I’ve been doing sex work for 10+ years, and I can’t say that I’ve ever really taken time off because I’ve needed it. I’ve left the industry before, of course— I haven’t been going strong for the last 10 years! But each time I leave the industry it’s due to burnout or some major life event that pulls me back.
For many of us, we don’t have the affluence of taking time off work to indulge on a luxury vacation to bask in the sun and let the heat melt away our anxieties; that’s just not possible. However, there are a few steps we can take to ease the every day stressors that lead to burnout. Keep in mind, I’m not a professional (in that field :P), so take this advice as you will. Most of it is what I’ve heard from my mother (:)), and from reading.
- Find Support: This is the time to ensure you don’t isolate. It can be tough, though, as you put all your energy into work activities. Connect with your peers and take the opportunity to engage with friends, family and coworkers. Sharing your struggles can help you feel less overwhelmed, and confiding in others can help validate your feelings. Talking to a professional when things get especially tough is also very important. Or when they’re going great! You don’t have to be at rock bottom to see a therapist! There’s this notion that only those at their worst should seek professional help — I disagree. Besides the obvious reasons for seeking out professional help, like unleashing traumas and the struggle with mood and personality disorders, or grieving the loss of someone close, I think that everyone can benefit from therapy. Digging down deep to your core and finding out why we are the way we are, self-acceptance and self-esteem challenges, forgiveness and letting go, life’s purpose and existential crisis, discovering our childhood, and getting clarity on relationships and communication strategies, etc. (and so many more!) are all valid reasons to seek out professional help (but that requires another post).
- Focus on Overall Health— Get Regular Sleep, Eat Healthy & Exercise Daily: Our bodies need time to rest and reset. It’s also proven that “eating healthy diet filled with omega-3 fatty acids can be a natural antidepressant”. Going on daily walks can do wonders for our bodies as well. If you’re not a gym go-er, take a 20 minute walk in the woods or in your neighbourhood! According to Harvard Health, those who walked 5-6 miles a week are less likely to develop arthritis, as walking eases joint pain. In addition, those who walk 20 minutes a day see less sick days during the year as exercise boots the immune system.
- Make Self-Care a Daily Routine: Do things that you love to do! Take a walk outside, run a bubble bath, light a candle and read a book, cuddle with your puppy, run your diffuser with essential oils and breathe in the delicious scents; all of these require activation of the senses, which bring you back to the present moment.
- Create a Schedule: Creating a schedule can help you get back on track if you feel stuck and unmotivated. Start small, and work your way back up to where you feel you are most productive.
- Complete a Periodic Assessment and Realignment of Goals, Skills, and Work Passions: In order to feel full again, take some time to think about what motivates and drives you; what are your passions?
After creating this list, I went through it for myself, as I’ve been feeling a little bit burnt out lately. I definitely need to work on getting quality sleep, walking (obvi — I’m limited with my injury), and I’ll get to number 5 during my hiatus. See what I mean? Life always gets in the way and forces me to take a breaks when I’m feeling burnt out before I even plan for it. C’est la vie. Next time though, I’ll plan it differently. I’ll use my guide and plan accordingly, in case I’m feeling burnt out.
With that said, I’ve been prepping for surgery, which is coming up on March 21. As I’ve mentioned, I’ll be off work (in-person work) for about 6 months. You can still find my on my spicy site though! Lots of fun things happening there😉 As I work through recovery, I’ll be pouring my heart and soul into my spicy sites (both of them!) so make sure you subscribe!
If you wish to contribute to my support fund while I’m off work, I would be ever so grateful. You can find my fund here, on my Wishtender. I’ve created a category called “Living Expenses”, so you can ignore the other fun stuff if you like, or you can fund them too! 😉 whatever you wish. Just know that anyone who contributes, it means the world to me. This time off is going to be very difficult, and anything will be greatly appreciated. If you send me a little note notifying me of your contribution, I will send you a thank you in return;)
I’ll leave it at that. More to come at a later date. Wish me the best. Hopefully I come out if this being able to walk in a straight line, but who knows; it’s a 10% chance at this point.