The Burnout Equation—Saturday Self-Care Check-In
Saturday Self-Care Check-in: Caregiver Burnout and the Burnout Equation
While many people treat burnout as complex and mysterious, in my experience, there is a simple-ish equation that creates the condition for burnout:
- Too much work
- Too few resources
- Without gratitude, acknowledgment, or celebration
Yes, there are a huge number of systemic factors, yes. Also: these are three things I’ve identified that are the perfect storm for burnout. But just because there are clearcut factors for why we experience burnout—and just because there are systemic factors—doesn’t mean that we have to treat caregiver burnout as inevitable.
We can heal burnout, but we can also prevent it in the first place.
So how do we unwind it? Start by reverse engineering it:
- Cultivate an environment of dignity in your workplace.
- Create community and connection in your work.
- Make gratitude and celebration a regular practice.
This is especially important in caregiving work, since our work can be very emotionally and physically demanding. We need those feelings of dignity, connection, and gratitude in our daily lives—not just on special occasions—if we want to be able to hold onto the passion and sense of care that first brought us to our work.
Even if we don’t have a huge community around us, we can create a sense of each of these in small, but meaningful ways.