How to Avoid Burnout When Life Gets Busy

Hiya Magic One,

I’m not sure if I told you this, but I have a pet unicorn. Her name is Shirley and she radiates pure energy. Ever know anyone like that? Just being in their presence brightens your mood. My unicorn reminds me of who I really am and guides me when I’m stuck. Her horn helps remove the obstacles that block my heart, while her horsey kisses heal my ouchies. When we’re together I never feel bored or alone. Instead, I feel alive and connected. If you don’t have a unicorn, I highly suggest you adopt one soon. #adoptdontshop—you won’t regret it.

Unlike other pets, unicorns don’t need leashes, litter boxes or neutering. And when they throw up or poop on the rug, it’s only rainbows! You never have to train a unicorn; in fact, they train you. Oh, and did you know that unicorns are often referred to as woman’s best friend? Yup. Recent studies show that they significantly improve our health, happiness and creativity!

By now, you probably want a ‘corn of your own (yay!), but perhaps you’re wondering what the heck to feed it. Don’t worry, it’s simple. Like most unicorns, my gal thrives on fruits and veggies. But what she needs most is vitamin F. The truth is we all need our daily dose of this essential nutrient. Sadly, our doctors rarely tell us this. What’s vitamin F? Pretty simple: FUN. Fricking. Flipping. Fabulous. FUN!

As your to-do list gets longer, don’t forget to feed your unicorn. Some ‘corns need to make shizzle (writing, photography, paper-mache fairy forts), others like sports (swimming, sword fighting), many crave music (concerts, DJing and air guitar). Ya know the saying “Happy wife, happy life”? Well the same holds true for our unicorns. Nourishing them on a regular basis helps us stay grounded and happy—no matter how nutty-good or nutty-stressful our lives get.

Case in point: Last winter I found myself in a huge energetic rut by February. It was cold. I was over it. Crankiness ensued. I thought, dang it, I knew we should have gone on vacation during the holidays! But in truth, if I’d committed to regular doses of play and relaxation throughout the year, I could have weathered any inner or outer snowstorm—regardless of whether I got to sink my toes in the tropical sand or not.

Sooo… Let’s jam on how YOU can feed your unicorn and your soul this fall and beyond. To get your whimsical wheels spinning, I asked my awesome team to share one thing that feeds and nourishes their hearts. Um, and I asked them not to say things like, “making sure I dry brush on a regular basis.” This is a creative exercise, not a wellness to-do list. OK? We’ll go first…

Chief Unicorn: Reading one juicy novel a month. I love devouring tales of adventure that whisk me away to fabulous places (though I’m also addicted to good bone-chilling whodunits). I just finished Circling the Sun by Paula McLain about Beryl Markham—my new power animal. It transported me to Africa and I never want to return.

Chief Unicorn Wrangler & COO: Little known fact: Unicorns love bicycles! Mine finds bliss when he’s tooling down a beautiful country road with the wind whistling past his horn. It’s the closest thing to flying, and even unicorns want to be Pegasus. He loves when the uphills come, too, when he has to power those pedals, breathing heavy and getting the blood flowing to cleanse and rejuvenate body and mind. And when he returns to the misty forest, he’s energized.

Vice President: Over the next few months I’ll be on maternity leave with my second kiddo. I know that this time will be joyful and exciting, but also physically and mentally challenging (farewell sleep! goodbye solitude!). So each week I’m going to schedule a few hours of alone time to do whatever I want while my husband takes care of the little ones—long walks, soy lattes, bookstores and massages are all on the to-do list!

Creative & Marketing Director: Nourishing my artistic side is what feeds my unicorn. Using my hands and consciously taking a break from the digital world is extremely gratifying—that’s when my creativity flows! Putting paint brush or pencil to paper to capture moments or express a feeling has always been a soul-nourishing outlet for me. I take painting classes, go to museums (recently I spent hours soaking up Van Gogh’s paintings in an exhibit at the Clark) or take over my living room to sketch.

Editorial & Social Media Assistant: I feed my unicorn by watching creepy documentaries that usually center around something like cult practices or murder mysteries. I know it sounds odd but since my background is in mental health, I love delving into the inner workings of the human psyche. It really lights me up!

Customer Happiness: I feed my unicorn in two very different ways. I will either crawl into a large bubble bath with my vegan facial peels/masks for a nice long soak, or I’ll grab my laptop and immerse myself in World of Warcraft so I can be an even more magical creature for a while!

Our new hire!: I don’t know, but I can’t wait to find out—she starts right after labor day. Yay!

As my life gets busier, I have to promise myself that I won’t get so caught up that I forget to feed my unicorn. Maybe you could remind me and I’ll remind you. Sound good?

OK, now it’s your turn! What’s one thing you could do to feed your unicorn? Please, please share. It can be big or small. I’m sure you’ll give me (and my sweet team) lots of ideas for our own well-being. 🙂

Peace & One Horns,

Kris Carr

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