We want to talk about some feelings a lot of you are probably feeling this time of year… exhaustion and burnout.

Imagine a cup sitting on a table in front of you.  (Feel free to pick your favorite cup- red solo or maybe it’s your go-to wine glass…)  Think about pouring water into that cup until it touches the absolute top of the rim.  One more drop and that cup would overflow.  The table is still dry, but all it would take is one small bump and a little water would fall out. This is what we picture exhaustion to look like.

Now, think about that same full cup and add another 2 ounces of water.  We’ve broken some of the surface tension in the water in the cup so a little more than 2 ounces of water has fallen onto the table.  That cup wasn’t just maxed out in capacity, it was overflowing and now everything around it is wet.  THIS is what we picture when people say they feel burnout.

  • Exhaustion is the state of extreme physical or mental fatigue.  The state of something being used up completely.  

  • Burnout is the physical or mental collapse caused by overwork or stress.  When we say overwork, we refer to work that is beyond our capacity or strength.  Burnout isn’t just maxing out our energy, it’s an excess.

Maybe your work life is leaving you feeling exhausted which could be repaired by taking some time away to rest, relax and enjoy your family.

But maybe your work life, in addition to everything else around you is leaving you with emotional burnout.  The stress of managing the family, completing all the care tasks at home on TOP of the work life exhaustion is leaving your mental state OVER your capacity.  

 

What’s the takeaway?  Ask yourself- if you’re feeling like one or both of these apply to you, is the load within your capacity?  Do you have the skill and time and energy to manage the work in front of you?  Or are you feeling like there’s a form excess- whether it’s the workload itself or the emotional aspect.  If there’s excess, is there a place you can scale back?

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