Self-care is not the solution to burnout

#2 The managing overwhelm series

Yoga at lunchtime, work from home, team dinners and drinks, lunch ‘n’ learn sessions, no meetings during lunch, walking meetings. They are all great strategies to create a workplace where people love being at work. It contributes to how people ‘feel’ about their culture. But it’s not a solution for burnout.

If two thirds of Australian leaders are in burnout then we need more than yoga and a team kumbaya to rectify this. We’ve done an awesome job to ‘pivot’ our strategies. Yet;

Pivoting is problematic when we do the first part, but not the second. 

When we change direction quickly it’s amazing and invigorating. Yet it requires a lot of time and energy. We then need time to reset. If not, we end up staying in a permanent state of urgency. We end up just piling initiatives on top of what we already have. It feels like drinking from a firehose.

We haven’t prioritized the space to rest and restore so we can go on the next pivot.

It’s like sprint training. This requires surges. Then rest. But ultimately it requires recovery to be able to do it again. Weekends should not be our recovery. The 4-day work week is a great start but not the finish. (More on that next week).

The rough period should just be a period. The same for wellbeing programs. They are awesome – but not the solution.

If burnout was the result of insufficient selfcare then these workplace initiatives are a good solution. But I’m not seeing that as the problem.

I’m not saying self-care is not good. It is essential all the time. Just not the solution to burnout.

To manage your own overwhelm come to one of my upcoming EVENTS on burnout and find out what you can do about it.  Run, don’t walk. You can book here.