I’m a music therapist, dog mom, nature enthusiast, business owner, introvert, sleep and stress management coach, and research lover on a mission to help fellow introverts in compassion professions remove stress as a barrier to better health, greater happiness, and more meaningful connections with the people and passions that make life exciting.
Fueled by Burnout
Feeling “stressed out” shouldn’t be the norm, but up to 95% of working Americans find themselves in this situation. With burnout so common in today’s culture, the World Health Organization finally declared it an official medical diagnosis.
Disappointed by the limited number of solutions suggested to me during my third round of burnout, I sought lasting strategies against stress. I was specifically looking for ways to hold onto my energy longer into the day when faced with an introvert’s biggest resource drain: continuous stream of social interactions with the expectation of maintaining flexibility.
Armed with what I learned, I now show fellow introverts how to build an unyielding defense and claim lasting victory over chronic introvert fatigue that leads to burnout.
The Introvert Called to Serve
I spent the first half of my career guiding cancer patients undergoing radiation and chemotherapy treatments, elders with dementia, and kids with developmental disabilities toward better coping skills through music. Seeing firsthand the level of compassion and effort behind those clients’ caregivers, therapists, doctors, nurses, chaplains, and others who had also experienced brushes with burnout convinced me to take my mission further.
I set out to support these superstars, often considered oddities in the world of introversion because of their desire to help others even though they relish solitude. They struggle with secondary work roles involving customer service and colleague interactions, which feel unnatural and distracting. The social pressures of raising well-adjusted children also take a heavy toll on maintaining an introvert’s delicate balance between internal and external presence.
Introverts, in particular those who are called to serve others, need a unique set of tools to recover their energy, focus, and motivation. More social interactions during the day mean a faster drain on energy resources. For this reason, introverts experience burnout more often than their extroverted counterparts.
Compassionate introverts need easier access to better tools. These tools must help introverts put sleepless nights to rest, tackle tough decisions on the quick, cope with extra on-call and overtime that eat into necessary recovery time, and navigate conflicting communication styles encountered in everyday interactions.
Personal Challenges to Push Me Forward
My own history of recurring burnout cycles, the first of which hit me at only 18 years old, most recently exploded in a month(ish)-long nightmare of unrelenting stressors. After nearly $2,000 in unexpected expenses, a broken nose, and two family members experiencing serious health issues I admittedly questioned my ability to deal with anything more.
I felt messy and helpless inside. My go-to coping methods up to this point weren’t helping, including switching jobs. Sure, the honeymoon period felt better, but I found myself drowning in overwhelm again before long. I needed to approach things differently. Then, it occurred to me that within my reach sat every tool I needed to recover from and prevent burnout. While teaching others how to use them, I stopped using them for myself.
Reclaiming music and mindfulness practices for my personal health helped me adapt and persevere during the merciless barrage of misfortunes in that miserable month of a cracked windshield, a speeding ticket, getting locked out of my car two days in a row, and multiple emergency vet visits.
Music + Mindfulness = More Options
I now had a clear purpose of supporting healthy stress management skills in those individuals who devote their time and energy to providing care to others. With this new clarity, I designed online tools and music for burnout recovery and to build the resilience needed for such important and demanding work.
If you’re an introvert who puts your energy on the line to serve others in a compassion profession such as education or healthcare, this is the place to get in tune with your needs balanced while showcasing the power of your personality. Reprogram your brain and body with new habits that help you control stress instead of the other way around.