One of the more interesting things I’ve spent time doing is working as a Health Coach for college campuses. In this role, I worked directly with employees as a benefit of their health insurance. The programming varies, however there were very few sessions that didn’t eventually mention stress. College campuses are full of people who deeply care about their work, but they have very limited resources including time. This can lead to exhaustion as well as feeling undervalued, disrespected, and even hopelessness if left unchecked.
We Need People Looking Out for Us
In late October there was a video released of an interview with Meghan Markel (wife of Prince Harry, new mom to Archie) discussing adjusting to her new life. Tom Bradby, the interviewer brought up some concerns Harry mentioned in a previous conversation. His concern for the dynamics surrounding his wife and the press are public, but I believe for many this video humanized Meghan in a new way.
Here is part of the transcript:
“It’s obviously an area one has to tiptoe into very gently,” he added, before asking her what the impact had been “on your physical and mental health of all the pressure that you clearly feel under?”
Meghan replied: “Any woman, especially when they’re pregnant, you’re really vulnerable.
“So that was made really challenging and then when you have a newborn … especially as a woman, it’s really, it’s a lot.
“So you add this on top of just trying to be a new mum or trying to be a newlywed.”
Asked by Bradby how she was coping, Meghan said: “Thank you for asking because not many people have asked if I’m ok.
“But it’s a very real thing to be going through behind the scenes.”
Bradby then added: “And the answer is, would it be fair to say, not really ok? That it’s really been a struggle?”
To which Meghan replied: “Yes.”
Vulnerability = Courage
Meghan’s willingness to answer honestly with a simple yes shifted the dynamics in significant ways. And if Princess Meghan Markel can be honest for the world to watch on repeat the dangit why can’t we? When asked questions like are you ok? Do you say yes or do are you still trying to convince yourself asking for help is failing? The strong thing to do is to grin and bear it right? Suck it up Buttercup! NO!!
HERE’S THE THING: No one is perfect. No one is invincible and No one is able to grin and bear life alone.
We are not meant to live life alone and we are not created to walk through hard seasons by ourselves. But if we tell everyone we are fine or stay silent when we are in hard seasons how can we expect others to know how to step up and surround us when we need them?
We Will Burnout Attempting Life Alone
Whether we are trying to muscle through work or personal challenges it’s important to pause and recognize that our choice is unnecessary. There are people surrounding every one of us that would happily help if they only knew how they could be helpful.
As coaches’ wives, ministry wives, and military wives we already carry a heavy load when our husbands are in their busy seasons at work. When football season hits I know that we are all going to have to step up and do a little more each day to just keep the house running at the bare minimum.
It takes longer to complete the workday because there are more interruptions for errands. Cleaning and laundry happen more frequently because we are all attending more events and the clutter piles up quicker. It’s harder to cook because some days we are hungrier and other days a surprise keeps someone away for dinner. In between everything, there are fewer days to rest and reset and this is a recipe for burnout if we ignore things for too long.
One Key Way to Avoid Burnout is to Connect with Your Community
This doesn’t have to require you to ask people to run errands for you or to leave your kids with them. Try going for coffee with a girlfriend to decompress rather than stress eating. Do you have to redecorate a room? Take that stylish friend with you who always looks put together. Her eye will catch things yours won’t and I guarantee she will show you a few new secrets about local sales too!
When you have hit your limit throw up the white flag and wave it until someone comes to relieve you, and when you are not in the middle of the crazy months be sure to look around and do the same for your fellow coaches’ wives, ministry wives and military wives.
Find your tribe and trust them with your hardest moments. Tell them that you need prayer even when you can’t explain why. Your tribe will understand and they will rally.
Above all, when you can, seize opportunities for extended time away where you can allow others to speak over you and life-giving truths. Take advantage of weekend trips with your husband, your girlfriends, and time alone when you can figure that out.
You will serve your family, your job, and your ministry better after some time away to recalibrate. How do I know? Because I do this fairly regularly and it hasn’t failed yet.
You know I’m not going to leave you without resources!
Midwest coaches’ wives! Check out this upcoming Retreat JUST FOR YOU! Come hear how several coaches’ wives are pursuing their callings and how you can pursue yours as we focus on our theme verse: Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father. Colossians 3:17
Early Bird Pricing won’t last forever!
If you aren’t able to make it to our event here are a few other options to consider:
Spiritual Retreats at Catholic and Jesuit Conference centers are available at almost any length and design you can image and pay for including with counseling from a Spiritual Director.
General Retreats are advertised from around the world here.
Hop on Travelocity or Hotels.com and book a hotel or spa!
Looking for another event with a Spiritual component? I’m headed to St. Louis April 4th for Biblical Theology Workshop for Women with Nancie Guthrie