How I bounced back from burnout


By Karina Stephens

In 2013, my quick start, ambitious, driven, have it all nature finally got the better of me and forced me to slow down. I ended up burnt out, stressed out, maxed out and checked out. I call it BOSOMOCO for short.

I used to think ‘slow down’ were two dirty words in business. Why on earth would I slow down when I have a purpose to live, a world to save and bills to pay? But what I learnt was that ‘slowing down’ is actually the smartest way to achieve all your desires.

In October 2012, my little start-up spa and retreat won the industry award for best spa in Australasia after only eight months. Tick, another goal achieved, what’s next? But soon after, I started to become extremely fatigued. I needed a nap every afternoon. I would wake up exhausted after ten hours sleep. I would experience severe overwhelm when I sat at the computer. I didn’t handle stress like I used to, I would break down and cry at the slightest provocation.

I took myself off to an integrative doctor who diagnosed me as stage two Adrenal Fatigue and sent me home with a bunch of supplements. She told me to rethink my lifestyle and avoid stress.

So, I stepped down as managing director of my retreat and became managing director of my wellness. I was determined to cure myself and get back to running my mini empire with the energy and joy I once had.

What I didn’t realise then was that this would change the way I did life and business forever. I learnt to go slower than I’ve ever gone, in order to go deeper than I’ve ever been so that I can shine brighter than I’ve ever shone.

So if you have ever felt like you run out of energy long before the day is over, you feel tired all the time, overwhelmed and that maybe you too could have BOSOMOCO, here are five tips I learned to get you back to your wonderful, vibrant, kick-ass self:

1.    It’s time to do life at the Pace of Grace

There is a verse in the book, A Course In Miracles that says, “There is a way of living in this world that is not here although it seems to be. You do not change your appearance although you smile more frequently, your forehead is serene and your eyes are quiet.”

It is talking about a pace to life that some people call ‘flow’. I call it the pace of grace. It is when you are so in tune with life that things come to you effortlessly. There is no pushing and pulling. No striving or forcing. You have taken your hand off the wheel long enough to allow life to take the lead. When you do this you let go of what has been stopping all of those blessings that the universe has in store for us. When we surrender into this, grace has a chance to cover our life and our business with a blanket of abundance.

2.    Chronic stress is your biggest block to intuition, abundant health and desires

In my book, The StressLess Revolution, I say that we have gone for bigger, better, faster, louder, taller and stronger but all we’ve achieved is that we’ve gotten busier, sicker, and fatter.

Our relationship to stress is literally killing us. Fear, anxiety and tension constrict us. We literally vibrate at a denser energy, which blankets our intuition, smothers wisdom and creativity and the body’s ability to heal.

Stress is your response to circumstances, and everyone responds differently. This is because of our individual beliefs and thoughts. Dr Wayne Dyer said, “Change your thoughts, change your life”, and he was absolutely correct. When we change our beliefs about something, we reduce or totally eliminate the stress associated with it.

3.    Make stress your new BFF

Did you know that your beliefs about stress could shorten your life? In a study of 30,000 people in the U.S., participants who experienced a lot of stress in the previous year had a 42% increase of dying ONLY if they had the belief that stress is harmful to your heath. People who experienced a lot of stress but did not see it as harmful had a lower risk of dying than those in the study who experienced only a little stress.

Science has proven that when you change your belief about stress, you change your body’s response to it. If we view chronic stress as merely a warning signal that something needs attention, we can focus on the cause and not the symptom. By doing this we can transform our lives and add years in the process.

4.    Take a Selah moment

Selah means to pause. It is about taking a moment to meditate, go within, reflect, contemplate and listen.

We are so busy ‘doing’ that we forget about ‘being’. Life is about who we are becoming, not what we are getting. Committing to a regular Selah practice allows you to hear the wisdom of the Universe and to operate life from a higher consciousness. This allows us to live our divine purpose and shine our brightest light.

5.    Do less physically and more energetically

If you are suffering from burnout, put the gym bag down. Your body needs to regenerate, not be whipped into a frenzy at your local Zumba class.

For a period of time we need to nourish and rest, and not feel guilty about that.

It is about unapologetic self care and saying, “I value myself enough to gift myself this time to go slow, because when I do my body has the chance to heal.”

It’s about starting a stress less revolution and saying enough is enough. We don’t need to get burnt out doing what we love. It is time to do things a little differently. Slow is the new A.S.A.P. 


Karina Stephens is an award winning entrepreneur, author of The StressLess Revolution and creator of enRich Virtual Retreat. Through her blog, virtual retreats and transformational speaking she helps people take the trash of their life and turn it into treasure.