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Episode 45 | November 28, 2023

Avery Thatcher, a former ICU nurse who made radical lifestyle changes after experiencing burnout and a chronic illness diagnosis. Avery now supports high achievers in recovering from burnout and managing stress. They discuss the impact of chronic stress on the body, the importance of proactive measures, and strategies for setting boundaries to avoid burnout. Find Your Why!

Tune in to learn how to say no and set boundaries to prevent burnout. Find your why, your purpose, and your no.


Welcome to “That’s a Hard No”the podcast about learning to say no and set boundaries to live our best lives. 

Follow along with me as we learn from fellow strugglers and experts, so that you too can start saying no without feeling fear, guilt, or FOMO. 


Avery Thatcher, a former ICU nurse who now supports high achievers in recovering from burnout and managing stress shares her journey of experiencing burnout and a chronic illness diagnosis, which led her to make radical shifts in her lifestyle. Avery emphasizes the importance of proactive stress management and shares insights from her research on the impact of chronic stress on the human body. Let Avery help you find your why.
Key Takeaways
[00:03:47] Epic burnout experience

  • Doing everything right
  • Realizing things that need to change
  • Letting go of preconceived notions and expectations of identity

“And I realized when things weren’t ever going to go back to any kind of compromise with what I saw my life as, who I saw myself as, the goals that I had, the job that my identity was so entwined in, I realized I had to let Heather go.”

  • Separating from previous patterns

[00:05:30] Identifying sources of stress

  • Find the puzzle pieces, try to focus on the bigger picture not the symptoms
  • Where are the sources of stress or what others have identified as goals
  • Energy & time management
  • Stress vs Energy management
    • Energy – whether we have it or don’t – physical, mental, emotional and fulfillment
      • Physical – the power to complete the task
      • Mental – motivation
      • Emotional – feeling happy/enthusiastic
      • Fulfillment – feeling like something is off or not achieving what you really want

“And this is something that I see a lot in really high achievers that from the outside looking in, look like they have the perfect life, but then they still feel like something’s missing.”

[00:10:13] Redefining high achievement

  • Sit down, what that means for you as an individual
  • Showing up and being fully present and impactful
  • Recognizing boundaries needed around your body/mind/energy and health
  • Accepting some of these feelings/abilities

“And now I see high achievement as my ability to create a ripple effect of compassion that expands beyond my initial circle of influence.”

[00:12:13] Healing through anger and acceptance

  • Writing a grief letter – what could have been
  • Anger is seen as negative, but can be helpful
  • Realizing that all parts of you are lovable

“I love you. You’re here. Let me bring you in. We’re going to figure this out together.”

[00:16:42] Redefining morning routines

  • Focusing on tuning ourselves
  • Shift to what you want to do that motivates you to start your day
    • This can be done in any way that works for you
    • Change any and all components that give you preparation

[00:19:36] Generation gaps and expectations

  • Caregiver burnout is profound once you have older parents and raising children
  • Boomer – suck it up, move forward, let it go
  • Gen X – compassion and sharing with certain people, but keep moving forward
  • Millennials – extremely vocal, sharing with others to get someone’s help
  • Younger generations – extreme stress

[00:27:16] Jealousy and self-reflection

  • Release judgment of others – use that as information

“Sometimes it’s as simple as acknowledging it and just saying, you know, I know that this might be really difficult for you to hear because of this.”


Where to Find Avery
Credits and Thanks
  • Many thanks to our friends and families (our “villagers”) for listening, and for your continued support.
  • That’s a Hard No is a production of Clever Girl Marketing
  • Marketing and Production Coordinator, Maura Del Rosario
  • Production Support, Evergreen Podcasts, Noah Foutz, Producer
  • New Rock Anthem Music: Written by Noah, and performed by his band, The Big Leagues
  • Videographer, Kae Holmberg