How many Hats Do youWear in Any Given Day?
As women, we find ourselves stretched thin every day from juggling several different roles.
This can be physically and emotionally exhausting, leading to feelings of overwhelm, resentment, burnout and even physical health symptoms.
We love the hats we wear and most of us wouldn’t have it any other way, but we know deep inside something has to give, because we can’t keep up this pace indefinitely.
I wear quite a few hats myself and it hasn’t always gone so well for me.
Maybe you can relate to a few of these.
THE HATS WE WEAR
MORNING MOM HAT
I start my day as a mom, most mornings waking up before the alarm rings to a couple of Border Collies crossing their legs to go outside and anxiously wagging their tails for breakfast.
My daughter is frantically banging around upstairs as she gets ready to leave for work. I’ve learned its best to stay out of her way until she gets it together. You may still have young children at home.
Yes, I remember those days well, often waking early with a child staring into my eyes. Some mornings my oldest was upset over some atrocity that his little sister caused or that the dog ate his favorite toy, because once again he didn’t put his things away. His little sister snickering in the background while she picked through her breakfast, complaining because she was unable to find matching socks. (Side note: now she actually likes wearing socks that don’t match. If only I would have known, it would have saved me so much time.)
Morning chaos can be a joy if we step back and survey the scene, especially if we could see ahead and realize that time passes quickly. But that’s exactly the problem. Time does pass quickly and the morning is the least time of the day we have to step back to enjoy the moment.
Wearing the mom hat in the morning can leave you frazzled before your day even gets started.
After I have rubbed the sleep out of my eyes and brushed my pearly whites, I tug on my jeans and chase after my hubby to feed the horse and muck the stalls. I am always amazed at how quickly he can wake up and go from 0 to 50 in ten seconds. How does he do it? It is a blessing, but it can make me feel rushed and inadequate. I never seem to make it out the door as quickly as he does, but then again, let’s not forget about the Morning Mom Hat that I wear first.
I try not to glance in the mirror as I go by, because I know my thick, curly hair will remind me of a cartoon character. Instead I stuff it in to a ball cap and get to work. I love the barn in the early morning air. The warm sweet smell of horse bodies in the barn, the soft nickering, asking gently for breakfast, the sweetness of the hay as we fork it into the feeders are all reminders of a slower, peaceful time in history.
I am blessed to have this experience every day; though it isn’t always so ideal and I don’t always have time to appreciate it like I wished I did.
It is hard work to care for farm animals. It takes constant planning and vigilance to keep their environments clean and safe. There is an old saying that you could wrap a horse in bubble wrap and put them in a padded room and they would still find a way to get into some trouble. It tends to be rather true.
There are hooves to pick and skin to be kept clean and eyes to protect… you get the picture. I am often making extra time to tend to a health need. Case in point, this past winter my sweet mustang boy came into the barn, dragging his leg. This led to a vet visit, an ultrasound and diagnosis of a fractured pelvis. Long story short, after six months of stall rest and lots of love and care I am grateful that I am currently rehabbing him and he is out with his girls again.
STRESS and WORRY HAT
If we could take a moment here to examine why this conversation is so important… this would be a good example of how the hats we wear can wear us down and contribute too many of the health issues we may find ourselves experiencing such as fatigue and an increased risk for burn out.
I tried so hard not to worry about my horse, but I knew before the vet finished the exam it was serious. I knew that I could only do what I could and the rest wasn’t up to me, but that wasn’t an easy process to implement.
I will probably talk about this in more detail in another post, but suffice it to say the anxiety started to rise very quickly and as I shoved it down I felt my belly start to dance with fear. I call this “anxious belly”. It’s the result of stress and anxiety and I find it to be a pretty common symptom that my clients also report experiencing too.
Have you experienced “anxious belly” when under a lot of stress?
MORE HATS… YOU BETCHA… there are lots more HATS
Let’s skip ahead a bit now to the routine things we all do that help to build and maintain our relationships. Whether you have a spouse or a partner I am sure you realize that the things we do for them is a very integral part of our relationships.
I’m a bit old fashioned and cook a breakfast most mornings. My hubby does come in and make the toast and sets the table. He didn’t always do that, so I appreciate even the little things he does like that as we get older.
You may have routines where one of you does dishes or laundry etc… or you may be in a relationship that seems to be extremely one sided, where you find yourself doing it all and feeling underappreciated and frustrated with all you have to do.
I have gone through many seasons of life in my 35 years of marriage. Yes, I did say 35 years! I am super proud of that because realistically I can say that together, my husband and I have earned those 35 years.
There is no such thing as a perfect life, no matter how much people make it looks that way on Instagram and social media platforms. There are times when these mundane tasks seem like a waste of time.
We can find ourselves feeling resentment and sorry for ourselves. It is often founded to feel that way for some of us, but it doesn’t mean that those feelings are serving us and our health well.
Good Times and Difficult Times
My husband and I have had some really great times and some really tragic times as we navigated the waters of parenting, relationships, aging parents, financial difficulties, long distance moves, job changes, serious injuries and serious medical situations for our children and extended families.
We haven’t always dealt with them in the best ways and sometimes the situation pushed us apart and we had to find our way through hurt, anger, fear and forgiveness. All of these emotional and physical situations contributed to our health in ways we never knew were possible and we have hit the bottom and had to climb out again.
RELATIONSHIP HATS can be physically and emotionally exhausting as well as exhilarating and empowering. Sometimes you have to take the good with the bad learning how to let go of the bad before it creates more unwanted health issues.
We push through not realizing the underlying damage that is occurring in our bodies.
BUSINESS OWNER HAT-you could be wearing an EMPLOYEE HAT
Yep, you guessed it, for me my day in the barn has really only begun, because as soon as I get a quick shower and try to tame my wild hair, then I step into my office looking forward to a day full of productivity.
You laughed right? Do you know anyone that really gets through their long to-do list every day? I start off with the best intentions, but often times I have an email or phone message from a client that needs immediate attention. I truly care about every one of my clients and strive to serve them to the best of my ability.
Sometimes my hubby, one of my kids or parents or neighbors needing something that just can’t wait will derail me. The best laid plans… I want to stay focused and intentional as the mind/body guru’s teach, but that’s a practice not a given and I am just not quite there yet.
This type of stress can create that “anxious belly”. It can also bring up feelings of imposter syndrome, low self value and negative self-talk. It is important to look at the situation through realistic lenses, set boundaries and maintain a positive outlook, focusing on what I have accomplished, not what I haven’t.
Being your own boss sounds super dreamy, but the truth is there are so many hats that I wear within the short time-span of a work day, that I don’t even think I can remember them all.
Hats like Holistic Health Coach, Researcher, Educator, Marketer, Customer service, Computer Technician, Writer, Content creator, Bookkeeper, Planner etc… whew that’s exhausting just thinking about it.
I love my work and have learned to set boundaries most days, so that I can serve my clients well, meet the needs of my family, while still practicing some self-care.
You may not work for yourself, but maybe you want to. You may work at a job you love or hate. I have been there, so I understand that no matter what job we work at we will ultimately be wearing multiple hats, experiencing intense pressure and deadlines and striving to find balance and set boundaries.
I’ve worked in places where I had to stop and to be sick before getting to the office. I’ve been treated unfairly, talked about behind my back and to my face, made to feel inferior, compared myself to others and more not so fun crap that you can probably relate to as well.
The JOB HAT is like the other hats we wear. It can lead to some severe stress, fatigue and burn out if we don’t find ways to handle our hats in a healthy way.
There are many other hats that you might wear.
Hats like VOLUNTEER HATS, CAREGIVER HATS and CLUB LEADER HATS (scouts, 4-H, church groups, ladies groups etc…)
I have worn many over the years in the various seasons of my life. These extra hats are usually juggled in-between our primary roles and often at the end of our day. We wear these types of hats because we care about our communities and the activities our families are interested in.
I am currently in that season of life of CAREGIVER HAT, as I help my parents and my in-laws to navigate their current season of life. It is all rewarding, but it can be exhausting.
Finding healthy ways to separate my own concerns and feelings from those that they are experiencing is a difficult skill set to maintain. Remaining positive when I am tired and when others around me are negative not only taxes my energy, but my own emotional health as well.
Many of you will find yourself in the CAREGIVER HAT role at sometime in your life. You will experience sleep deprivation, poor food choices-grabbing sugar and caffeine whenever you can.
You will move your body less and worry more. All of this leading to imbalances on the inside such as: erratic blood sugar, hormones and minerals loss.
It will increase digestive issues, inflammation and joint pain. You will feel like you are losing your own ability to think clearly. You will also forget to look for joy in the little things.
What will it look like on the outside? Fatigue and Exhaustion?
The ANXIETY HAT-This is a good time to throw this one in.
When it comes to the ANXIETY HAT, it shows up when we least expect it. It’s a hat we don’t actually choose to wear.
Believe it or not, we do choose to wear the STRESS and WORRY HAT. We make the conscious choice to worry and to carry stress with us.
However, the ANXIETY HAT is a different story. It comes out of nowhere and hits us hard. It can stop us in our tracks and send us into hiding, feeling frozen in our tracks and afraid to move forward.
There is a lot of talk about anxiety today and I think the number of people with anxiety is under-reported. Some people may have such debilitating anxiety that they seek medical intervention; others stuff it down and try to get through it, but deep down its wreaking havoc on their physical health too.
In my opinion all are suffering and it’s truly heartbreaking.
Anxiety has many causal sources and it can be different for everyone. I do know that myself as well as many of my clients have overcome increased feelings of anxiety by correcing the internal metabolic imbalances in the body and following the road-map I created.
My own ANXIETY HAT
My own experience with anxiety stems from a time of emotional exhaustion and burn out. I was working through multiple family crisis and parent and child illnesses, overextended with time and emotion and no one in my life at that time that could really help me through it. My hormones were changing with age and stress. As a result my digestive system was severely affected by the over stimulation of My HPA axis stress responses. See Note*
NOTE: *HPA axis stress responses (hypothalamus, pituitary, adrenal axis) (some people call this adrenal fatigue; it isn’t an accurate term and is often misused. True adrenal fatigue is actually Addison’s disease, which is rare. Instead the proper term is more like Adrenal dysfunction or HPA axis dysfunction)
It essentially means that you have over taxed the stress response system in the body and it usually leads to an “out of order sign” on hormones, digestion and relaxation because you don’t need these functions when you are running for your life. (This is how your body perceives constant stress)
I WAS FALLING APART
This led to multiple issues that kept escalating. I experienced constant insomnia, extremely low energy and out-right fatigue, digestive issues: acid reflux, food sensitivities, constipation, and GI bacterial infections (dysbiosis)
I found myself in a constant negative mindset with less and less patience for others. I also had more unwanted issues like joint pain and yes, the unwanted weight gain that nothing I tried ever worked.
Do you know the frustration of packing on the pounds and nothing works to get it off again? Have you ever felt like you were watching yourself like you are in slow motion, slowly running out of clothing options and refusing to give in to buy new ones in a larger size? Then one day your underwear are so tight you have to give in? I was a hot mess and to top it all off, I began to get anxiety.
I experienced anxiety when I needed to make a decision, complete a project, and meet a deadline. My anxiety could be over what to fix for dinner, whether or not to go grocery shopping and on and on. It turned into full out procrastination.
My dear family just couldn’t understand the change in me and lost patience easily, leading to more anxiety on my part. It wasn’t a quick fix, but I did discover the road map for myself to get rid of the ANXIETY HAT. The good news is I did get control of my anxiety and there’s a good possibility you can too.
Want to find out more about how I work with women to overcome fatigue, burnout and all its tag along side effects?
WHAT’S THE POINT?
So, all this talk about hats must have a point right? YES! It absolutely does. Burn out and emotional exhaustion is a real thing. I work with women everyday that find themselves suffering from fatigue, low-energy and increased anxiety. As I have mentioned, I have been there myself.
Most of the hats we wear, within themselves are wonderful. However, we don’t live in a fantasy land where we all can wear perfectly ironed dresses, a single strand of pearls and every hair on our head in place. No, dear ladies, that is called a television show.
No, OUR LIVES ARE MESSY; we get tired, angry or hurt. We over-eat when we are stressed or drink too many glasses of wine to relax.
We choose to wear the WORRY AND STRESS HAT. We struggle to do it ALL everyday and tell ourselves stories and lies. Things like: we failed because we couldn’t get it all done.
We tell ourselves that we aren’t enough, that we didn’t try hard enough, that we aren’t pretty enough, thin enough or kind enough. We say things like “good things don’t happen for people like me”
This happens because we try to live up to unrealistic role-models. These role models use filters for their cameras and their lives. Everyone looks like they have it together but us.
STOP telling yourself these LIES!
IT ADDS UP
It all adds up and takes a toll on our health when we aren’t even aware that it’s happening until one morning we find it hard to lift our head off the pillow. We drag through our day fatigued, frustrated and fighting anxiety.
We may find that our “anxious bellies” have developed heartburn, our favorite food bothers us. We start experiencing constipation or diarrhea.
We may realize that our joints hurt and we can’t fit into our favorite outfits anymore. This all happened to me and to others that wear multiple hats, like me.
HANG IN THERE– I have one more hat and some tips that worked for me and the other women I’ve helped.
You’ve no doubt heard this before, but here it goes anyway… almost all of our common and not so common health complaints can be traced back to one of the multiple hats we wear.
We forget or simply don’t choose to wear the one we need the most and that is the SELF-CARE HAT.
I said before, I have been there and I know what it feels like to try and figure out what happened. I’ve asked the questions: how’d I get there and more importantly how do I get back to feeling good again?
The answer to these questions comes in several different forms.
It is simple, but not always easy. That’s why we need support and guidance from other people sometimes.
My own journey took me down the path to furthering my education in the field of functional and natural health and creating a road map to overcome fatigue and all its side results that worked for me and others like me.
I want you to feel better and wear ALL your hats with health and confidence again. That’s why I’m sharing:
7 THINGS I DID TO RECOVER MY HEALTH
- I completed functional lab tests to identify my hormone imbalances, my gut infections and my mineral balances and food sensitivities. Having the objective data gave me a starting point, which I learned as an FDN-P
- I paid better attention to the food I ate. I learned to take some time to plan ahead and be prepared, so that I made better choices and knew what foods I felt good on and those that I needed to set aside for awhile. I ran functional labs to identify these foods specifically, so I didn’t have to guess.
- I supported my imbalanced minerals and stayed hydrated in a way that actually penetrated my cells. This was the ultimate game-changer for me and the icing on the cake. It was the final piece to bringing balance to my hormones, opening up my detox pathways and supporting my HPA axis stress responses. I discovered the exact minerals that I was missing, the ones I was losing and the heavy metals my body was refusing to let go of. All of this changed my physical energy and my mental and emotional outlook on things.
- I supported my gut with a personal road map and cleared my detox pathways, so I could naturally clear up pathogens and excrete heavy metals. It cleared up the inflammation that was leading to my joint pain. I was able to ditch the acid reflux, eat foods I love again and have a normal bowel movement again.
- I worked on my sleep hygiene and as I balanced the other systems, so that my hormones began to settle down and I was able to sleep again. This also improved my blood sugar and my blood pressure.
- I started walking, but more importantly I made time to do some things I love such as gardening and playing more with my dogs and working with my horses again.
- I worked on my mindset, my faith and my relationships, which led to a healthier outlook for my body. Our mind and our body are very connected and we need both to be healthy, to be truly healthy. I made the conscious choice to not wear the STRESS and WORRY HATS anymore.
One last hat I wear for you…
MY HOLISTIC HEALTH PROFESSIONAL HAT
I have dedicated my work to helping other women overcome fatigue, burn out and increased anxiety often caused by emotional exhaustion and burn out.
I find that almost all the women that work with me, no matter what their health complaint, usually have a catalyst that originates from emotional exhaustion and burn out.
Having experienced it myself and understanding that unless you really understand what stress of ANY kind does to the body, then it’s very difficult to avoid the eventual fall out.
I dedicate my skills to helping women because I understand what it feels like. I know that no one else is listening.
No one else gets us like we need them too. Even when we share with our closest friends we can find they don’t really understand. They often have so much of the same, so that sharing doesn’t serve us.
That’s why I created a facebook group for women looking for holistic solutions to emotional exhaustion. A place where they find some easy tips and recipes and a space to belong where others get them and are listening.
Come over and join us: Click Here
My sincere wish is that if this resonates with you, you realize that you found a soul sister and some renewed hope for yourself.
I hope you will check in with me again as I continue to wear all my hats, but in a healthy way, while I help you wear yours and recover your heath like I did.
Want to find out more about my mission to help women just like you?
Ready for a 1:1 conversation about your fatigue and exhaustion? Let’s get together for a chat. CLICK HERE
WAIT… DON’T GO YET!
I’ve got something FREE for you!
For taking the time to set awhile with me today I would like you to have my FREE Guide to Dining out.
We all know how frustrating it can be to figure out where we can eat well and what to choose on the menu. It can discourage us from socializing with our friends and family. This frustration can lead to arguments and canceled outings. When we are tired, overwhelmed and over committed the last thing we want to deal with is deciding on a healthy menu.
Because I have been there myself I created this FREE Guide to Dining out.
Download it on me and enjoy the freedom from having to worry about what to eat at your next dining out adventure. CLICK HERE
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Tess Hanke is an AADP Board Certified Holistic Health Practitioner, Certified Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner, Certified Health Coach, Certified Herbalist as well as applied Neuroscience and Brain Health. She has served women in the wellness space for over 10 years. Supporting them, educating them and empowering them to overcome fatigue and burn out so that they can get on with living the life of their dreams. She works virtually via the internet and phone as well at her clinic in Weston Wisconsin.
Learn more about Tess Here
The information in this article is provided for educational, inspirational and self-empowerment purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or treat any illness and is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice. It is the personal opinion and experience of the writer. Please see your medical professional for specific advice and medical needs.