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How to Deal with Burnout and GROW!

burnout growth re-energize Mar 31, 2022

If you've felt a constant fatigue, or irritation with life lately, you may be one of the hordes of people experiencing burnout. This is not permanent - it is a sign of our times. Here are some ideas to help you reset. First...


What is burnout?

Dr. Lotte Dyrbye, a Mayo Clinic physician scientist who studies burnout, defines it not as a medical condition, but a “manifestation of chronic unmitigated stress.”

That means total engulfing stress that doesn’t stop. The demands on you are greater than the resources you have. It’s not just a bad day or bad week, it’s like every day is flat. The gas tank is empty. It’s easier to recognize burnout in a job situation, but chronic stress can have many reasons: relationship issues, financial worries, incessant caregiving duties – all these can wear a person down. We are not wired for nonstop stress.

The World Health Organization describes 3 symptoms: exhaustion, cynicism and reduced efficacy.


So, what are the clues?

This shows up:

1. In the body as insomnia – can’t sleep at night

2. Physical and emotional exhaustion – feeling drained all the time, and just doing what you need to get by, even if you’re usually a leader in what you do.

3. Headaches, stomach aches

4. Craving comfort food, or just too tired to eat

5. Feeling anxious, irritable, cynical, resigned, no enthusiasm for anything; what used to excite you just doesn’t anymore.


So what can we do:  6 ways of moving from burnout to growth, and if you are really interested in moving faster into growth, we have developed curated resources including a fun 7 day growth challenge on Patreon. There’s a different topic every month to support you in a more personal way. Learn more at patreon.com/projecthappiness.


Tips For Burnout:

Don’t expect more self-care to fix it. This situation needs both a change in attitude and a change in the situation.

  • change in attitude – forget perfectionism, stop beating yourself up (your body is already trying to tell you it’s too much.


  • Change in action – delegate some of the duties at home, as a caregiver, in the office. You can’t keep doing all you were the same way. Talk to your supervisor at work, or your partner at home to brainstorm a better way.


  • More agency: Greater sense of designing your life instead of being at the mercy of it. Instead of depleting all your energy to “ make it all work,” you need to get back in the driver’s seat and make some shifts that give you a greater sense of freedom and autonomy.


  • Say no to extra projects, useless meetings, say yes to time with friends, in nature


  • Make time for something you love. In a study on surgeons, Dr. Dyrbye found that surgeons who make time for hobbies and recreation — even just 15 to 20 minutes a day — are less likely to experience burnout than surgeons who don’t.


  • Grow something new: Define one thing that is out of your normal routine, that excites you, that expands you, and learn it, do it, practice it. My daughter is learning how to make neon art. Find that thing that you look forward to, that helps you refresh and grow.


Burnout is a message that you body and mind feel trapped and want to grow. Listen to it, make some changes, speak to friends or a therapist, and find something to look forward to. With increased awareness so that you can face this head on and you will find yourself back in the driver’s seat of your life.


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