It’s the end of a hard year. Differently hard for different people, but hard all around. Hard because of uncertainty, hard because of constant change, hard because our brains which are accustomed to functioning on so much repetition and habit really got put through the ringer this year trying to keep up with all the change. And yet, here we are, at the end of 2020, with a vaccine on the horizon and talk that by the summer we’ll back able to function as we used to. And so we’ve started to question: Do we want to function like we used to? Burnout’s name flashed on all the stages this year as so many people were awakened to the fact that this year may have put them over the edge, but they had been burnt out for months, maybe years already.
We miss restaurants and going to stores without fear. We miss meeting our friends and gathering with our loved ones. But, we’re also grateful that 2020 gave us an excuse to hold boundaries, a reason to not meet up, an escape route from the girl’s nights that had gotten dull and the family gatherings that don’t fill you up like you feel they should. You didn’t have to go to that wedding you weren’t looking forward to and you didn’t have to participate in obligatory holiday parties and team building adventures.
So, the question comes up: do we want to function like we used to? Is there a way that we can shift our lives so that we are no longer contributing to burnout culture? Or, as a listener and former client put it, “Can you record something about how we all can help combat burnout culture?” Yes, yes I can. The fact that this question was asked was great from my perspective because it means that the burnout healing is well on it’s way - we cannot think about burnout culture on a large scale when we’re overwhelmed with burnout in our own lives, so my first reaction was to be happy that the question was even asked.
Then, I started to think about the answer. And here’s where you get to see into how my mind works. The first answer that came up is: don’t let another day go by without getting help for your own burnout. You are automatically contributing to burnout culture if you’re burnt out and not doing anything about it. That isn’t to make you feel bad, it’s literally not possible for you to focus on burnout culture if you’re burnt out. We’re talking facts here people - the first care is SELF CARE. If you’ve been around FRIED for awhile, you know that you can reach out to me for coaching, and you know that you can reach out to one of the many guests that have been on to share their stories who now do this work.
Physicians can talk to Errin Weisman or Dr. Kara Pepper. Business owners can chat with Leah Steele, Tavona Denise, Sarah Dawn, Erin Elizabeth Wells or Kim Porter. The highly anxious and sensitive can contact Stacie Mitchell, Dr Valerie Rein or Cyrina Talbott.
And that’s not even close to a full list. The resources are there. Choose a method. Contact someone. Get the ball rolling.
The second answer that was reaching up from my guts was: Keep your boundaries clear, kind, and concise. Boundaries are so damn important and when you keep your own, you’re also helping the people around you keep theirs. Modeling good boundaries is a MAJOR key in ending burnout culture. When we’re on a rhythm of allowing our boundaries to be crossed, we end up expecting other people to do the same and then we end up resentful that we’re going the extra mile and they aren’t. We need to flip the script on this.
Let other people’s boundaries inspire you to hold your own and when you’re asking someone to break their boundaries - look at the chain - did you break yours first, did the person before you break their own? Are we just continuing a never ending string of boundary breaking and resentment? Hold the line sister, someone’s got to close that gate. Everyone should be learning better boundaries, everyone. And if you find yourself unable to create boundaries without sounding like an asshole (it happens to the best of us) keep your ears peeled for the next installment of the Build Better Boundaries Course that will happen in the first quarter of 2021.
Lastly, if you want to contribute to #endingburnoutculture - have more fun. Look at your day - add fun. Look at your week - add more fun. Look at your month - where’s the fun? Add more. Life isn’t always happy and fun, and I’ll never pretend that it is - but if we don’t ADD FUN on purpose, we’re missing out on one of the best combatters of burnout there is - JOY.
To sum up, if you want to help end burnout culture:
Start with your own healing. End the burnout cycle in your life.
Maintain and model positive boundary behavior
Fried Fans, we’re starting the year off big with a conversation with Shonte Javon Taylor, a neuroscientist on a mission to help us all understand how to use our brains to benefit us in our coaching, leadership, and daily lives. See you in 2021, be good to yourselves and have more fun.
P.S. If you really want to be sure that you're not stuck on your own personal burnout cycle in 2021, reach out! You can book a free consult here.
P.P.S. Maybe you just know you need a little support processing all that stress from 2020 - and you've already got a therapist... your new best friend might end up being uber high quality cbd oil. Check out Incann - I work with them because they're the best and that's what you deserve. Use the code FRIED for a 20% discount.