Woman swapped "rushed" 70-hour working week has for an "intuitive" and "mindful" lifestyle

A woman who was "exhausted" from working 70-hours a week has swapped her "rushed" corporate life for an "intuitive" and "mindful" lifestyle. Jodie Rogers, 27, climbed the corporate ladder in marketing roles since graduating from the University of Chester in 2016. She said working as a paid media lead in marketing agencies for seven years left her with "every symptom of burnout" including exhaustion, brain fog, and a lack of concentration. Her schedule intensified when she took on her side-hustle in January 2022 of online content creation, freelance marketing consultancy and yoga teaching training alongside her full-time marketing job - which led to Jodie working for 70 hours a week. Jodie, from Norwich, Nottingham, was so busy she would wake up at half five in the morning and wouldn't eat proper meals. Now she has quit her full-time job and works from 9-5 teaching yoga, freelancing and developing her social media platforms. Jodie, a yoga teacher and marketing consultant, said: “I had every symptom of burnout. "Everything became about work - I was just not interested in anything I was before. "I couldn’t find any enjoyment outside of work. “I would actually be on my phone all the time. "I couldn’t concentrate so I used it as a distraction. I couldn’t focus on anything. “On the outside it would look like I was doing well, but it was really hard.” Jodie said she struggled to fit everything into her daily routine, despite waking up at 5.30am to start working. She said: “I would wake up and be straight on my phone and email at half five in the morning. “Then I was literally running around the house to make sure I could get things done. “After work I was so exhausted I wouldn’t eat proper meals. “I was working on the weekends and through my lunch breaks.” Jodie would work at her full-time marketing job from 9-5.30pm, and then used the evenings to develop her freelance marketing consultancy and social media accounts until 8pm. In October 2021 she also started a teacher training course in yoga on top of her full-time work and freelance work, qualifying in July 2022. Eventually Jodie realised something had to change, when her husband Jordan, 29 telling her she had to alter her working hours. She went part-time in her marketing job in April 2022 and reduced the amount of time she spent on her freelance work. Jodie said “At one point I was considering leaving my job, but I was nervous about the reality of giving up a full-time job. “I was lucky because they were very supportive of me going part-time as well as running another business. It offered me a sense of security, but it was also difficult to manage all the different jobs at once. “It was total hustle culture, it was a nightmare. It’s this idea that you need to have another job on top of your full-time job. "I put too much weight on financial gain to begin with without thinking about my mental health and well-being." Before quitting, Jodie made adjustments to improve her wellbeing while still working. In April 2022 she “put boundaries in” to avoid working in lunch breaks and instead would go outside for fresh air, as well as reducing her hours to working three days a week. While working part-time, Jodie built up her freelance work before officially quitting in November 2022. However at first she found it difficult to adapt to this slower pace of life. She said: “It was actually really hard because I was used to being so busy. I was busying myself with other things, anything to not slow down. “It was a very gradual process of working less, and doing things that were more beneficial to me.” Jodie now teaches around eight hours of yoga a week online and in person, works for two and a half days on freelance marketing consultancy, and using the rest of her time to develop her online social media platforms. As a freelancer she said she now has more flexibility to manage her schedule which is “more mindful” than her previous working life. She doesn't start working until half eight or nine, switches off phone and email at half five, and always makes sure to have two full days off each week. Jodie has replaced quick snacks with cooking from scratch and practices daily yoga and meditation to all her to “release tension from the body”. Once a month she takes a digital detox to do "quieter" activities such as reading a book, gardening, and painting. Jodie said: “It’s been quite a gradual process and there are still days when old habits of working creep back in. "Personally I found it easier over winter with the long slower evenings. Winter was a time for me to have more time to do nothing and just be more focused. “Through work as a yoga teacher I have realised I needed to bring more awareness and presence to my life. Previously I just thought I needed to add more in.” “I feel a lot lighter. It’s important to say I had to unlearn seven years of these behaviours. “I am just having to be kind to myself and not rush this process of change, which takes time. “Now I’m doing things for me and not just for work. It’s more mindful, if I have a busy week then maybe I don’t schedule things for the weekend, so I have more balance in my life rather than being at 100 per cent all the time.” Jodie’s advice for developing more mindful life - Lean on other people - burnout is a collective not an individual issue, seek professional support Speak honestly to friends and family about how you feel Thinking about developing community and connection, for example attending yoga classes - honest conversations with people Establish the basics of wellbeing - a decent night’s sleep, good nutrition, and intuitive movement most days Make hard decisions about how to reduce stress, such as going part-time Basics of wellbeing - sleep, nutrition, movement Start small with choices to improve your wellbeing to avoid overwhelm