find the Good

So having supportive relationships, taking ownership of your life, and the third major foundational element is being grateful. Be grateful for all the good. Think about all the good in your life. When we get down on ourselves or with our situation, we’re often mad about a mistake we made or the results of our efforts. These little missteps, some might call failures, but I like to think of them as lessons we learn from so we can do, be, and create better. They make us feel bad, but we all have a life of major accomplishments to fall back on and remind us that we are actually successful. This one moment doesn’t define us. You’re not a bad doctor if you forget to adjust someone’s wrist they’re complaining about because you get too busy talking, but you should remind yourself to be more present for others, follow up with that patient on the next visit, and go above and beyond for their issue. You’re not a bad student because you fail a class or a part of boards. It just means you need to work harder next time, study more, be more present when you’re studying or for the test. Be grateful for everything that has gone right - a good education, passing boards, patient success stories, a good marriage, surviving the first year with your first kid. There aren’t awards for these things, but they’re major accomplishments! 

Focus on Self Care

If you find yourself having a bad week, low energy, uninspired, like 2020 all over again - look for supportive relationships, think about how you can take ownership of your life, be grateful about everything that has gone right, but outside of all this, something you need to be doing everyday, regardless, is creating good habits. Good habits, actions we take everyday without thinking about it, will carry you through any day. Showing up for yourself, for your family, becomes a habit and it starts with self care. You need to eat well, exercise, sleep, and for sure, clean yourself! If these are the things you let go of first when you’re frustrated, depressed, or burnt out. Then please put your focus here first at the first sign. Taking care of yourself can only help. Not caring for yourself can only hurt. As doctors, or future doctors, we know how important nourishing food, beneficial exercise, restorative rest and sleep, and good hygiene help a person’s overall well-being.

Create Good Habits

When I was in my funk I also focused on other habits I have. I kept creating podcasts, writing blogs, caring for patients, caring for my family, all the things I do. I was also able to rely on using the podcast I had recorded earlier when I wasn’t super inspired to write. When I write something for you guys or produce a podcast I want it to be good. Like when you go into your office, or clinic, you want to show up for your patients. You don’t want to go in, go through the motions, and leave. You’re there for a reason! By working ahead, I was able to take a week off of the production part and still provide content that you all needed to hear. Side not, I’m setting up a bunch more interviews to have for you all to listen to through the holidays. I’m very excited about them and also excited to have awesome content to provide you all during that time, that also allows me to spend time with my family and friends.

You Can Recover!

I really hope this podcast helps you all. I can’t be the only one to have a bad week. If you are having a bad day/week, find a friend, ask yourself how you can show up better, think of everything you’re grateful for and appreciate in life, stay focused on your habits and think about what better habits you can form to help you do and be better. Start making better choices and if you can’t figure out the better choice, talk to others, talk it out!

If all else fails, reach out to us, send me a DM. If you made it this far in the blog, then I’m here to help you because I know you’re helping yourself. You’re learning not just about chiropractic technique or business, you’re also concerned with self growth and adding tools to your toolbox for all areas of your life.

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