I’ve had a few people ask me about “burnout” lately.
I’m excited to say the question has come from both employees and employers. I think it’s coming up because we’ve been under a constant stressor for so long with no solid answers on when, or if, there’s an end in sight.
So we all keep going along, doing our thing, keeping our chins up (or heads down) and heads facing forward with our arms and legs inside the car at all times. The thing is, none of these actions can address the slow decline into worn out, tired, and increasingly “meh.”I think “burnout” happens because we focus on achieving the job at hand and ignore the person performing the work. We sacrifice our own well-being for the job, our family, all of the external obligations we have agreed to and forget to take in our own importance.
The challenge is stopping to see what’s happening and then seeking ways to reverse the direction we’re going… before we’ve hit that wall and are ready to jump ship. Or the iceberg that took down the Titanic.
I’ve been there. To the point my mind can’t focus, I miss meetings, fail to complete projects leaving others hanging…waiting. Pushing in an effort to keep producing positive content to lift people up. Constantly encouraging. It can be draining. Slowly siphoning.
I have a team. They help me out. They help to support and revitalize me. I also have you to inspire me to keep going. We all have these moments of exhaustion and shut down.
Self-ownership is the answer. What do I need? What can I do to improve my state of being? What support can I seek out for help? Taking care of your personal self means you’re better able to succeed at the myriad of tasks you need to accomplish. And acknowledging your needs equates to better performance all around. It also means you recognize your own self-worth as a member of society.
So, name it. What do you need? How can you improve your state of being? Do you need a little outside support? Perhaps simply acknowledging you’re not ok and need a break magically helps you feel better. Whatever you do, take ownership. Set an intention of self-care and nurturing and create a way to lift yourself up.
On the other end, what can I, as an employer, do?
Employers set expectations for their staff. The culture you emulate is the culture your employees will follow. The way you communicate is how they will learn to communicate back. If you drive hard and fast they will do the same. If it’s not ok for you to take a break, they will recognize it’s frowned upon and avoid taking their own as well. Is it ok for you to seek help and how does your attitude fuel the company’s mentality?
We have the ability to lift up and tear down those who support us in our businesses. Without their abilities, where would we be? And if you want to benefit from those abilities for a long time it behooves you to nurture their stamina and growth.
Employers helping employees recover from burnout? Encourage self-ownership and awareness and demonstrate what that looks like. Ask how you can support them. What do they need? How can you build opportunities for self-care into the expectations for the job?
The bottom line? We are a finite resource. If we want to keep living a life we love we have to take care of ourselves and replenish the energy we send out. Give yourself the gift of a moment. What do you need right now? How can you fill your cup? What can you do to support giving as much to yourself as you are to the world around you?