I wondered how to start this really. Should I talk about when I was constantly cranky, unhappy, and yelling at everyone? Or the time all I wanted to do was run away and hide on a lonely island?

I had even always fantasised about what it was like not to have anything to do physically or mentally and just lounge, and play.  Then I wondered if there was a life like that, I mean a real life where you could just lounge and do nothing, I wondered how possible it was to be actually RESTED, not be cranky or flustered in the midst of deadlines and many deliverables of work, family, and purpose.

At some point, burnout just seems to have become my first name, and like my shadow that goes about with me always, it was all over me except that I was able to mask it, oh well, I think I did sha.

Something changed the day I sat down to write the things stressing me. I was angry, call it holy anger or so, the kind of anger that makes you want to slap any devil you see in sight or slap yourself for letting yourself go for so long. I only picked an A4 paper in my study and wrote out the things that were giving me trouble, constant pain, and leaving me perpetually frustrated and what did I find? I found out that they were largely things I had no control over, and also things I had refused to take (enough) responsibility for hitherto.

I went ahead to ask and examine myself as to why those things were stressing me, then I further broke them down and realised that I had had too many expectations of some, and little understanding here and there, more like little or no knowledge in some, then add the perfectionist part of me that wants to do everything because of my attention to details and the kind of bar I had raised standard wise. Walahi, I wan die that time, honezzly!

Permit me to share with you this simple code I used to crack and beat burnout, like I beat it, and still am beating it. You know there’s love in sharing right? So, let’s shoot!

I have named this code, the IDP-FG Burnout code. Sounds like something serious about Internally Displaced Persons and the Federal Government of Nigeria, right? Hey, it’s far from that, it’s just a simple coincidental acronym! Lol!

My IDP-FG Burnout Code says:

I – Identify your stressors

D – Demystify Your Stressors

P – Play to Your Strengths

F – Find your God; Yourself; and Your Circle.

G – Give Time

Remember my A4 paper and my list? That was me Identifying my stressors, after which I went on to Demystify them to know why it was such a big deal and I discovered three things: (expecting management, social conditioning, and stereotypes) as the main issues. This led me to manage my expectation of people and other resources, as well as myself too. I also realised that societal conditioning had done a number on me because I was living my life based on what society was expecting (especially as a woman), as a result, I always had too much on my plate every time, EVERY SINGLE. TIME. When I realised this, I did a Definition/Redefinition detox (I strongly preach and advocate this now); I began to define and redefine certain important concepts, so I chose my definition above any other definition. I defined my concept of Success; Failure; Timing; and defined what Work and Rest meant to me.

I began to play to my strengths too. See, playing to your strengths will fuel your energy, and fund your motivation to keep going. It is our weaknesses and the things we really can’t help that drain us and lead to burnout. So, play to your strengths, then outsource or delegate your weaknesses, or pace them (starting from the known to the unknown). Playing to my strengths also helped me realise that I could only do one major thing per time, and I stopped overloading my schedule. See this aspect of playing to your strength from the angle of the parable of the talents. It would help you to maintain the right understanding and perspective. Remember one had the capacity for one hence was given one, another got two and yet another with an even bigger capacity was able to handle five. In order not to overload yourself, know your capacity and limits, that way, you’d be able to maximise your strengths. See ehn, I say it proudly that I cannot multitask and that’s because my results show differently when I focus solely and multiply than when I try to juggle many things at the same time. I don’t have “wife-material” when it comes to multitasking. Zero yards somtin.

Life wasn’t designed for us to live or be alone so it’s imperative that we first find God, the manufacturer of the core who has the user manual. Then find you, because you’re the core of everything and thereafter, find our own circle, a circle where mutual interests and values are shared. Circles like this help one stay sane and give one a shoulder to lean on and the assurance that there is/are at least one or two persons in our corner. A circle that allows you to be vulnerable and still celebrate you irrespective and cheer you on with good counsel and genuine support in different forms. Needless to say, but I’ll still say it; Smart Stewards Inner Circle does this for me effortlessly, no exaggerations and no mincing words.

After your findings, you’d need time. I found that even time needs time to do the things time can do. We must give time because some of the causes of burnout are habits that need to be unlearned and probably relearned. You’d need time to let some things grow on you too. I needed time to learn how to delegate and allow people to do things for me. Give yourself time. Give people time. Give God some Time to come through for you.

In summary, it’s a RINSE and REPEAT game. Taking on what works, and excusing what doesn’t work, per time, and per phase of life; you’ll practice them again and again because there are different stressors per level or phase of life, purpose, family, or business. Hence the RINSE and REPEAT.

I hope with these few points of mine, you’d pick a pen and identify your stressors, and decide how to knock them off using the IDP-FG model.

Till I come your way again, I’m Olufunmi Ogunniran; your Self-Care Advocate and Creative Director at Arabinrin (Ready-To-Wear) Fashion Store.


  • Great piece! Love the IDP-FG code. Sounds really cool but not just that, it’s a practical and very useful code. Thanks Arabinrin.

  • Irene says:

    Interesting that I am reading this just after a Bible study on the dangers of busyness. I dare to say that one of the dangers of busyness is that it leads to burnout. We are not honouring God with our body, work and life if we don’t intentionally and honestly deal with busyness. Thanks for the useful tips. More grace to you.

Leave a Reply

error: Content is protected !!