Yesterday I had started writing a blog about the worst pieces of burnout advice I had ever heard, when a friend sent me a message. She was kind of laughing and rolling her eyes because burnout has become such a ‘cool’ (or should that be hot?) topic that people who have absolutely no clue about it are writing about it.
And I rolled my eyes and said of course…. and promptly deleted my ‘worst burnout advice’ blog.
Why? Well the bitchy part of my soul says ‘because they’re already writing it for me’ [/Muttley laugh] but mainly because, well the vast majority of burnout advice is BS.
No, really, it is.
Every magazine article I’ve read, every blog I’ve read, hell even half of my own blogs… the advice is bullshit.
Because burnout is mostly written about by people who haven’t experienced it (oh boo you’ve been working for five days straight and you’re, like, so burned out? Nah babes, you’re tired, there’s a big difference and you’re doing a disservice to everyone you’re talking to about it by trivialising burnout), the advice given is surface-level at best and dangerous at worst (green juice = nothing to do with burnout. Specific workouts = nothing to do with burnout. Take a break from work = put a hold on your burnout and come back to it in a few weeks or months when you’ll experience it all over again but are too broke or feeling guilty for taking time out to actually do anything about it and make it all worse than before).
But most of all, burnout advice is BS because you don’t want to hear it!
Seriously, you don’t.
Ok, I’m going to tell you to call in sick, go home and have a Netflix day, make a list of all the commitments you're going to ruthlessly prune from your to do list, tell you to red button that friend who only ever wants to whine at you and gives you nothing in return, join a group programme and actually share vulnerably and implement the advice given.
Where did you go?
Why are you screaming obscenities at me in your head?
Joking, of course I know why.
You hate that because its not who you are.
Let me say that again.
You hate the burnout advice you read because it’s not who you are.
Why is that?
Because most people think the opposite of burnout is energised, happy, a stock photo image of a woman with beautiful white teeth, boobs that jiggle and a stomach that doesn’t, running down a beach in the sunshine.
The opposite of burnout is resilient.
And if you hear me setting my teeth and slightly lowering my centre of gravity to lean into it all, you’re about right.
The opposite of burnout is about being you, completely you, minus a bit of the self-damaging behaviours and plus the word ‘no’ in a slightly more frequent basis.
I’m sorry, that’s not sexy at all, is it?
But the bullshit advice about green juices and meditation and switching your phone off at night and not checking work emails is so much sexier and easier and pat and oh so ineffective.
I don’t tell you to stop checking work email because you’re a type A control freak (sorrynotsorry) who has made themselves completely indispensable to everyone around them and, if you just dropped out for 3 days with no notice, you would be too terrified to come back to work for fear of what went wrong whilst you were sitting on your meditation pillow worrying about what was going on and what people were saying behind your back.
So instead I help you figure out why you’re checking your email so much (what don’t you trust? Why do you think you have to turn the world by yourself?), start making changes (you have a limit on how many times you can check it, use them to their best effect) and start drawing up healthy boundaries (maybe it’s time to delegate the initial review to that brilliant and bright assistant who wants to progress but you’re too retentive to actually hand the decent work off and simultaneously you’re terrified of losing them).
I’m sorry it’s not sexy.
Truly, if I could give you a red pill and a blue pill and make it super easy for you I would.
But I didn’t get into this game for a quick win, to make a bunch of money selling inefficient solutions to people I don’t care about.
I’m in this for the long haul and I’m in it with you. Making small adjustments that add up to big changes in your energy, self respect, long-term career prospects and yes your health and happiness too.
I’ll raise my second coffee of the day to that!
PS it’s not about a one-hit-kill, you can’t reverse burnout with a single day’s work. It’s about learning new skills, implementing them, adjusting as you go.
That’s why, despite being a loner introvert who doesn’t naturally share, I create a membership programme. For people just like me who would love support but don’t really know how to ask for it. Who want to make changes but start with great intentions before it all falls by the wayside. For the people who have tenacity and grit and commitment, but also push themselves until they want to cry like a toddler in the sweetie aisle of the supermarket.
The Resilience Academy was developed because I believe that recovering from burnout, or avoiding it altogether, is best done with honesty, candour, flexibility, support and most importantly, something you can commit to for the long term.
It’s like Netflix for your mind and soul according to one of my clients, another calls it ‘Leah on prescription’, because it costs less than £1.50 a day.
It’s a rolling monthly commitment, no lengthy contracts, and you can stay as long as you like. Whilst you do stay you’ll have access to a weekly live training, a monthly book club, a monthly 1:1 with me, and access to dozens upon dozens of trainings in a secure, password protected vault. Exactly like Netflix, but more inspirational (and with quite a few appearances from my dog and cat).
The Resilience Academy is throwing open its doors for new members, for one week only.