Need a break or a break up?

How to know if you’re burned out, in need of a vacation or if it’s time for something new…

This time of year is hectic with activities ranging from award nights, graduations, professional conferences and everything in between. Exhaustion levels are most likely running high and it’s no wonder that you might be asking yourself whether you’re burned out, in need of a vacation or possibly wondering if it’s time for something new in your life.

Life as a college counselor or admission counselor can be an extremely fulfilling endeavor as well as an exhausting one at times. Being able to support students throughout an intense period as they prepare for their next step in their lives requires passion, resilience as well as having awareness and insight of our own energy and emotions in order to be fully engaged in this rewarding process and not feel completely drained by the end of the school year.

Here are 2 techniques to help you gain clarity, re-charge your batteries and feel present in your life.

Step #1: Gauge your energy tank

Each of us have just one source of energy to do all the activities and tasks in our lives. From doing the things we want to do as well as doing the things that we have to do. If we end up doing a lot of things that we have to and less of the things that we want to, those actions will impact our overall levels of energy and could leave us at times feeling drained. Becoming a master at gauging how much energy you have is a must; not only so you can gauge the capacity of what you can undertake but most importantly because your energy levels are the first indicators that tell us if we are moving in the right direction in our lives or if it’s time for a change.

Here’s how you can gauge your energy tank:

– Every day ask yourself this: “What’s my number?” Using a scale from 1 to 10, 1 being “I have zero energy” to 10 being “I have all the energy in the world” pick a number where you feel you are in that moment.

– Ask yourself this question at least 2 times a day: When you wake up as this can give you clues as how you’re feeling towards your job and then when you go to bed and this will help gauge how engaged you are with your daily activities.

Track your levels for at least 2 weeks and if you’re averaging below 3 on the scale and you’re constantly feeling exhausted no matter if you’re doing something you love or not, then it’s time to start paying attention to your emotions around the activities that you’re doing. Paying attention to the activities that increases your energy versus to the things that drain your energy will give you clarity on which step to take next.

Step #2: Become the Inspector Gadget of your emotions

When was the last time that you payed attention to your emotions? Truly observed your emotions like clues similar to how Inspector Gadget observes everything when trying to solve a case. Knowing what our emotions mean is so important because our emotions are key indicators of our current level of stress.

Gain clarity and start connecting the dots between your emotions and your daily activities by tracking your emotions based on your environment and the people you spend time with. Whether you’re feeling joyous and excited or frustrated and irritable, take a moment and pay attention to your environment and track: Who you are with and what are you doing. Write it all down for at least 1 week.

At the end of the week, take a look at your journal and start connecting the dots of the activities and people that increase your energy and make you feel good as well as those things and people that make you feel the opposite. You can start getting clarity and start figuring out if the vacation will help you re-charge your batteries because you’ve been working 16-hour days and it’s time for a break or you might realize that no matter how long your vacation is the thought of going back to work literally makes you want to go back to bed and sleep for a whole week.

Getting intimate with our feelings and emotions can be scary because it can feel a bit foreign and too “touchy-feely” for most of us but ultimately, it’s to our benefit to do so because emotions are like the steering wheel of our lives.

In times of confusion, it’s important to pay attention to how you’re feeling because our emotions reflect our thoughts and our actions are a reflection of our thoughts.

Incorporate the techniques above into your life, create a habit and watch how quickly you will feel in control of your emotions and feel present in your life.

Interested in doing the exercises mentioned in this article? Click here to download an Daily Energy Tracker ready for you to start using in your life!


Stéphanie Virchaux is a Certified Professional Coach and Motivational Speaker based in New York City. As an Empowerment Coach, Stéphanie’s methods are designed to empower and transform people’s lives by creating self-awareness and personal growth. She also uses various holistic and meditation techniques for the mind, body and spirit that help clear limiting beliefs, strengthen energetic vibes and create a positive lifestyle. For more information check out her website www.stephanievirchaux.com