top of page

[Burniversary Series 3/5] A Valentine's Day Revelation: Journeying Towards Mental Health and Recognizing Stress

Updated: Feb 16

Journeying Towards Mental Health and Recognizing Stress

On the third day of a five-day introspection, I found myself in a situation that drastically altered my perspective on stress and its impact on health. If you haven't had the chance, check out the first 2 days of my "Burniversary Series". You can find Day 1 and Day 2 here.

It was Valentine's Day of 2013, a day that was supposed to be filled with romance and celebration. Instead, I found myself in a starkly different setting – a hospital room, dealing with an unexpected health scare.

A New Doctor's Approach: Understanding the Mental Health Journey

When the new doctor walked in, his demeanor signaled a different approach to understanding my health crisis. Instead of focusing on the physical symptoms, he delved into aspects of my mental health journey, probing about my work, life, and stress levels.

As I narrated the high-pressure environment I was navigating, the doctor hypothesized that my physical symptoms were a reaction to extreme stress. In a surprising move, he recommended I take time to relax my mind instead of prescribing medication. He turned on HGTV, left the room, and told me to relax and watch TV, suggesting a simple but effective way to calm my thoughts.

For those experiencing similar challenges, especially women in leadership roles, my article, "Why Women Leaders in Accounting Burn Out & What to Expect from a Life Coach", offers insights into the unique stressors in such careers and the role of life coaching in managing them.

Journeying Towards Mental Health and Recognizing Stress

The Unplanned Pause: A Step in My Mental Health Journey

Initially panicked about Valentine's Day plans, I found myself forced to take a pause. This unplanned break led me to ponder the broader implications of work-induced stress, particularly in professions governed by the billable hour model. To further explore this topic, I delve into its consequences in my article, "Consequences of Burnout: Billable Hour Model", providing a deeper understanding of how such work structures can contribute to burnout.

Finding Peace in the Midst of Chaos

As I tried to relax in the hospital room, my mind initially raced uncontrollably, a reflection of the mental turmoil I was experiencing. Gradually, I began to find peace, an essential part of my journey towards better mental health. This experience taught me the value of finding ways to relax the mind, even in the most chaotic situations.

Journeying Towards Mental Health and Recognizing Stress

Recovery and a Warning: Reflecting on Mental Health

When the doctor returned and observed the disappearance of my hives, he confirmed that stress was the root cause. His warning about the trajectory of my lifestyle and career highlighted the significance of maintaining mental health to prevent worsening conditions. He suggested adopting more techniques for stress management at work to avoid similar episodes in the future.

Declaring Rock Bottom: A Pivotal Moment in My Mental Health Journey

That day, February 14th, 2013, became more than just Valentine’s Day; recognizing this day as my rock bottom was a moment of clarity about how my work and lifestyle were detrimentally affecting my well-being. It underscored the need to implement effective stress management techniques and find ways to regularly relax my mind.

Journeying Towards Mental Health and Recognizing Stress

Committing to Change: Steps Towards Mental Wellness

Post-hospital, I actively began to take steps toward improving my mental health, recognizing that change was essential for recovery. This included setting boundaries at work, prioritizing self-care, and learning new techniques to relax my mind and manage stress more effectively. For those seeking to deepen their understanding of these practices, this comprehensive PDF from Yale University offers valuable insights into stress management and mental wellness strategies. It's a resource I found immensely helpful in my journey, providing a scientific and holistic approach to mental health.

Conclusion: Embracing Mental Health on Life's Journey

Looking back, February 14th, 2013, marks a pivotal moment in my journey towards mental health. It was a wake-up call to the true cost of stress and the importance of taking proactive steps, such as learning to relax the mind and applying techniques for stress management at work, to maintain mental and emotional well-being amidst life's challenges.

Burnout is a prevalent challenge for the hardest-working women, especially when struggling to incorporate relaxation into their busy schedules. If you find yourself overwhelmed by balancing professional responsibilities with the need for personal downtime, know that you are not alone. I have supported many talented Partners, VPs, Managers, and Experienced Associates like yourself in successfully navigating their careers, ensuring they find time for relaxation without succumbing to burnout.

Let's connect and develop a strategy to integrate relaxation effectively into your life. By scheduling a consultation call with me, you can take the first step towards a more balanced career journey. Together, we'll work to make your professional life not only more manageable but also more enjoyable, with a focus on incorporating essential relaxation techniques.

Burnout Coach



bottom of page