Mahrukh Imtiaz

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S1-EP027: The reason you are not feeling motivated right now… BURNOUT

#027 – In this episode, I talk about everything related to burnout:

What is Burnout?
How to know you are getting a burnout?
Ways I avoid burnout?
What to do if you did everything to avoid a burnout and are still feeling the burnout?

Enjoy the episode!

Have a question/comment or just want to chat? Email me at [email protected]

Highlights from this episode: 

[2:05] My burnout story
[2:53] What is burnout?
[3:28] What does it look like?
[5:44] Getting enough sleep
[8:02] Drinking enough water
[8:32] Eating better
[9:03] Getting enough rest

Connect with Mahrukh: 



Mahrukh Imtiaz  

You are listening to the Spicy Chai podcast. I’m your host, Mahrukh Imtiaz. 

And my mission with this podcast is to bring you the voices of content creators who are just a bit ahead of you. People you can relate to, you can hear about their struggles and wins and learn from their mistakes. So you don’t have to make the same mistakes. My hope is that this podcast inspires you to start putting your voice out there and creating content consistently so that you can make the impact you want to make with the skills you already have, and start creating the life you want to live. 

So grab your cup of Spicy Chai, and let’s get this show started. Hey, beautiful. 

Welcome to Episode 27 of the Spicy Chai podcast. It’s a solo episode today and I’m going to talk through burnout in this episode.

Mahrukh Imtiaz  

And if you’re listening to this podcast and inspired to start your own podcast, then DM me the word podcast on Instagram and I will show you how you can start your podcast today. 

And burnout. I mean, it’s a very popular topic. And why wouldn’t it be many of us are juggling multiple things at a time. And that’s what keeps the fire in us alive. I mean, that’s why I’m doing all the things that I’m doing. I would get super bored. If I wasn’t doing everything that I was doing today. 

I am juggling many things right now a demanding corporate job, a podcast show a life as an athlete, I played cricket for Canada, and working to start an online business. And on top of that family and friends. And let’s not forget dating and I absolutely love my life. 

I’m not telling you all this to complain and say oh my God, look at me. I have so much going on. I love the pace. But it does make me susceptible to burnout. It makes people like myself, we’re called potentialized. Apparently, did you hear of that word? Yeah, me neither. I just came across it. But either way, we’re called multi-potentialized. We love doing multiple things. It’s what keeps us going. But it also makes us susceptible to burnout. 

Let me go back a few years ago and tell you a bit about my burnout story. So I would get sick every other month. And I don’t just mean sick. I mean, super sick, where I was fatigue had a cold fever, I couldn’t get out of bed for a week, I even have to take sick days at work. I mean, you know the days that you don’t really take when you’re actually sick.


But the days you say for vacation yups have to take those days. And that’s when I realized something had to change. I won’t really last very long if I keep going like this. So at first I had to figure out exactly what was happening. And here I will take a pause and explain what burnout actually is. 

Because I’ve used the word a couple of times, many of you be like alright, yo, I hear so many people talking about burnout. But what the fuck is it? So the actual web definition of burnout is it’s a state of emotional, physical and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. 

It occurs when you feel overwhelmed, emotionally drained and unable to meet constant demands. I mean, that’s a cool definition. But here’s mine, I think it’s a state that happens to a person who can’t say no to shit, because they’re too much of a people pleaser, or an overachiever or too insecure. And because of that, they keep saying yes to everything and everybody till everybody gives up. 

And they can physically and mentally do anything else. And to be fair, I think my definition is a lot more accurate. And I don’t think I’m biased. Anyway. So now that we know what burnout is, how do we know when we’re getting burnt out? So for me a burnout looks like very low energy, not wanting to get out of bed, sleeping all day, not feeling inspired to do any kind of work, not having enough energy to eat while wanting to cry all day cold fever. Honestly, it’s pretty horrible. And you just feel like you’re not motivated to do anything. 

And here are some symptoms that websites other people experience. So they feel extremely stressed out frustrated, it could lead to things like headaches, stomach aches, those are physical symptoms, emotional symptoms are feeling drained, unable to cope with things, feeling extremely anxious, tired, lacking energy. And then there’s also reduced performance. So you don’t kind of care about anything at work or feeling like you’re dropping a lot of balls, you have negative energy towards work, and you just have a very difficult time concentrating and lack creativity. 

And you probably all are all thinking, well, these are pretty similar symptoms to a lot of mental health conditions such as depression. Well, the way the web describes the difference between the two is that individuals with depression experience these negative feelings and thoughts about all aspects of life and not just for work related stuff. And I believe burnout is more so related to work or a certain aspect of your life. So going back, burnout was a very regular occurrence for me and it’s not something I’m very proud of because I would just get sick every other month and it was so annoying. 

So I realized I had to make that lifestyle changes. But when I say I realized it took me quite a bit to realize that every time I would get burned out, I would be like, You know what, fuck it, I’m gonna work harder, I’m gonna do better. I’m not gonna let sickness get in the way. And then I realized, Mark, fucking relax. If you’ve been doing this for like 25 years and it’s not working, why don’t you change things up and try doing something completely different. So that was a realization. 

And I said, Okay, let me look at my food, my water and my sleep schedule. And I say that because this is the easiest thing to look at. It’s free of cost. And honestly, most people I know have can take better care of themselves and their health just by focusing on their food, water and sleep. So the first question I asked myself was whether I was sleeping enough? And the answer was no shocking. I know. And honestly, it was because I wasn’t going to bed on time. I would waste mindless hours scrolling, and going to bed late for no reason at all. I knew I had to wake up early. 

Either it was for work, or it was for cricket, or for something else. I had to wake up early. So if I need to get enough hours, that just means I need to go to bed early. And that’s not that hard. It really isn’t. So I made a rule that I will go to bed by 9pm Every weeknight, that’s how I started. I didn’t want to freak myself out and say you don’t want every day. 


So I was like, alright, I’m going to do 9pm Every weeknight, and I decided to stick to this no matter what. So if I wanted to stay up late, I had the weekends for that, but weeknights and had to be 9pm. So I set up a Fitbit reminder I set up on Alexa reminder, I told my friends and family that I’m committing to this. So I made sure that I’m setting up my environment so I can stick to this sleep schedule. And I’ll be honest, the first few weeks were really tough. I couldn’t go to sleep. I was in bed I was laying down I want to check my phone. Oh yeah, I also put my phone away because I was like, You know what, not gonna have my phone. And I decided to put some YouTube sleep meditations on to really help me sleep. 

After a few weeks, it was a lot easier to sleep well, and sleep at time at 9pm and get my full eight hours of sleep no matter what time I wake up in the morning. Well, actually not not no matter because I mean, eight hours means nine plus eight hours, but anywho you get what I mean getting a lot of sleep. And it was so easy. All I had to do was go to bed by 9pm. And it was something that not many people were doing. So I already felt like a badass like, oh, yeah, look at me Look at me being all cool and going to sleep early because I care about my health. So I think that kind of really helped as well, just knowing that I was really cool. And one of the very few people who was doing that. So sleep was then fixed. And I’m spending so much time talking about sleep. 

Because a yes, I love talking. But second, this was the number one change I made that helped me avoid burnout. Having good quality sleep really helps your brain to be like okay, but you got this, you’re doing this, you You are the fire. So but I feel like when we’re not sleeping well, then our brain doesn’t really talk to us like that. It’s more like oh my god, I hate life. And why can’t I sleep more? And you know, there’s just the tone changes for me. 

So for me, sleep helped me get back into the gear of I got this. Alright, and then I confronted a second problem. am I drinking enough water? The truth was No, I wasn’t. So what I did is I kept a post it near me. And I made it into a game I wanted to see if I can get at least eight glasses of water every day. And every time I drank a glass of water I marked it on the post it and that was it. I made it a game fun game and I started drinking eight glasses of water. And then last was an eating well. 

And I’ll be honest with you all this was a long journey. And it’s still in process. And maybe this warrants another episode. But if I were to say a few things that helped me eat better than those would be avoiding carbohydrates and avoiding dairy. These two things like avoiding rice, potatoes, avoiding cheese butter, somehow they really helped my energy levels. I mean, there’s not some there’s a lot of research around this. But as I said warrant another episode. These are the two things that helped me and then I did the thing that I had never done before schedule rest time in my calendar. It felt so weird. It felt like oh my god, what am I doing? Why do I need rest time in my calendar? Don’t I take enough rest? 

The truth was? No, I don’t. And what I did was I actually asked my mastermind groups to keep me accountable to keeping this rescheduled. So I decided to take the last weekend off every month. Yes, I work on the weekends as well just with my schedule. So I decided take the last weekend off every month, and decided to take at least a week off or five days off at the end of every three months. And every time the time came around, I was tempted to skip it.

 I was like, Oh, I don’t need the rest. I’m doing fine. I’m in good energy I took the rest days a few days ago or whatnot. So there was a lot of chatter, but I kept reminding myself that I’ve committed to this rest time and I need to do this. And every time the time came around, I reminded myself that this was important even though my brain kept telling me that I need to skip the rest And I need to do other things. And I need to keep going, I reminded myself that if I don’t take this rest the time that I’ve scheduled it, I will have to take rest anyway, but just not on my terms, it will be through burnout, it will be through fever, it will be through cold. And I don’t want to do that. So I might as well take the rest in the way that I actually have planned it out. 

All right, so we’ve talked through what burnout is, how to know you’re getting burnt out, and how I avoid it. But the truth is, we can do everything right. And life can still happen, should can still come and you can still be like fuck, I’m burning out. And if you’re feeling that way, right now, I have felt this way. Despite doing everything right, sleeping well drinking enough water, eating good foods, scheduling rest time and just don’t know what to do. Then here’s what I recommend. Take a pause and try to see if you can take the evening off. 

You see, when we’re not feeling great. The idea of taking a lot of time off becomes extremely daunting. So when I noticed any sort of burnout symptoms, like lack of motivation, not wanting to get out of bed, you know, feelings like feverish. No, not COVID. feverish, but actually like, oh my god, I’m so tired, feverish. I just tell myself, Hey, Mark, can we take the evening off? And that’s it, nothing else. Hey, can I just focus on the evening. The second thing I do is I try reminding myself of everything I’m doing. This is actually a tip I got from a really good friend of mine. It’s when I wake up and I have to go wash the dishes, I say to myself, Okay, washing dishes. All right now going and making coffee. 

All right now going and sitting on the chair. And starting to do work is just really staying in the present, not thinking of the future, not thinking of the past, just staying in the present. And then I try to see what is the absolute bare minimum work I need to do. And everything else I moved to later. So first, I take the evening off. Second, I remind myself to stay in the present by actually staying at thing things that I’m doing out loud. Next, I go through my lesson, say okay, what are some things I need to move to later because I need to do the bare minimum work right now. And then I repeat some kindness mantra to myself, you know, 

Hey, Mahrukh, you’re doing great.Hey, you got this. Hey, so what if we dropped the ball on that? That’s okay, we’ll come back tomorrow. And what I’ve realized is that during this time, our body needs the most kindness from ourselves. So a few days to a week of this when you’re feeling burnt out, or when I’m feeling burnt out, I feel recharged and as good as new. 

So that’s really my method and we talked on a lot of detail about burnout but I can see you having questions if you have any questions DM me on Instagram at Mark dot m dot anthias. 

And until next time, You got this beautifu!l

If you are listening to this episode and are inspired to create your own podcast, then DM me the word podcast on Instagram. You will see it in the show notes as well and I’ll be happy to point you to some resources. Well Until next time, lots of love from your favorite. You got this beautiful!

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