Welcome to Mindfulness Incubator - The Burnout Motivation to Get StartedOct 13, 2021
Welcome to Mindfulness Incubator… and our very first blog post! Mindfulness Incubator was created to help those battling overwhelm, exhaustion and burnout. So many of the amazing people we know and love (and work with) feel stuck in a never ending vortex of responsibilities, action items and to-dos. We have become disconnected from ourselves, and our calendars are running our lives. We have the best intentions, but it feels harder and harder to keep up. We are grappling with the age old questions: “this is impossible, how is everyone keeping up?” and “is this all there is?”.
That’s why we are here. We are here to help: help you find space, help you reconnect with yourself, help you find purpose and meaning, help life feel easier. Given what moved us to get Mindfulness Incubator started, we thought it would be appropriate for our first blog post to be about Burnout.
Burnout is now recognized by the World Health Organization as an “occupational phenomenon”, “resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed”, with three telltale signs:
- feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion;
- increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one's job; and
- reduced professional efficacy.”
Beyond workplace burnout, there’s been recent attention on parental burnout, characterized by symptoms of exhaustion, a “ a sense of ineffectiveness and lack of accomplishment” and lack of connection.
News articles report burnout being a pervasive issue, and one that’s on the rise. Most surveys report somewhere between half and two thirds of all U.S. workers are experiencing burnout, and COVID is making it worse (no kidding). Across a multitude of articles on Burnout, loss of control and overload are common themes contributing to these dramatic increases.
Working mothers and caregivers seem to fare even worse, this cnbc article says we’re 28% more likely to experience burnout than fathers, and it’s costing us big time. The NY Times says “ Burnout among parents, in particular moms, has been a defining principle of this global disaster.” According to Maven clinic “We've effectively lost 32 years of progress overnight”, with working moms leaving the workforce in higher numbers.
Burnout can be insidious...it creeps up gradually until we’re in an all out overwhelm spiral, just trying to keep up and survive. This article said it well: “Your brain and body can only handle feeling overworked and overwhelmed for so long.”
Plenty has been written about what employers can do, what HR can do, and what workers can do, with recommendations ranging from establishing routine, clarifying priorities, seeking opportunities for connection, getting help and adopting mindfulness practices. The International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health even published a “Prevention Inventory” of 12 factors that help reduce burnout risk.
But how do you know where to start when you’re barely holding it together? Who has time for these prevention methods when it feels like a stretch to have time to go to the bathroom uninterrupted?
This is why we created a bite-sized 7 day Challenge: Mindful in 15 minutes or less. You can sign up for the challenge here, and get a daily challenge (15 minutes or less!) with context about why this mindfulness practice is being offered, and if you’re interested, additional tools, tips and resources. Try it, it’s free! Even the busiest of us can carve out 15 minutes to reclaim our sanity, and start to defeat overwhelm and burnout. 15 minutes a day probably won’t be enough to walk by total burnout, but it’s a small step to prove to yourself that you can find the time to do things differently, and to explore a bunch of different modalities that could help. It’s a step forward, and every journey that ever got anywhere started with a step.
Note: We’ve included a bunch of links, which are intended to provide sources for the quoted materials, or an areas to explore if you’re curious to learn more. The article contains the most relevant points, and there’s no need to click on any of them unless you’re super jazzed about it.
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