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Fighting burnout with a little hooky

Guadalupe Hirt, 47, Co-Founder & CCO of SecondAct|Women

When’s the last time you played hooky?

Some would say that every day is an opportunity to get out and play because we’re all working from home, but is it really? Ever since we were quarantined to our homes, many of us have self-imposed a sun rise to sun set work standard that makes us feel guilty if we’re not accessible or busy doing something productive every single waking hour.

Ever since the COVID sentencing, I feel like I’m working more than ever before. I’m working through what used to be my “commute time” into work. I’m working through lunchtime. I’m working early in the morning. Late at night. On the weekends. And sometimes, it’s not even all work. I wake up at 5am to go to the gym every morning. I help my son with school work. I also drive him to the gym to offset the exercise he would have got during P.E. I research outdoor patio restaurants for date night with my husband. Schedule virtual hangouts with my family in California. And the never-ending list goes on, and on, and on.

I’m exhausted just writing this list. Can you relate?

Last week, Barbara and I attended our monthly Scale Up virtual session with the City and County of DenverBlackstone Entrepreneurs Network, and the Colorado Thought Leaders Forum. As we were chatting with other entrepreneurs in the cohort, one by one started to admit that they were exhausted. Simply put, burnt out.

As I sat there and listened, I knew exactly what they were feeling. As if running your own company isn’t stressful and hard enough, let’s now pile on all of the B.S. that COVID brought with it.

Thanks. Thanks a lot.

My August hooky day: Hanging out with the girls at Union Resevoir for a day of SUP,  convo catch up and day drinking.

Truth be told, we live in a society in which we’re conditioned to find satisfaction in checklist items crossed. While some would say that quarantine was supposed to “slow” our roll, I feel like it’s hyper accelerated it. Everyone and there mother is posting on social about new quarantine hobbies or pursuits they’re now tackling – everything from learning how to DIY a picnic table for your backyard squirrels, make your own hand sanitizer to cooking even more elaborate dinners (on a weekday!) and tackling every home project you’ve put on the shelf over the past 10 years. Seriously? Did Amazon forget to deliver my Wonder Woman tiara, bracelets and lasso?

What’s peculiar is that while we all know that our plates are piled up like we showed up famished at our favorite buffet restaurant, we feel guilty if we’re not doing something. WTF?

What if instead of thinking that you have to be “on” every minute of the day, you realized that turning “off” is the only way you’ll stay sane and avoid burnout. What if I said that, there’s value in doing absa-freakin’-nothing. Would you believe me, or would you feel like you’re missing out on something?

Whether you’re an entrepreneur, corporate woman, or stay at home mom, you need to use at least one day of PTO towards a goalless day – that means no work, no hobbies, no cleaning. And preferably, no screen time!

Here’s 3 ideas to play hooky and reboot your 2020 fatigue.

  1. Indulge in shenanigans. Whether you have kids or not, let your own inner kid come out and play. Pitch a tent in the backyard for an overnight under the stars. Build a fort in your living room and serve up your favorite bev and snacks or schedule a play date with your pup.
  2. Let others feed you. Stay out of the kitchen and indulge in take out for breakfast, lunch, AND dinner! Dessert too, what the heck! Think about it, no shopping, cooking, or cleaning, yet somehow, you are still fed. Sign me for this day every day!
  3. Let your toosh take you on new adventures. Whether you spend the day at the park people watching, sitting in your comfy chair reading or sitting in the driver’s seat meandering your way through a scenic route, treat you and your toosh to new adventures beyond your home office chair or couch.

No time like the present to plan that goalless day.

Guadalupe Hirt (46) is the co-founder and CCO of SecondActWomen. Founded to rescript the social narrative that women 40 & 50+ are past their prime, SecondActWomen is an IRL and virtual club platform that doubles as a resource hub and community support system to spur the careers, business ventures and big ideas of women in middlescence.