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  • Writer's pictureCait Donovan

Melissa Boo: To Avoid Burnout - Choose Yourself, Every Time.

Updated: Oct 1, 2022

“When a workplace becomes an everyday trauma - your body can’t go on like that, your mind can’t go on like that, you can’t live a healthy life if the place you’re going for 10 hours a day is traumatizing you.” - Melissa Boo


Melissa is both a science teacher and yoga teacher, whose work connects your personal and planetary health. She has worked for a range of Environmental Causes both across the country and around the world, including solar power, wind power, permaculture, rainwater harvesting, and organic farming. She earned an MS in Sustainability Management from Columbia University and is a 500-hour registered yoga teacher and health counselor.

Melissa’s STORY: It's always been very important to me to stay true to my values and leave the world a better place. However, this commitment to causes made it hard for me to set firm work/life boundaries and remember to take care of myself. It took three startups for me to realize I was falling into a pattern of giving way more to my work than I was getting.

At the same time, I was learning more about trauma and the stress response through my yoga studies, and I couldn't help but connect these concepts to the chronic stress of the modern workplace. It made me realize that while I could definitely take on the thought patterns and weak boundaries that were in my control, there is also a lot that is systemically wrong in the modern workplace that sets us up for burning out quickly. The long hours, the incessant demands, the constant availability on our smartphones at home...all these factors can make it nearly impossible to fully disconnect from work and attend to the rest of our lives.

The first thing I do with clients when we talk about burnout is help them distinguish between what they can control, and what's a more systemic problem with the modern workplace. And usually there's a mixed sense of relief - ""I'm not entirely to blame for how terrible I feel!"" - and dread - ""It's everywhere and I can't escape it!"". And in a way, both are true.

While I don't have all the answers (no one does!) I've found that firmer boundaries, prioritizing my health, and strengthening my relationship with myself are three things that have really made a big difference. And I find it so fulfilling to create a community around this taboo issue and reassure others that they're not alone, and there's a way out! "


My notes post talk: Melissa and I spent a lot of time on this podcast talking about the internal vs. external causes of burnout and how at the end and underneath all of it - your body has to come first because, as Melissa’s aunt told her, ‘You only get one body’. No matter what the corporation says. No matter what your boss says. No matter what your non-profit that you adore says - YOUR BODY COMES FIRST. So, as 2020 begins, I’m asking you - We’re asking you - to CHOOSE YOURSELF. No matter what your resolutions are, no matter what challenges stand in your way - choose you. Over and over and over again - it’s a sure path to peace and fulfillment. Good vibes always,

Cait P.S. If you're not sure how to take the first steps in choosing yourself, let me help - book a call here and and we will work through the best way for you to move forward.


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