In today's audio postcard I'm talking about burnout - it's a spectrum not just a destination.
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People tend to think that burnout is a place you arrive – a destination. To be clear, it’s not a destination anyone’s excited about! But what I’ve learned is that it’s more like a spectrum or continuum. There are several different stops along the way. And each of those stops builds on the next. So, I thought I’d spend a little time today talking to you about a few of the key stops.
The first is really all about your mindset. This is where the seeds of burnout begin to flourish. Your mindset is one of the main things that kicks off the process of burnout. Which means this is a crucial spot.
I’ve noticed that the people who are most at risk for burnout have a particular mindset. They have certain values and beliefs that, unfortunately, help them along down the road to burnout.
They believe in hustling and working hard. They believe in putting others needs ahead of their own. They believe that self-care is selfish. Do any of these sound familiar to you?
The second stop along the burnout spectrum is losing your connection to yourself. This one is a bit tricky because it happens so gradually that you barely even notice it. But slowly, over time you lose your connection to yourself. Most of the time this looks like doing less and less of the things you enjoy. As your work saps more and more of your energy you have less and less energy for your hobbies and the activities you love. Adults need playtime just as much as kids do. But we have the tendency to deny ourselves play, convincing ourselves that it is frivolous and not productive. And when that happens, it sends you further down the burnout path.
By the time you reach the next stop, you’re creeping dangerously close to burnout. This looks like feeling sluggish and stressed out a lot of the time – especially in relation to your work. You’ve lost the enthusiasm you once had for the work you do. And you’ve probably been feeling particularly cranky and frustrated – snapping at your kids or partner, and constantly being annoyed by your boss or co-worker.
And because your energy is low you’re also probably not making much time to take care of yourself other than the bare essentials. You rarely ask yourself what it is that you need and it’s even rarer for you to take the time to do anything about it. Because it feels like there’s just no time. There are so many other things on your to-do list and they’re all way more important.
The final point along the spectrum is the very end of the line – burnout city. And at this point, I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you, you’re pretty fried.
As I mentioned earlier, all the points along the way build upon each other and end up creating quite a pile to contend with by the time you arrive at the end of the line. In fact, it often feels like a mountain that you’ll never summit. You know you’re not in good shape but you don’t feel like you have the energy or the answers about what you can do about it.
I don’t mean to paint such a bleak picture. What I actually want you to know is that no matter where you fall on the burnout spectrum, it IS possible to turn things around.
You can bring yourself back from burnout. And it’s my mission to help as many people as possible to do that.
And the way I do it is by helping you with your mindset, helping you to reconnect with yourself and helping you to take care of yourself in a way that feels good – that’s fun. So that you can do your work AND live your life. And have energy and enthusiasm for both.
Where ever you fall on the burnout scale, it’s important for you to know that it is totally possible to bring yourself back from burnout – even if, right now, it feels like an insurmountable problem. I promise you it’s not.
And if any of these stops on the burnout spectrum that I talked about sound familiar, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know what’s going on for you. I always reply personally and as anyone who knows me can attest, I usually have great resources to share. Or we can schedule a time for a coaching call and talk things through in more detail.