Mackenzie Zacharias is well known for her many curling accomplishments in our community, but last week, she tried something new, speaking at a school for the first time on a topic that was not sport related. 

Zacharias is a former student of W.C. Miller Collegiate in Altona where she made a guest appearance to speak on "Burning Out". Burning out is a topic she believes is important, and that most people can relate to.  

She spoke openly about her own experiences. 

“During university, I decided to take on a full course load, as well as a part time job, and then also curling competitively which meant traveling every weekend out of province, and trying to become one of the top teams in the world at that time. For myself, it became too much.” 

Irritability, not feeling motivated, feeling unhappy, and having little drive to be active were the first signs for Zacharias. She says that not addressing these signs made things worse.

Eventually she learned that scheduling rest was the way to prevent burning out. 

"I learned that [scheduling rest] builds your energy back up, and builds your motivation back up. One evening you can read a book instead of going on your phone. Just do more things for you that you personally enjoy, that allows you to feel more rested.” 

Zacharias learned taking care of herself was vital, and she encourages others to do the same. 

“We do so much caring for others around us, and I think that's super important, but we have to take care of ourselves too in order to be at our best.” 

Having a good support system is important to Zacharias as well, whether finding a few supportive friends, or family members to stand by her side. 

Through life lessons Zacharias now tries to live a life of balance, working hard, but also resting often. 

“Resting is not just sleeping, but it’s doing things that you can relate to, and things you enjoy. You can be creative. Think about what you enjoy the most and how you can incorporate that into your daily life. If you have a few extra hours, take that time to really focus on resting in whichever way is most meaningful to you, and then allow that rest to fill you back up for the rest of the week.” 

Click below to listen to the full interview with Mackenzie Zacharias and Connie Bailey.

Mackenzie Zacharias speaks to W.C. Miller Collegiate students about burning out. Photo credit, W.C. Miller Collegiate Facebook page.