Episode 15: It’s Okay to Have Cycles [Client Lessons #3]

In this episode today, I am gonna give you all a big mega permission slip, and that is this. It is okay to be cyclical. It is okay to have cycles. It is okay if you’re not 100 percent on top of things all of the time.

Let me ask you something. If you look at the structure of our week, we work five days and then we rest two days, right? That is the normal structure of, at least, the typical American work week, and no one has a damn thought about that, right? No one thinks, “Oh, we’re so inconsistent because we don’t work seven days a week.” No one judges themselves for not working an equal amount across all seven days. We all just follow the cycle of five days on, two days off.

What I want to teach you today that I learned from one of the amazing VIP clients that I worked with in the past couple of months is that it is totally okay to have cyclical pieces of your life.

So, this particular client was a contractor, and so, what her typical M.O. was that she would do is she would take on a lot, and she would get to a point where she was pretty burnt out, and then she would take time off, and she would rest really intensely. She came to me because she was sick of this cycle of burnout, rest, burnout, rest, burnout, rest.

First of all, let me say I totally agree that getting yourself to a point where you’re so burnt out that you absolutely can’t function and you have to take a rest period is not something we want to be doing. However, what this client really was looking for at first was a situation where she was working an equal amount all the time and perfectly balancing her work and her rest.

However, what we learned from working with her is that, when investigating further, she actually enjoyed having more intense periods in her life. She enjoyed the periods where she was working more intensely, and she needed more acceptance around the periods when she was resting. So, when she was resting, she was telling herself, “I should be working. I should be working. I should be working,” and when she was working, she was over-working. So, here’s what we did to balance it out.

First, since she was in a rest period of her life, we worked on accepting the idea that it was okay to have rest cycles. One of my favorite examples to use here is powerlifting or any kind of heavy lifting. What lifters will do is they will have four or five or six weeks of workouts, and then they will have what’s called a deload week, and a deload week is when you strategically drop the volume that you’re doing in the gym, and you strategically do way, way, way less workouts that particular week. That is strategic rest.

So, the first thing we worked on with this client, and the first lesson I have for you today is I want you to incorporate or recognize that there can be periods of your life when you are strategically resting. You can have weeks of your calendar where you intentionally don’t get things done or weeks of your calendar where you’ve scheduled a bunch of stuff, you just can’t do it, and you have a week where less gets accomplished. That’s okay, right? The first step there is acceptance of the rest cycle. The second step is going to be to look at that work cycle and look at the intensity of it and ask if you can actually rest earlier so that you don’t get totally overwhelmed and burnt out.

So, that’s what we worked on with this particular client. We worked on identifying the signs that she was getting close to being totally overwhelmed or having too much on her plate before we actually got there. And so, once she got the hang of that, she had some warning systems in place to say, “Hey, I’m getting to the top of my capacity, and now I will strategically institute rest so that when I work I can work intensely again, but not so intensely that I totally burnt out.”

This can be applied to anything in your life. It is okay if you don’t clean for six days a week and then you go ham cleaning your house and tidying everything once a week. It is okay if you have two or three weeks of the month where you work really intensely and then one week where you don’t get anything done. It is okay for you to allow yourself the cycle of humanness. We are going to have cycles. We’re gonna have energy highs and lows. We’re gonna have fluctuations. If those fluctuations are so extreme that they’re causing you major distress, that’s something that you would need to talk to a therapist or a psychiatrist about. But if those cycles are something you’re beating yourself up about, this is your reminder and your permission slip that having ups and downs, highs and lows, periods of intensity, and periods of rest if part of being human, and we don’t need to create this perfect tick, tick, tick, tick, tick life where every single day looks exactly the same.

So, that’s one of the things that we do work on a lot with Alliance Coaching is helping people identify and recognize the cycles in their lives that are helpful and learning to manage them strategically rather than guilting yourself totally for those cycles.

I, personally, cycle all the time. I have various different ones, and I can talk about that in another podcast, but that is my lesson for today. That is my permission slip for you today. I hope you enjoyed it, and I hope if you have cycles that you want to manage more strategically, you consider joining us before this month’s special is over in Alliance Coaching.

I will talk to you in the next pod!


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Hi, I'm Karin

I’m a funfetti flavor super-fan, a loving dog mom, a PhD expert in mindset and behavior change… and I’m here to help make personal development and transformation a process that’s actually fun.


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