Avoiding Burnout: The Way We Work Isn’t Working

Health and Wellness

Avoiding Burnout is important in the modern business world.

Not a day goes by that I don’t hear from a friend, family member or client that they’re experiencing serious burnout. We have to be better at avoiding burnout!

I hate being tired. I mean, really hate it.

I’m way beyond the carefree years of lying in bed until noon. And I’m clearly past the decades of fun exhaustion from a night gone wild. I have “evolved” to the disturbing restlessness of being physically tired but mentally too wired to shut it all down. All while the voices in my head yell at me:

Snap a towel around it!” (This came from my dad, the baseball coach. Still not quite sure what it means.)

Seize the day!

Live like you’re dying!

It’s all in your head. Get over yourself. Push past the pain.

Just do it!

Avoiding burnout is important in the stressful modern world.

So I did it. I got up, and put on the running clothes I set out the night before to minimize activation energy (the energy required just to get started). I put my headphones on, checked my run in on Facebook for extra accountability, took my first few steps … and gasped for air.

Darn humidity. Kept going…foot hurts. Again. Third day in a row. Ignored the pain. Still can’t breathe. Feeling dizzy. That’ll go away though. It always does eventually.

And then I stopped. I laughed at myself once again (I do this more often than I can count), recognizing that just yesterday I was putting together a section called ‘Judy’s Story‘ in my new book ‘Recharge: Investment Strategies for Your Most Valuable Resource’. It’s a reflection on our last few conversations before her unexpected passing. On hearing the exhaustion in her voice, knowing that her system was running out of steam and trying everything I could to try to get her away for a recharge break. On my last note from her saying she was finally ready to put it on her calendar, just 2 days before she was gone.

It’s clearly not funny, but I had to laugh at myself for doing exactly what it was I’ve been working so hard (again, a bit ironic) to teach others not to do. Don’t push past the pain! Don’t wear yourself out! Don’t run out of steam!

But the voices in my head keep telling me otherwise.

This is why I feel so passionate about what I’m trying to do for myself and for my friends, family, and clients. We share the same story that says “We can rest when we’re in the grave”, and “we’ll take time for ourselves later.” But what if we don’t get there? What if we leave our work unfinished because we couldn’t finish the race due to exhaustion?

Not a day goes by that I don’t hear from a friend, family member or client that they’re experiencing serious symptoms of burnout. From dizziness, fatigue, insomnia, anxiety and depression to extremes such as panic attacks and heart problems. These symptoms of imbalance are so typical these days we now consider them normal, brushing off another headache or another restless night of sleep as just part of life. We aren’t listening to the right voices. We need to listen loudly to the messages our own brains and bodies are trying to scream at us. The messages that say the way we’re working isn’t working anymore. We are not avoiding burnout, and we need to be!

It’s time for a recharge revolution!

Can we agree that we all need to take responsibility for the energy we bring to the world? That we owe it to the people we care about to us to fully show up when we’re with them? And take better care of ourselves so that we can be the best version of ourselves for everything and everyone that matters? If we can’t recharge our energy for our own sake, can we do it for those who depend on us? Who love us?

I didn’t get a chance to say it quite this clearly to someone I loved, and now I am 100% committed to make sure that I don’t keep my mouth shut on this topic ever again. I will not minimize it; I will not wait until you’re ready to hear it. I am speaking to myself as much as I am speaking to you, perhaps more. For the only way I can truly help you is to first help myself.

I am committed to recharge. Will you join me?

I’m on the journey, and I will be sharing some of my tools and techniques with you over the next few months. Let’s start a recharge revolution together!

Last modified: November 9, 2019

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