Make Your Health Your Priority

You must have mechanisms in place to prevent burnout before it strikes. For some people, this means waking up early and working out. For others, it’s more about meditation, spiritual peace or writing in a journal. Some people simply need to be home, in a safe space, with family or friends who love them unconditionally and can help them recharge and fill their cup.

I personally learned this lesson in 2008, when within a six-month period, I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, a blood deficiency referred to as Factor V Leiden, and a stiff neck that ultimately led to a 5-day hospital stay and was diagnosed as pharyngeal edema. It was almost as if the stress from my CEO position and my personal life was just pouring out of my body. Eventually, I learned how to manage all of it and keep my Crohn’s in remission, but that time period is a constant reminder of a time in my life that I do not wish to return and it was time to re-prioritize and OFTEN to avoid my health serving as the sacrificial lamb.

The question I have for each of you is, how long do you want to keep doing what you’re currently doing? Do you want to burn yourself out to the point where it’s not fun anymore, or become so stressed that you have nothing left to give?

Our culture places a higher value on work time than “me” time. But if you don’t prioritize “me” time occasionally, you will burn out, and the work time will slowly kill you. Having a better balance in your life increases productivity decreases burnout and improves your satisfaction with life. So here are a few tips I thought I would share that helped me. Create some “me” time.

Examples of “Me” Time include”

  1. Create time every day or every week just for you do something you enjoy
  2. Go offline for the weekend—no computer, no email, no thinking about work
  3. Create a getaway: a girl’s/boy’s weekend, a spa day, wine tour, or some beach time

There are ways to do this inexpensively that will recharge your spirit without taking a toll on your pocketbook:

  1. Use your sick days and personal days
  2. Set aside a percentage of your paycheck exclusively to save for a vacation
  3. If you’re the kind of person who gets re-energized by quiet time at home, make it a “staycation”

In my book, Jumping the Queue: Achieving Great Things Before You’re Ready, I suggest some easy tactics to begin implementing today so you can maintain a healthy work-life balance. For example,

  1. Set clear goals as what you want to accomplish professionally and personally
  2. Plan your day around the top three priorities
  3. Track your time to know where you are spending it – you cannot fix the imbalance of your time until you know where your time is spent.

Finally, remember to take each day as it comes and know that best-laid plans must be flexible. Your health is your wealth and if you do not take care of your self and practice balance, you will not be able to rely on your health for yourself, the ones you care about or your profession.

 Author’s note: this is an excerpt from Jumping the Queue – Achieving Great Things Before You Are Ready


Michelle A. Turman, M.A. CFRE
Michelle A. Turman, M.A. CFRE
Michelle Turman, MA, CFRE is the CEO of Catalyst Consulting Services whose mission is to facilitate positive change in the areas of executive searches, organizational management, and fundraising. With over twenty-four years of nonprofit experience, Michelle established Catalyst Consulting Services and has been responsible for increasing the impact and best practices of nonprofit organizations she serves and has raised over $60 million for the Tampa Bay community through her professional and personal philanthropic efforts. In 2018, Turman was recognized as Small Business Leader of the Year by the Greater Tampa Bay Chamber of Commerce for her leadership in the nonprofit sector. In addition to facilitating change nationally and in the Tampa Bay area, Michelle’s community service has included leadership roles on the boards of the Arts Council of Hillsborough County, Suncoast Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Charitable Gift Planners of Tampa Bay, Donate Life America, Leadership Pinellas, the South Tampa Y and University of South Florida’s Women in Leadership & Philanthropy Mentoring, the Women’s Exchange (WE), and Working Women of Tampa Bay Foundation. Turman is author of the best-selling book, Jumping the Queue – Achieving Great Things Before You Are Ready which focuses on how young professionals can seize personal and professional opportunities, achieve great things, and get what they want and deserve. Turman is an educational trainer for the Nonprofit Leadership Center of Tampa Bay and at the Edyth Bush Institute for Philanthropy & Nonprofit Leadership at Rollins College. She is a Certified Fund Raising Executive and specializes in professional education in the areas of change management, capital campaigns, volunteer management, board governance, and fund development. Turman has been featured in American Express: Open Forum, Arizona Business Magazine,, Inc. Asian, New York Daily News, Investors Business Daily, Nerdy Girls Express, Young Upstarts, and Rural Messenger as an expert and author for her focus on change management in the workforce. In 2015, Turman was recognized by Tampa Bay Metro Magazine as one of Tampa Bay’s Distinguished Women in Business and the Face of Nonprofit Change in 2016 and been nominated by Tampa Bay Business Journal as Business Woman of the Year in 2007, 2016 and 2017.

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