Turn Insight Into Action: ProactiveChange.com/stress

Stress and burnout: a proactive approach


If you keep drawing from your bank account without replacing what you take, your balance gets smaller. Eventually you'll run out of money.

If you eat fewer calories than you consume, you lose weight. If you drastically reduce your food intake over time, you'll starve.

If you get too much stress in your life, without an adequate amount of restorative time, you'll get depleted, drained, burnt out.

The point I'm making here is that burnout comes from an imbalance -- not so much the amount of work or worries you deal with, but also the lack of what compensates for that.

Within reason, you can tolerate more stress if you have enough "good stuff" in your life to compensate for it.

This simple model helps explain how you can avoid burnout: You need to develop a sustainable lifestyle, that is a lifestyle where you don't draw on your resources more than you're able to replenish them.

This doesn't necessarily mean working less. It can mean paying more attention to your other needs. It can also mean re-examining how realistic you are about your expectations of how much fulfillment your work can bring. And it will probably also entail rethinking how you balance life and work.

A few questions for you:
- In what way is your lifestyle draining?
- What is it that makes it sustainable?
- What could you do to make it less draining and more sustainable?


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