Last week, we talked about 3 Ways to Overcome the Strain of Change. We shared strategies for supporting your teams through this highly challenging time.
This week, we want to talk about depletion and burnout; two concerns we’re hearing from leaders across industries, at all levels of leadership, among people whose businesses are struggling, as well as individuals who have lost their jobs.
The concept of burnout has been talked about for years in response to work and life demands and has been characterized by:
- deep exhaustion or fatigue
- a feeling of being less connected to self and others (often referred to as depersonalization)
- an inability to experience a sense of pride in your accomplishments and successes
Today, more and more people are describing a powerful sense of depletion and burnout as a result of the web of challenges that are impacting every aspect of their lives, not just work. This is what we’re hearing:
- chronic uncertainty, with no end in sight
- struggling to support children and elders
- disruption around schooling and the lack of childcare
- personal and family health fears
- anger and fear that others are not wearing masks and social distancing
- loneliness and lack of connection due to working from home
- loss of work, income, and professional identity
- the blurring of our work and personal lives leaving many people feeling they should be working 24/7
- the sense of being out of sync with those who go to work every day when everyone else they know is working from home
- loss of favorite in-person activities
- unsure how to effect change within the country’s system of racism
- fear of our county spiraling out of control from political division, unpredictable leadership, and concerns of a coming depression
So, what can you do?
The behaviors that support burnout and depletion, remain important:
- Reconnect with what matters to you, what brings you a sense of meaning and purpose, and weave it into your life in whatever way you can.
- If being in nature is important to you, find ways to get outside – wear a mask when around others and carry a mask when you’re alone or with people in your bubble – and take deep, relaxing breaths.
- If family is important and you can’t travel to see them, set up mealtimes to share over Zoom.
- Feeling unsure what matters to you? Let us know if you’d like a copy of our Life Priorities exercise.
- Build resilience through caring for your physical, emotional, and cognitive needs.
- Sleep, eat, move.
- Be gentle with yourself, get support/say “no”, meditate.
- Read, learn, stretch.
- Nurture relationships that are important to you, particularly ones that leave you feeling fueled.
- Talk with those people with whom you can be vulnerable.
- Engage with coworkers and teams on a personal level.
- Connecting with others is important and helps us feel like we’re “in this together”.
Remember, burnout and depletion can be very serious if left unmanaged. If you’re feeling like you’re burned out or are approaching it, get support from your physician, therapist, coach, or pastor. Having an ally who cares for you and is committed to helping you navigate these times can be a game-changer.
Let us know if we can help.
In the video below, Linda and Heather talk about the importance of noticing when you’re depleted or burned out as well as the simple ways you can get some more joy and space back in your life.