Person to person real talk ...
It is not your fault you are burning out, or are worried about burnout. The dominant systems we live in generate depletion and rely on us to go beyond capacity in order to make ends meet, get to the deadline, get the job done, change the world! Burnout is a systemic issue with an individual & collective impact. Being a part of this system, we can change some or all of what we are doing in our lives to minimize or eradicate burnout personally. I believe we can heal from and within burnout and (if you want) use it as a launch pad for a life designed by you, for you
So, it's not your fault but... truth coming in here.... it is your responsibility.
There is a single commitment you can make that reorients your trajectory, sparks recovery and prevents burnout as you reroute you back to YOU. Before I get there I want to introduce you to the The 12 stages of Burnout and talk about some of the signs along the way.
Facing burnout at any stage is brave and courageous and tender. A lot of us are living in burnout and while I have a BIG want for that to not be true.. reality is that many of us will continue to live in some degree of burnout. So if you're thinking, "that's cool but my circumstance is waaaaaay stressful and I am just in burnout and it isn't gonna change that much", I am with you AND if there some lesser degree of burnout that you want to live in, read on...
Wrapping your arms around this truth, that you can thrive as some degree of burnout continues, can catalyze the decisions you make for your health away from some "ideal & perfect" way of living to a grounded and rooted YOU way of living. You living your life according to your wants and needs. The route ahead is yours, what path is your decision... anchoring in you first is key to orienting you out of burnout.
Recognizing the Signs of Burnout
Disaffected & snarky about your work, workplace, colleagues or about your organization, your role in your family, your life overall
Feeling stagnant, as though your work/life isn’t getting you anywhere
Bored and detached, even though you have things on your plate
Higher than normal levels of procrastination
Experiencing mysterious illnesses you can’t shake
Realizing that you haven't taken time off
Generally disliking or hating the things you used to love, feel fine about, tolerate
Physically; sleep and appetite going awry are also signs that burnout could be at play.
The 12 stages of Burnout
1. The Compulsion to Prove Oneself: demonstrating worth obsessively; tends to hit the best employees, those with enthusiasm who accept responsibility readily.
2. Working Harder: an inability to switch off.
3. Neglecting Needs: erratic sleeping, eating disrupted, lack of social interaction.
4. Displacement of Conflicts: problems are dismissed; we may feel threatened, panicky, and jittery.
5. Revision of Values: Values are skewed, friends and family dismissed, hobbies seen as irrelevant. Work is the only focus.
6. Denial of Emerging Problems: intolerance; perceiving collaborators as stupid, lazy, demanding, or undisciplined; social contacts harder; cynicism, aggression; problems are viewed as caused by time pressure and work, not because of life changes.
7. Withdrawal: social life small or nonexistent, need to feel relief from stress, addictions, escape.
8. Odd Behavioural Changes: changes in behaviour obvious; friends and family concerned.
9. Depersonalization: seeing neither self nor others as valuable, and no longer perceive own needs.
10. Inner Emptiness: feeling empty inside and to overcome this, look for activity to escape; activities are often exaggerated.
11. Depression: feeling lost and unsure, exhausted, future feels bleak and dark.
12. Burnout Syndrome: can include total mental and physical collapse; time for full medical attention.
Do you identify with any (or many) of these stages of burnout?
It was a lot for me to look at this list the first few times. Having experienced burnout myself, to really look and integrate where I was at and where I had been, took courage. When I got clear I was burned out I was shocked at what had happened, it was like coming out of a vortex of DO DO DO and landing at BE with almost nothing left to run on and a lot of mess to attend to.
What comes up for you as you read this?
So, what is the ONE Commitment that will orient you out of burnout today?
Commit to asking your Self one question
"Is this MY responsibility?"
Go back to stage 1. At stage 1 the enthusiasm to take on more responsibility is part of launching a path of overdoing. The responsibility question then, at any stage, brings us back to the root of the disharmony and sends us back to ground zero, you, just you.
What is YOUR responsibility to you?
In the web of interrelation we live in, taking care of you first is crucial. Even though it feels "Selfish", when we are out of flow and showing signs of minor or major burnout syndrome the only thing to do is to attend to Self . When burnout looms or lands, getting Self-ish is the counterpose to the over DO being asked of you.
Integrating The 12 stages of Burnout into my practice, I apply Acupuncture and the principles of Traditional East Asian Medicine to treat the symptoms of burnout and reroute your Qi, returning flow to your being and addressing the depleting, and serious, impacts of Burnout.
Where ever you are at in your life, if burnout is something you want to prevent or recover from Acupuncture and Traditional East Asian Medicine offer a wholistic approach to the Life decision it is to heal, deal and feel well.
You have a right to life, and with that, a right to health. It is possible to serve and be served, to do for self and do for others. Check it out and (if you want) tell me what you learn.
To book an appointment, or meet me for a 15 min free check in please click here
Dr. Jenn McCabe and the World Maker Leadership Program