Communication essential: burnout

Well hello there, May! So good to see you. Thank you for the May flowers, Cinco de Mayo, Mother’s Day, May the Fourth (be with you) and Memorial Day (long weekend!!), just to name a few things we’re looking forward to celebrating with you.

We’ve talked about a lot of heavy topics the last two months of this blog – because there are a lot of big challenges facing leaders today. And sometimes, just talking about them can make you feel better. (More on that in a second.)

Because there are so many things on our mind – keeping us up at night – I thought I’d start this month off by talking about a word so many in leadership often ignore: burnout. Why? Because a lot of times those who step up to lead – regardless of where you are in your organization – ignore their own health and well-being. But ignoring it isn’t a cure. In fact, it can make things worse and potentially infect others. (Yes, burnout is contagious! Science says so.)

That’s why this article in Fast Company grabbed my attention:

These 5 steps can help protect you from burnout.

One of the main reasons I chose to write this blog – and enjoy doing it so much – is to connect with others who are passionate about their role, their organization and how they are driving their businesses forward. I feel a shared connection with you so forgive me if I assume too much, but I am willing to bet that more than a few times you have dug down and pushed ahead, to protect your teams, at your own expense.

The article talks about this – comparing how you care for your team to how you care for your family. Which is why my hope is you find a few minutes to read the whole article and see if you can take away even one idea on how to protect yourself against burnout.

But if you don’t have time, and you read just one point, I’d like to share this with you from the article:

Nurture your relationships. Burnout can be isolating, and people who report burnout tend to feel disconnected from others. Nurture a few close relationships: Reach out to friends and colleagues and invest time in staying connected. This step can work for two reasons. First, people can support you—offering coaching, input, a listening ear, or resources. Also, when you focus on others, you expand your view away from yourself and this tends to contribute to feelings of positivity. Realizing you’re not the only one with challenges and reminding yourself how much you can offer to others are great antidotes to feeling down or alone.

My reason for sharing is simple – call me. Email me. Talking to people, comparing notes and hearing how others are doing and dealing has been critical to my own mental health during this past year of isolation. Let’s not lose sight of that now, even as we start to return to work and see each other.

I hope our ‘relationships’ is one thing from the pandemic we hold onto. Because reading ahead and seeing the trends headed our way … it looks like we may need each other.