Permission Granted | Walking Away from Burnout Ep 12
Welcome to the Mom Bosses Abroad podcast. We’re here with Diana Guintu who’s having a conversation today with us about walking away from burnout. So, Diana we’re so thrilled to have you here with us today. Welcome.
Thank you so much. I'm excited to have this conversation. It's very needed. So I'm excited. Yeah.
Tell me about it. You come just at the right time I think for a lot of people. So, Diana, you are an empowerment coach, a speaker and an author with a work of clinical experience as a licensed professional counselor, counselor and corporate health coach. So you help high achieving women to redefine and restore their relationships with themselves which is so important, but also with their family and their passions without guilt and shame. So they can step into their lives, be fulfilled and empower. You're married to your husband and you're also a mom to an 18 year old and a 14 year old, so I can't wait to get this conversation started.
Diana, we're so excited to have you here because burnout seems to be one of those buzzwords for, you know, the past, I don't know, decade or so but even more in the last few years, given everything that has been happening in the world. But before we really jump into the whole concept of how to effectively walk away from burnout or even prevent that from happening can you tell us a little bit about how you got started, and how you got to where you are today?
Yeah, you know, I think for me, my background is as a counselor, and I was a working mom and had my own business. This was about 12 years ago, and I really found myself in burnout and the reason why is that I was putting everybody's needs before my own right. And I think a lot of women can relate to that. Where we have big dreams, we want to impact the world. We want to impact our family. And somewhere along the way, we see I refer to it as like we turn in our I matter card, right? We don't matter in the list of tasks anymore. And we sort of spent a lot of our time and efforts into kind of building this life around us. And that happened to me where I was building a life. I had my business, I was helping my clients, and I was, you know, neglecting my own personal health versus like, whether that's physical and emotional. And I just ended up feeling-I lost myself and in that journey and I was in a lot of chronic pain just from like the stress of my life. And I had you really come down to a realization that if I wanted to be the mom that I want to be right, that I was going to have to address what was going on with me. And I went on this journey of exploring kind of what had happened to me along the way, and found myself really sort of going through this process of healing my own past, healing some of those beliefs that kind of led me to believe that I had to sacrifice myself right. And in that journey, I sort of found this new empowered version of myself where I really started to figure out that I mattered too. And I gave myself permission to go on that journey of a doing my own work, healing myself and really prioritizing my emotional well-being. When I came out on the other end, as I was talking to other moms, I realized that they also needed it right. They also found themselves burned out. And I really started to have like a calling to show them the way show them the formula that I had sort of, you know, I felt like I cracked the code, secret code. When I finally found myself in so here we are.
To the world, because there is a light at the end of the tunnel right there is there is a bigger breakthrough that we can all you know, experience and come out feeling fulfilled and happy about it. However, when we are in the middle of things, it also feels surreal. And it feels like there's no end in sight. So one of the things that I wanted to ask you as we are jumping into the topic of burnout, and I think that maybe you can help us clarify that is a lot of us throw around these words like burnout, anxiety, overwhelm, right. And I just wanted to see from your perspective and your experience, you know, what is the difference? And it's specifically in talking about burnout. How can we find the symptoms and really see that we are going down that route to begin that sometimes we don't know what we don't know, right? So it's really wise to understand, okay, what is burnout? What is overwhelm? What is feeling anxious? Is there a common thread? Or what would you say is the progression until you reach actually burnout and something that we actually want to avoid? As much?
Yeah. So here's the thing. What I have found is that it is normal, right? When we have, you know, crisis in our family or we are going through a hard season, maybe whether it's like a project that we're or maybe like an illness at home or we're taking care of people like that, it is normal to feel overwhelmed, right when things unexpected happen in your life right now where it becomes burnout is the chronic of that symptom. Right? So emotions are normal, right? It's normal to feel anxious when you have a big, something big happening. For example, recently I was taking care of my mom who was in the ICU. Yes, I had a lot of anxiety. I was very nervous. I was very, you know, worried about it. But that is situational right? Now, if I left that, and I continued with those emotions day in and day out, and they started to become sort of like part of our lives, which I think that's what happens with women, especially my clients who come to me is that they have become, sort of used to feeling this chronic state of fight or flight, where they're always reactive. They're always sort of overwhelmed. They wake up and they go to bed sort of in that state. That fight or flight is meant, right as a way of helping us sort of process through situations right. It's going to help us either get the energy like for example, when I was with my mom at the ICU, I had tons of energy to be awake, right? Because I was in that fight or flight where I was. I had this adrenaline that keep kept me awake. Now, that was not normally.
Yeah, you had to, you know, in your in your situation, you had to, you know, talk to doctors, you had to like make sense of what was going on, make decisions based on that information and everything. So you were in this alert mode?
Yeah, right. Right. And so it's meant to help us right that this fight or flight survival response, it's really helpful for us. Where it becomes trouble is because most of us sort of become chronically in that cycle. We don't restore enough we don't have any strategy. in place that can help us refuel. So this is when we have like some of you know, I'm sure maybe your audience and the people I work with where we're high achievers, we want to do everything. We want to be the good mom, The Good Wife, the good friend, the good, you know, boss, the CEO, and we're doing all these things. And I always come back to this analogy of like, we all have an emotional bank account, okay? And just like a money management account, right, it needs to it there's withdrawals and there's deposits, okay. And most of us have withdrawals going out every day. We're doing all these things for all these people. And then the deposits if we're really honest with ourselves, there's probably no deposits coming in daily.
Now I know with let's just take away the business altogether and just focus on the motherhood piece if you're a mom and you know you're going through all these phases, and each phase with your child, especially your first one is going to be new: new things, new routines. The older they get, the more they change, the more we change as well. So I think it's always important to identify like, sort of the overwhelm. That is normal, but when is it time to raise that hand? You know what I need help? Because a lot of people, I think they don't always judge the situation correctly. They think they're overwhelmed, but you're also sometimes in a way like, but that is motherhood. You know, you've got to figure it out. You've got to push through a little bit. But then there's also others who do don't push there who don't raise their hand and they spiral down. And that is I mean kudos to you first of all for having realized that yourself and your life and kind of rescuing yourself from that situation. But what do you say to a mom to encourage her to like that fine line of what is normal and I love your analogy with the bank account as well. But when do you raise your hand when do you actually do that?
I, you know first of all, I do bring up an excellent point. And here's the layers to it. The first layer is that we have to change this mindset around being like the perfect mom, right? Like giving ourselves permission that it we don't have to do it alone. That's the first thing and for me, that's the first step is really giving yourself permission that things don't have to be really hard for you to raise your hand. Right. And I think a lot of times as moms, we're right, we're waiting for that break down. We're waiting for until we just are like, we cannot handle it anymore.
It feels right, it feels like I actually need a doctor's order. To stay in bed to actually stay in bed. Right? Like we evaluate admission that
Yeah, absolutely. To me, that's the first step is really giving yourself permission to matter. Right like you don't have to be exhausted at a 10 to get help. You don't mean like you can be exhausted at a two and say, Hey, I need some help. Like, why are we enduring so much? That's the first that's the first issue that I think a lot of us fall into. And I don't know about you ladies, but I come from a long line. of women who sacrifice themselves for their family. Right? Like we have ancestors and family that have taught us the way of like self-sacrifice, right? And we're sort of like being measured by that right in our own mind. And for me, I decided there was a point in my healing journey where I decided that that's not the legacy that I'm going to leave my daughter to self-sacrifice, you know, I mean, like, and the only way that we change this paradigm of women having turned her so much is if we start to raise our hands, raise our hands and say, I don't have to be burned out to get help. I actually don't have to wait till the breakdown to raise my hand. I can just do it because I don't want to be tired.
I know and I love that but it's also this kind of gotta shoo away our pride and say like, you know what, yeah, I can't really do it alone. I can do it all, can be the hero of my house, you know, taking care of everyone plus the dog kind of thing. But I don't have to. Like you said we have this tribe. We don't have to do it alone. There's the permission slip. And I think I mean, because the other topic that you speak so passionately about is mending these relationships, right? Restoring the relationships you have with yourself and with your family. It's really interesting. I had a conversation with a friend yesterday. So when my parents-in-law, I mean we live in overseas all the time, in a way so when our parents and parents-in-laws come they come for a long stretch always to kind of help us out when I was a new mom, who that was a little bit tough because I carried all this pride myself. I can do what I want to prove to my mom-in-law. I can be a good wife to your son. I can handle this motherhood journey, I can hope to do the household I can cook every meal and I didn't want her to meddle with that. I had something to prove, in a way right and now she's coming next month and I think this time I've grown, I've changed and I've met amazing people like you along my motherhood journey. And I've learned that it is that permission slip and I can raise my hand or accept this excessive deposit. So when she comes around this time, I'm like, you want the kids? here you are; you want to take care of the kitchen, be my guest you know, God, I love that. It's going to make her happy but I have learned how to
It doesn't reflect negatively on you either right to receive that help to say, You know what? I can't or say that those boundaries that are so important.
And that always thought I had to you know, like I had to prove that everyone thought I don't that's I love how you bring that up and help others to realize things.
Absolutely. And here's the thing, I always I used to say this a lot where taking care of yourself actually gives to others, because think about it: like your mother-in-law wants to help. She wants to come and spend time and help you and what a gift right because I don't know about you ladies, but like when I help someone I feel so good. It feels good to me. It feels good to me to help someone right? Yeah. If we allow other people to give also right and us receiving look at how much we're giving to other people. We're allowing them to have this experience of giving to people of being compassionate of being the person that is helping right. And that really fills them up. So at the same time, even though it feels sort of like you're doing this for you. I always say that when we start to really take care of ourselves. We allow the people in our lives to be in a position of giver which for me is such a beautiful moment to have to be the giver.
I want to frame this moment. Thank you. Oh my god, thank you for saying that the way for her explaining it that way. I think for me right there. That was a moment of clarity. And a moment which I know I'm going to have you in my head when I'm talking to my mother-in-law next month, where I will recall your words because we're helping her I mean, they also haven't seen us in three years right so they want as much time with us as they can so we are in receiving their help and their love are also giving so much back to them. Absolutely. And I think you
You really do and I just think like if we can change how we feel right how we perceive it, because it's that perception that's leading us to feel like we have to endure, that we have to put this brave face on and take it but if we can kind of flip it right and be like okay, how can I take this moment and really elevate it right? And we're elevating it by not only making a deposit into our own well-being, but we also allow the people in our lives to give to us which is such a beautiful place. I mean, I know most of us could relate to a time where we saw a friend in trouble. We saw a friend hurting and we wanted to help that person and they said no. And we know they could use it right? And we sort of left that situation sort of feeling unfulfilled, right like, yeah, and I really wish I could help that person.
Lift us up
So if somebody gives you and says hey can I help you? Can I do this when we receive it? It really is an all around gift for everybody.
And Diana, how do you_ because you also work on this with your clients. How does the whole releasing guilt come into play? Because I think that's also one of the things that are part of this layered approach that we were discussing.
Absolutely. Here's what I always tell people: guilt comes from us having an internal role in our head. Right, that we have roles right, this is good, this is bad. And the reason why we feel guilty is because we have a role in our mindset that says when I asked for help, it is wrong. It is selfish, it is lazy. It is you know it is I'm not enough. I'm not a good mom, I'm not a good wife, you know, all those things and those rules is what produces the guilt. Right? So I always tell my friends, I always tell my clients that when we are shifting we're reframing it. Guilt is part of the journey of health, of healing. It is because you're changing these rules that you have set for yourself or maybe they were passed down from generations, right. And so you aren't going to feel guilty. So for me in the beginning, it's about honoring our experience of guilt and knowing that it doesn't mean to stop. It doesn't mean that oh this is bad, right? This is normally what we think of guilt, we start to immediately want to stop it.
But if we can kind of honor the emotion and just allow that feeling to come, then we can sort of affirm. Is this true for us? Is it true that if I take time for myself, does that make me a bad mom? No, it doesn't. Right? And so it gives us a moment of pause to choose. What is our truth going forward? Right because a lot of the stuff that we are sort of are living in and reacting to. Most of those thoughts of motherhood are not our own. These were passed out right. They're passed down generation conditioning from our culture, our environment, you know, other moms, I mean, all those things and so to me it's not about guilt is not something that I run away from I actually coach my clients to sit with it. And then examine it. Is this true for you? Is this whatever you're telling yourself that you're feeling guilty argue about? And the truth is, is that they're not right. They're not about mom, they're not a lazy mom. They're not a bad wife, like wanting to get themselves some time for themselves. Is really just part of life. Right? And so when they start to really affirm the new truth, they're able to move away from guilt and know that they don't have to be afraid of guilt. And that's why when we when we can affirm like, identify the feeling and sit with it. The fear sort of goes away, and that feeling doesn't have power anymore.
I love that. Wow. That is incredible. It's true. It's taking that feeling of guilt head on, sitting with it reflecting on it, asking yourself and if that's the truth, that's really good. And probably also helps speaking to others about you. And that's why it's always good to have a live right like an understanding because you do shift the way we think about these topics that are so present in our lives. But flipping that because you know when we ask others, like we always want to please everybody right? So we don't we feel bad. We have that guilt. We want to instill that certain memory for our children and we think we don't and so we feel guilty. But sometimes it's like, let's ask a partner, let's ask our best friend. Let's ask our children. Like even if we have regular podcast interviews with our children, and they tell it like it is. They tell us the truth. And they don't have a filter yet they do not lie. And they tell us what do they value for us and sometimes, you know, it leaves us teary-eyed we're relying so much guilt around are we doing enough? But they love the simple things that we do for
The ones that have the most impact on their path and we don't even realize it.
One hundred percent I love that you say that that you interview your kids because, you know, a lot of times as moms we don't face it head on, right like what are these things that you're telling yourself in your head about what you're doing? Right you stay stuck and that's why it is important to have a life coach, have a community of other women that are wanting to break these generational wounds that we all have because you can stay in your own reality, right? And you can get stuck in some of those patterns that aren't serving you. So once you start getting out of that and talking to other people and knowing that you know what? You actually don't have to be ashamed and feel guilty. If you want to do XYZ then you can. You have the opportunity to choose.
Oh yes and having that option and freedom to choose right and to always pivot back into what you were talking about into our own truth, rather than this old rules that came from you know, generations ago where things were different. But I also love that you said you know, we are also part of a community and when we are in, you know, showing up for ourselves or clients, our loved ones or family. Sometimes we seem to see that there are people that are close to us that might be already in that burnout sphere. So how would you recommend that somebody approaches someone else going into burnout because, you know, for our listeners sometimes it's not us going through it but we have someone that might be going through it or we're watching that somebody's you know, tiptoeing around the burnout, sure, how can we help? What are some things that we can do because as you said, when we feel that we cannot help we also feel unfulfilled or we feel that we could have done something. So what are what are some recommendations for anyone that might be looking, looking from the outside into someone else's situation?
You know, one of the things that I'm glad you brought that up because I do think that sometimes in groups of friends or community or family, sometimes we are seeing sort of like the train wreck happened in front of us, right and we don't know how to stop it and we want to tread lightly, right. One is I always say you know, obviously you want to you want to take things with care and compassion because it is a very sensitive issue right? But one of the things that I would recommend if you find yourself in that position, is to not join in with the chaos. You cannot help someone if you enter the chaos with them. What I mean by this is that sometimes we'll be in a group of women and everybody's talking about all the negative stuff that is going out, right like they're talking about, their spouse isn't supportive, their kids are not listening. They're like, and they're just complaining and complaining about all the negative stuff. And what I have seen in my in groups is that people will start to join in and say me too, me too. Me too. And what that does it normalizes it, right? It normalizes is that we're all burnout and that's just the way it is.
Like a contagion to think about things that you should also be, you know, putting on the list as well. You're like, let me see what else can I find?
Yeah. And you start to think that, oh, we all feel this way. So it must be okay. It must be okay to feel this way. So there, we're sort of all in it together. Now. I understand the importance of that right of having a community where you feel like we're part of it. But if no one is growing, and no one's pushing out of that comfort zone, then we're all staying stuck. We're all just staying stuck. So what I would do and what I have done in the past, in some of my circles, is when people are starting to kind of go into that negative spiral of chaos. I will sort of try to be again you’re not the savior of other people, but I will add some reflection. I will say, I used to feel this way, but I have found that when I do XY and Z I feel better. So it's really just about not joining in the chaos, because once you join in, then we're only in the chaos together and no one can help us out.
Yes. And that's and that's the reason why you know, Des and I feel so passionately about this podcast and about sharing with other women experiences and highlighting guests like yourself that because there are other ways, there are better ways, right? Again, how we started out this episode. There is a light at the other end. And so let us show you that there is something that you can feel inspired towards, that you can feel fulfilled towards, that you can really feel like oh my God, I'm living to my fullest potential. And we just want to bring that light into the community, into the perspective and drown out that negative noise as you say, that toxicity that is normalizing this hustle culture, right that you have to be this unsung hero that collapses on her knees right but she made it but then you're like, Yeah, but at what expense? Right? Everybody suffered in the process. So how can that be a victory? And we want to thank you for solidifying that message with you. We need to hear it in so many ways, in so many forms with different metaphors, different analogies, different voices, but we really need to bring that awareness that it is not necessary to wait as you say, to be on a 10 for you to raise your hand and say, Hey, I need help. I need a break.
Yeah, yeah, absolutely love how you flip the coin and our way of thinking about certain things. It's a very fresh way to look at it and like I said, I will have your words with me really, when it comes to that point next month where I can really let myself go. And receive so thank you so much for for all of these tips today.
Yeah, and Diana one question that we like to ask our guests, the word balance sometimes, work-life balance, feels like this utopia, right? Like what is that? Who has that? And so we prefer the word harmony because it's more real to what is happening the now, like you can be in harmony now. Right work life balance. I guess you either need a lot of perspective to say like, oh, yeah, I definitely had balance. I did 50 of this 50 of that, but it seems a little bit sometimes too stressful even to strive for it. So when we asked a question is more in the lines of how do you achieve harmony in your life?
And how do you recommend or what are some tips on how you make that work for you? That can give me inspiration and insights to someone that might be listening as well, right?
Absolutely. So this might be a little bit different than what people are used to hearing but the way that I have found harmony in my life is by giving myself permission to be first on the list. So I am first on the list. Always, every day, I am first on the list. And what that has provided for me is not only my own healing journey where I couldn't be more mentally clear and emotionally stable. But it has allowed me to really be able to show up in my life with my kids, with my clients in a whole new way because I'm I'm showing up with a cup full. My deposits are full right and then I can give and I feel like I know that a lot of us talk about that. But I really want to encourage your listeners and whoever needs to hear this that give yourself permission to come first. And here I'm gonna say this, I'm even talking about before your kids. And I know that sometimes as moms we're like, oh, no, not my kids. They're the first thing but I really want to say that when you give yourself to you first, when you prioritize your own emotional well-being, you're gonna be at a place to give so much more to your kids. Because you are coming up with a full tank of love and support and you know, being able to be present with them and enjoy them versus when you are kind of running on fumes and you're trying to kind of be the good mom, but you're irritable and you're resentful. So I just want to encourage your listeners to give yourselves permission to kind of move yourself all the way to that first spot in your to-do list.
And as you say, not only are we showing up in the way that we actually want to be showing up, but we're setting up a best practice for our kids. You know, we are the role models and they are watching and and we're perpetuating that martyrdom approach right so I come last. I did everything for everyone for me, and this victimhood mentality whereas we can allow them to feel empowered and say, You know what, no, I matter, right? My feelings matter, what I'm going through matters. And I'm putting myself first so we absolutely resonate with that and we love that you that you are making it your your mantra of the way that you approach life. So Diana, before we go, we know that you have a freebie for everyone. So can you tell us what it is?
Yes, for sure. Well, one of my freebies is called The Three Secrets to Removing Emotional Blocks. And I want to really empower women to remove some of this stagnant energy that is sitting there that's keeping you from prioritizing yourself when you're able to really remove some of these emotional blocks. I always tell my son it's like we're carrying emotional baggage, right and it's just sitting there in our chest causing toxic, causing us to feel insecure reactive. And if we can remove it, then we're going to have more clarity, and we're going to have a more balanced outlook in our lives. So So yeah, you can go over to my link and download the guide and it's going to tell take you through the three steps that you can do to really help kind of clear some of that emotional clutter.
Everybody needs to get on this ASAP and definitely the link is going to be in our show notes. And also, if anybody is interested in you know, reaching out and working with you directly. Is there anything that you're working on currently that you would like to share so somebody can also reach out to you and then find out more?
Yeah, absolutely. So, I actually have the Empowered Women's Academy. It's a six-month program where it's a community of women that I coach and help them really step into their empowered state, where we work on kind of clearing some of that mindset stuff, doing some healing work and really getting to a place where you feel confident self, your self-worth is in check. And I really help you sort of get the tools that you need to redefine and restore those relationships that that maybe are causing a lot of that burnout.
Wow, this is this is so needed, and as you say, when we do it in in a community environment is even more powerful because then everybody is supporting everyone at the same time, right? It's like I like to say, you know, a high tide raises all boats, so everybody gets to really celebrate and have those wins together through mutual support and collaboration, which is something that we truly believe in. So thank you, Diana so much for chatting with us today. And if you want to connect with Diana, you can find her on Instagram @Dianag_speaks and she has her Facebook, her website and LinkedIn links that are all going to be in our show notes. So you can go and check them out as well as this fabulous freebie, The Three Secrets To Removing Emotional Blocks. So thank you Diana so much. We loved having you on the podcast today.
Thank you so much for having me. This has been so fun.
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Diana is an empowerment coach, speaker and author with over 20 years of clinical experience as a licensed professional counselor and corporate health coach. She helps high achieving women redefine and restore their relationships with themselves, their family and their passions without the guilt and shame so that they can step into their live as a fulfilled and empowered woman. She is married to her husband Ron and is a mom to 18-year-old Ethan and 14-year-old Alaina!
3 Secrets to Removing Emotional Blocks