Monday, July 25, 2016

Burnout

Pagan elders and leaders, event and ritual organizers often suffer and are rushing downhill to this thing called BURNOUT that no one wants to look at or believe can happen, to the self or to others. There are not many leaders of anything and fewer willing to help or be fully prepared to step up to the plate and do for a leader who needs a break. So, leaders dare not take a break or go through tremendous feelings of guilt when they do.

But what IS burnout and what happens to someone suffering it?

BURNOUT: physical or mental collapse caused by overwork or stress, a state of chronic stress that leads to a number of symptoms (listed below)

Burnout causes a number of things, variable from person to person.
  • tiredness / unending exhaustion / chronic fatigue
  • irritability
  • frequent illness
  • feeling overwhelmed by even small things
  • odd bodily reactions
  • rashes
  • frequent illnesses
  • shutting people out
  • ranting and "overly dramatic reactions"
  • taking things far too personally
  • lashing out unexpectedly
  • forgetfulness
  • callousness / lack of emotional connection
  • insomnia
  • impaired concentration and attention
  • loss of appetite / overeating
  • dizziness, fainting, headaches
  • shortness of breath or heart palpitations
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • irrational anger
  • poor performance on various levels
 That is a whole lot of scary stuff. It is good to have someone you trust who can be frank with you, and accept your moods without being easily hurt; someone who can watch for if you start to show signs of burning out and can address the issue with you. Ideally, this person can do this BEFORE you have burned bridges in the friend department or the professional world and BEFORE you ruin your own reputation.

You are a human BEing... not a human DOing.

An excellent website that discusses burnout and how to cope is: http://www.helpguide.org/articles/stress/preventing-burnout.htm

Here are some tips for survival:
  • have some OTHER things to do that you enjoy
  • give yourself "grace moments" or find a personal day weekly.
  • go learn something (as it is receiving and not giving)
  • set limits for yourself and say NO sometimes
  • don't take responsibility for other peoples hurt/upset feelings; not everyone is going to like everything
  • delegate (in parts to wean people onto a team); teach your successor
  • plan around your schedule (KNOW your schedule and do not double/triple book yourself)
  • let go, let negativity roll off
  • do personal internal work regularly
  • stay calm
  • meditate, with a group
  • you don't have to LIKE everyone (but be mature enough to be able to work with them and accept that you do not like them)
  • give yourself permission to have/do nice things once in a while
  • have a safe person to vent with
  • have an outlet
  • ask for help (and show appreciation for it)
  • reduce the stuff on your plate (especially cut away the things that are not beneficial to your life)
  • have a sense of humor
  • pat yourself on the back for your achievements
  • pace yourself
  • get some SLEEP
  • identify the strengths of others and nurture them 
  • create a manual for the future
  • have a clear vision (for the group, event, yourself)
  • Have someone look out for you (assign someone to be your keeper, especially during big events)
  • don't hang out with people who effect you negatively
  • do what you love / love what you do
 On this last note, here is a video: