My #1 Tip for Navigating Burnout
I went to an art museum by myself this weekend. The world was feeling loud, and after an extraordinarily full week, I needed a change of scenery and pace to snap out of the brain fog.
As a creative, entrepreneur, and serial “says-yes-too-much-er”, I’m pretty much always poking the bear that is burnout. We know each other well and it’s not exactly a balanced symbiotic relationship. Burnout is a real stinker.
Often when we are nearing burnout (or maybe we’ve already arrived at that unwelcome destination), our first reaction is to try to find more ways to rest. Maybe if we do less, we’ll get energy, creativity, and focus back. But doing less when our brains are already overwhelmed usually looks like disassociation from our lives by scrolling on TikTok or Insta or binging hours of TV in an often futile attempt to turn our brains off.
And maybe rest isn’t actually the solution to burnout, and burnout doesn’t come from being tired. What if it comes from a plate that is too full (usually with things we have to do but don’t enjoy) and is further fueled by overwhelm and pressure? So perhaps then the opposite of burnout is actually the things that set our hearts on fire, the core of our delight, the things that make us light up when we talk about them.
What if one of the best ways to address burnout wasn’t actually doing less, but doing more of the things that remind us of the joy of life?
Personally, doing less and sticking with what is familiar doesn’t actually give me any more energy or quiet the static in my brain. In fact, what is familiar feels more mundane than comforting when burnout is creeping in. What I need is something to help my brain snap out of overdrive and reconnect with the world around me.
Perhaps the great burnout mitigator is something new and outside of the normal practices of our lives, something we really love but don’t often make time to do.
For me this weekend, it meant going to the NCMA alone, something I haven’t done in years. The combination of calm and beauty and being with other people who are happy was magic. I put in my headphones, listened to my beloved calming classical playlist, and noticed all sorts of beauty around me that is so different than what I encounter in my day-to-day. My mind calmed down and the time spent focusing without exerting too much thought was restful and grounding. By the time I walked out, the static in between my ears was almost completely gone. And the great burnout beast crawled back into his cave, at least for the time being.
If you have thoughts on your personal experience with burnout or ways you work through it, I’d love to hear them in the comments.
The quote on the yellow wall is especially wonderful: “Art offers two great gifts of emotion - the emotion of recognition and the emotion of escape. Both take us out of the boundaries of self.” - Duncan Phillips
Here’s What I’m Delighted by This Week:
Buckle up, my dears, we have lots you must know about!
The Great British Bakeoff is diving into season 10 with some very strange challenges. Smörgåstårta I’m looking squarely at you. And that means that the Saucy Puds segment is also back on the best podcast’s “The More You Know” episodes. Ever wondered what two southerners have to say about fish sandwiches disguised as cake? Look no further.
This trend showed up all over New York and Paris Fashion Weeks. And to that, I say “No ma’am. We do not do that.”
One of my favorite celebs got married in September and was photographed by one of my photography heroes. The photos landed on Vogue last week and I am inspired and utterly delighted!
I recently saw this in theaters, and it is one of the best movies I’ve seen in a very long time.
Anne Helen Peterson writes one of my favorite newsletters. She recently asked her readers about their calendars and it turned into a conversation about approaches to work, division of labor, and mental load - the newsletter & comments are well worth setting aside some time to read.
Voter registration deadlines are upon us (fellow NC residents, tomorrow is the last day to register to vote in November’s elections). But no stress, you can check your voter registration status here and if you live in NC and have a driver’s license, you can register to vote on the DMV website in two minutes!
I love following along with this Manor Renovation account on Instagram. And they have a show that just dropped this week! If you love home renovations, historic estates, and shows like Escape to the Chateau, I think you’ll love this one.
There is no reel trend that has had me wheezy laughing like this one.
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