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SessionHow to Outsmart Burnout

How to Outsmart Burnout

The nice thing about burnout? It lets you know when it's on its way. Liz shares a few warning signs that you might be overdoing it, and ways to recalibrate your efforts before burnout really strikes.

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Better mental health starts with Headspace

"Life Skills", scene one, take one. (film slate clapping) Yeah, yeah. Looking at each other? Let's try it, let's try it. Mmmhmm. Really. (hands clapping) Hi, I'm Liz Fosslien. And I'm Molly West Duffy. Together we co-authored two bestselling books about emotions at work. The skills in this series will help you better acknowledge, understand, and move through your work-related feelings. (upbeat music) Burnout is something that can easily sneak up on you. My husband was walking by and he asked me to send him a calendar invite for a dinner we had coming up that weekend with friends. He just looked over and I was just like, tears, you know, streaming down my face. We feel like, yeah, it's okay to ignore all these warning signs that our body is telling us. Just the thought of one more thing on my to-do list, even if it was 15 seconds, was completely overwhelming. I was not superwoman running on fumes, I was dangerously close to completely burning out. (upbeat music) Here's the thing about burnout. First, it will tap you on the shoulder many times with a feather until finally it will hit you with a bus. If you're experiencing those feather taps, like you've cut out exercise, you're not eating as healthily as you want to, you sort of long to get sick. Not really sick, but sick enough to create a cocoon for yourself in bed. Those are really important signs to listen to. According to LinkedIn research, a third of US employees are taking on more responsibilities and are putting in longer hours because they're afraid of economic uncertainty. Boundaries can be simply defined as lines you draw to make sure you're protecting your wellbeing. People have really different things that restore them. I'm an introvert, my husband is an extrovert, and so at the end of a long week, I want to lie in bed and talk to nobody and do nothing, and he wants to go see every person he's ever met in his entire life. Saying no is a really crucial part of sticking to the boundaries. This can be really hard. I used to struggle with it until I actually created a set of rules. I don't do anything social on Tuesday or Thursday nights to give myself time to decompress. Embrace your downtime. There are natural ebbs and flows to any workday, even when they're busy. If you are, for example, waiting on an email from your manager and you can't move forward until you get a response, don't frantically start creating a bunch of new projects. Think about instead taking a break, doing some meditation, going for a walk around the block, whatever it is to help you recharge. Embrace the downtime, don't fill the downtime. Give yourself grace when you're experiencing burnout. It can be so easy to feel guilty or berate yourself. You need to take breaks, and it's a natural reaction to a really overstimulating environment. In the next...


Duration6 min

About your teachers

  • A former Buddhist monk, Andy has guided people in meditation and mindfulness for 20 years. In his mission to make these practices accessible to all, he co-created the Headspace app in 2010.

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  • Eve is a mindfulness teacher, overseeing Headspace’s meditation curriculum. She is passionate about sharing meditation to help others feel less stressed and experience more compassion in their lives.

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  • As a meditation teacher, Dora encourages others to live, breathe, and be with the fullness of their experiences. She loves meditation’s power to create community and bring clarity to people’s minds.

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  • Kessonga has been an acupuncturists, therapist, and meditation teacher, working to bring mindfulness to the diverse populations of the world.

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  • Rosie Acosta has studied yoga and mindfulness for more than 20 years and taught for over a decade. Rosie’s mission is to help others overcome adversity and experience radical love.

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