Let’s talk about burnout

Let’s talk about burnout

Burnout is a relatively new term people and some businesses are starting to recognize, and let me tell you, it is REAL! Burnout can affect you physically and mentally.  According to Mayo Clinic, “Job burnout is a special type of work-related stress — a state of physical or emotional exhaustion that also involves a sense of reduced accomplishment and loss of personal identity”. If that doesn’t explain half of the jobs I have ever had, I don’t know what does! There have been a few times I’ve experienced it, and I told myself – never again! Turns out that’s easier said than done, it creeps up on you. You don’t always realize you are stretched out so thin, until doing a simple task like making a cup of tea is just too much. 

I work full time, and I pick up side jobs when and where I can. One of my weaknesses is saying yes, when I should really say no.  Especially if it’s a favor or a task that will help another person out. I am a helper, and I like feeling like I could have positively contributed to someone’s day. But here’s the thing about being a helper, people figure it out, and take advantage. Whether it is your time, your generosity, or sometimes even your trust. 

Being an adult in your 20’s is hard, your in this weird limbo of “live your life, its okay to be a little crazy!’” and “plan for the future, stay on course”. One side says enjoy this time,  travel, spend time with friends, and find a hobby. While the other side says find that secure job, travel when you have the PTO (but also save it), and you can freely live your life when you retire. I have always tended to favor planning for the future, but my brain sometimes manages to flip a switch if there is something I really want to do, and it doesn’t necessarily contribute to my future. I can’t think of any examples off the top of my head, but I am sure some of you guys can relate. 

I am in that wonderful snippet of time for a woman in her 20’s,  where the questions: “are you married?”  And “Are you getting pregnant soon?” are ingrained in some people’s question rolodex. These questions are sometimes okay, but if you’re asking someone in the middle of a burnout period, it’s the worst, and be prepared to be told why. 

As you might have guessed, this happened to me recently. It came from one of my side jobs, during a period of burnout. At first I was stunned by the person who asked me this, since it came after an uninvited string of advice for my life, but also because it was none of their business. After a little bit I realized I had to cut the burnout source in the bud. This meant cutting the side jobs out, and letting my life settle back into its normal semi burnout status.

If you can relate to any of this in your past or present, my advice is to find the source of the strain, and try to find a way to cut it loose. 

M. (2020, November 20). Job burnout: How to spot it and take action. Retrieved February 28, 2021, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/burnout/art-20046642

2 thoughts on “Let’s talk about burnout

  1. Hi Maelyn. Love your reflection blog. I just had to chuckle a little bit about referring to burnout as a relatively new phenomenon.
    Our perceptions are so guided by our perspective. Certainly, the past year has especially highlighted the plight of hospital medical personnel, and the burnout suffered by so many.
    Burnout, though, is not recent by any means. Air traffic controllers, teachers, police, stock exchange floor traders, and increasingly nurses come quickly to mind as prototypical occupations of burnout. Stress and responsibility in combination with limited authority/ability to control are a classic recipe. Can come from the stress of no-stress boredom as well.
    I get your point, though, and it sounds like your self-awareness will serve you well in maintaining a balance in your life.
    Thanks for your thoughts, Maelyn. I enjoy them very much.



    1. Hi Jim,

      I completely agree that many professions experience burnout, and that this year has definitely highlighted that. In my post, I mentioned that it is a new term that businesses and people are starting to recognize/accept. Not that it is a new term to the world in general. When we really think about it, almost every stressor, emotion, or state of mind are waiting for a term to somehow explain it or justify it. I am glad you enjoy my posts!



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