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Shifting from burning out to burning bright

Welcome to Love Mondays, a weekly newsletter designed as a 3-minute hit to fire up the other 10,077 minutes of your week.

Shifting from burning out to burning bright!

'Quiet quitting', 'fast quitting' - these buzzwords are buzzing around for a reason and the research backs it up - burnout is real. 

Ironically, one remedy for burnout is to light a fire in our belly and realign our work with purpose.

What's fueling you right now? Write it down

Consider: is there a cognitive dissonance between your work and the way you live the rest of your life?

Practice: connecting to your meaning and purpose in the work you do. 

Decide to: be aware of what causes you stress and reframe the narrative on it.

Are you stressed or burned out?

There is a difference between burnout and stress but it can be difficult to see where one ends and the other begins.

The World Health Organisation refers to burnout as a "syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed."

The three symptoms they include are:

  • feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion

  • feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job

  • reduced professional efficacy. 

Stress is a normal human reaction and our natural defense system against a perceived threat or danger. A moderate level of stress can keep us focused, alert, and engaged helping us achieve optimal performance, and when managed well, stress can be an opportunity for growth. It's the prolonged or chronic stress that can lead us into the burnout zone.

In their book, Burnout: The secret to unlocking the stress cycle, coauthors (and twin sisters) Emily and Amelia Nagoski write that the key to avoiding burnout and emotional exhaustion is to complete our body's 'stress cycle'.

So, what's a stress cycle? It's the moment at which our bodies know we're no longer threatened or in danger, when we feel safe we can stop feeling stressed. Emily and Amelia have identified 6 evidence-based strategies to help you complete your stress cycle including:

  • Physical activity

  • Creativity

  • Laughing

  • Crying

  • Physical affection

  • Deep breathing

Explore these strategies and see what you enjoy, and what works for you. You may have other ways that help you get back into the 'safe' zone.

It's important to remember that we all experience and respond to stress differently so let's be kind - to ourselves and each other. This big, bold world needs you, but first, you need to take care of yourself.

Take care friends.

Love your Mondays.