Article “Nourish your Wellbeing to Beat Burnout” written for CSNN
So many are experiencing symptoms of Burnout. Earlier this year I was contacted by the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition to write an article on Burnout which I am pleased to share with you. This is the link to the article “Nourish your Wellbeing to Beat Burnout”.
My definition of Burnout:
Being exhausted on every level. The joy you once felt is gone. You feel isolated and alone. It is difficult to concentrate, connect and build relationships as that takes energy you are unable to find, no matter how hard you try.
I believe there are three key components to manage stress and avoid burnout:
- Psychological Safety
- Boundaries that align with your value and purpose
- Strategies that nourish your wellbeing
Many of the strategies shared are from my lived experience and from the research I continue to do on this topic. I have shared a list of resources, in the article, that is by no means exhaustive.
Sharing a story with you:
Several years ago I was working for a large engineering firm in an organizational role a project role on a large infrastructure project, leading a community investment initiative (on a volunteer basis) and also representing the organization (on a volunteer basis) on two committees with the local board of trade. My commute on a good day was three hours, working between multiple offices.
Sadly I started to get sick, my digestion and sleep were impacted. I was experiencing more discord than harmony. There were many organizational pebbles. I did not feel like I could thrive as I was experiencing many symptoms of Burnout. I had read an article by Brian Fraser, a leadership coach in Vancouver,
Consider who you can best harmonize with?
I reflected on all I had on my plate.
What were my true priorities and the interconnection with my values and purpose?
I then made different choices and decided what I could say a thoughtful yes to.
I resigned from my volunteer committee appointments and my marketing coordinator role. Then I changed my schedule so I was primarily working in the project office. I still was juggling an organizational role, project role and leading the community investment initiative that was part of our recruitment strategy and an extension of our marketing plan. As I became clear on my values, purpose and who I could be harmonize with, life became easier.
One of the misconceptions of burnout is that “people need to manage their time better”. The truth is many who do experience burnout are passionate about their work and want to make a difference. As another exciting project comes forward, we make promises to ourselves we will say no, unfortunately we say yes just one more time. The cycle continues. This is one of the key reasons why boundaries in alignment with our values and purpose are so important.
How can you create more boundaries to ensure work remains a harmonious passion, not an obsessive one?
Jennifer Moss, author of The Burnout Epidemic
We need to make choices. Build in transition time between our commitments and to pause.
It is not enough to just take a break or schedule downtime. We need to make a commitment to ourselves to step away from our professional lives where we do not think or talk about work. This is another way to nourish our wellbeing.
The important piece, remember to be kind and gentle with yourself. Show ourselves compassion to show up as our authentic, heart centered, imperfect self.
To Beat Burnout, this begins by showing each other we care. Reach out. Invest in relationships. Ask, how can I help?
I hope this article gives you some food for thought to consider ways that you can manage your stress and nourish your wellbeing, to avoid burnout.
Choose one or two things.
Be nourished in all you do.
Sharon K. Summerfield
Photography: Sharon K. Summerfield in beautiful BC
At The Nourished Executive we coach business professionals and share strategies to invest in wellbeing, manage stress and prevent burnout. Our founder, Sharon K. Summerfield, is a holistic nutritionist and certified breath coach, with an extensive business background. We have a strong commitment to giving back, investing in local community creating space for all students to consider careers in construction, science, technology, engineering and math.