Nourish Your Wellbeing to Beat Burnout

So many are experiencing symptoms of Burnout.  Earlier this year I was contacted by the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition to write an article on Burnout which I am pleased to share with you.  This is the link to the article “Nourish your Wellbeing to Beat Burnout”.

My definition of Burnout:

Being exhausted on every level. The joy you once felt is gone. You feel isolated and alone. It is difficult to concentrate, connect and build relationships as that takes energy you are unable to find, no matter how hard you try.

I believe there are three key components to managing stress and avoiding burnout:

  • Psychological Safety
  • Boundaries that align with your value and purpose
  • Strategies that nourish your wellbeing

Many of the strategies shared are from my lived experience and from the research I continue to do on this topic.  I have shared a list of resources, in the article, that is by no means exhaustive.

Sharing a story with you:

Several years ago I was working for a large engineering firm in an organizational project role on a large infrastructure project, leading a community investment initiative (on a volunteer basis) and also representing the organization (on a volunteer basis) on two committees with the local board of trade.  My commute on a good day was three hours, working between multiple offices.

Sadly I started to get sick, and my digestion and sleep were impacted. I was experiencing more discord than harmony. There were many organizational pebbles.  I did not feel like I could thrive as I was experiencing many symptoms of Burnout.  I read an article by Brian Fraser, a leadership coach in Vancouver,

Consider who you can best harmonize with?

I reflected on all I had on my plate.

What were my true priorities and the interconnection with my values and purpose?

I then made different choices and decided what I could say a thoughtful yes to.

I resigned from my volunteer committee appointments and my marketing coordinator role.  Then I  changed my schedule so I was primarily working in the project office.  I still was juggling an organizational role, a project role, and leading the community investment initiative that was part of our recruitment strategy and an extension of our marketing plan.  As I became clear on my values, purpose, and who I could harmonize with, life became easier.

One of the misconceptions of burnout is that “people need to manage their time better”.  The truth is many who do experience burnout are passionate about their work and want to make a difference. As another exciting project comes forward, we make promises to ourselves we will say no, unfortunately, we say yes just one more time. The cycle continues.  This is one of the key reasons why boundaries in alignment with our values and purpose are so important.

How can you create more boundaries to ensure work remains a harmonious passion, not an obsessive one?

Jennifer Moss, author of The Burnout Epidemic

We need to make choices.  Build in transition time between our commitments and to pause.

It is not enough to just take a break or schedule downtime.  We need to make a commitment to ourselves to step away from our professional lives where we do not think or talk about work.  This is another way to nourish our well-being.

The important piece, remember to be kind and gentle with yourself. Show ourselves compassion to show up as our authentic, heart-centered, imperfect self.

To Beat Burnout, this begins by showing each other we care. Reach out. Invest in relationships. Ask, how can I help?

I hope this article gives you some food for thought to consider ways that you can manage your stress and nourish your well-being, to avoid burnout.

Choose one or two things.

Be kind.
Be patient.
Be nourished in all you do.

Originally authored for the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition 


Sharon K. Summerfield
Sharon K. Summerfield
Sharon K. Summerfield is the Founder of The Nourished Executive and a Wellbeing Coach. She works with business professionals and their teams, sharing strategies to invest in wellbeing and manage stress with the goal of preventing burnout. In addition to Sharon’s extensive business background, she is also a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and Certified Breath Coach. Sharon holds multiple certifications in Business Management, Project Management, Psychological Safety, and Holistic Nutrition. She speaks often about the importance of moving away from “work-life balance” and moving towards a more holistic lens of harmonizing life, where work is one part. Sharon is a lifelong learner, systems thinker, mentor, and connector. “In creating harmony, we find new ways to blend in the melodic rhythm in the dance of life.”

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