(207) 553-2260

The Secret Sauce of Burnout Prevention

If you believe there is nothing you can do about your burnout, you are making the problem worse for yourself. Many people throw their hands up when I ask them about their work stress and potential burnout. They say there is nothing to be done. It’s a staffing issue. It’s a systemic problem. It’s not their job, it’s the “other stuff” like interpersonal dynamics workplace culture “the way things are right now” These mindsets are a major contribution to burnout. Last year, the World Health Organization declared that burnout is a health problem. It’s defined by the symptoms of: feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion; increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job reduced professional efficacy I believe that one core feeling underpins all three of these symptoms clusters: powerlessness. So yes,     . . . read more

Burnout Blues? You Need The One Skill Everyone Overlooks

Jennifer is just like you and me – a highly competent, compassionate woman with a great career, a family she adores, and a very full life. On the outside, she looks great. You should see her Facebook photos! On the inside, she’s cooked. Beyond done. A bunch of jangled nerves running on sheer will alone. Jennifer’s been chronically stressed out for so long that her physical and mental health are starting to become compromised. She’s about to burn out big time. For checking all those boxes, doing all the right things, it seems all that she gets in return is exhaustion. And she knows it, but she doesn’t know what to do about it. Jennifer has tried to figure out how to manage her time better, how to cope better, how to practice more and better self-care. She’s read the books     . . . read more

Is Striving Keeping You from Thriving?

Do you hold yourself to high standards? Do you value quality work and good follow through from others? Do you expect the same of yourself? I can relate. I spent much of my life through early adulthood gripping white knuckled to these values. What were supposed to be the glory days of college carried a lot of extraneous stress and pressure to perform well academically at the expense of enjoying the experience as a whole. I found that there is a cost to the pursuit of perfection. Holding yourself to the highest standards all the time creates a great amount of stress and anxiety. Perfectionism can quickly lead to self criticism and difficulties in accepting and valuing yourself just for being you. It can also lead to difficulties in relationships. Ever notice that you hold those you care most about to exceptionally high standards as     . . . read more

Waiting for the Right Time?

I stopped blogging a few months ago to pursue what turned out to be a fairly involved personal project: baby #2. She arrived just before Thanksgiving and has brought a joyful chaos with her. I started wanting to write again a few weeks back, but there was always stuff to do. I kept thinking: maybe I’ll write when my laundry pile is gone. Or my paperwork pile. Or when I’ve slept through a night. So here’s my blog post. I must be doing great, accomplishing those thing, right? NOPE. Not even close. I’ve got lots of piles and minimal connected sleep. The truth is I’m not going to have everything done. There is no immediate future involving all things cleanly squared away while I sit down to write. So here I stand (literally I’m standing), dishes in the sink, laundry     . . . read more

Compassion Fatigue and Tai Chi

This is a guest post by Celia Grand of the Riverview Foundation. Many thanks to Celia for sharing this information! compassion fatigue (dictionary.com) fatigue, emotional distress, or apathy resulting from the constant demands of caring for others or from constant appeals from charities: compassion fatigue experienced by doctors and nurses. Many of us work in high stress jobs, have too many personal responsibilities and little time to balance ourselves. Stress is a force that interferes with mental clarity, stability of emotions and physical ease. In addition to life stress, as caregivers we are susceptible to compassion fatigue. We take in volumes of overwhelming emotional material. Our bodies, mind and spirit strategize to cope with all that we hold outside of our conscious awareness. For example: our adrenal glands may pump out extra adrenaline to get us through the day while cortisol rushes through our bodies to try to bring it back into homeostasis. This taxing of our adrenals causes problems with sleep or may lead us to over eat to keep our energy going. Exercising may not energize     . . . read more