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How to Avoid Burnout

A lot of leaders are telling me that they are exhausted.

In fact, one of my clients has an “unlimited vacation policy” in her company. 

When do you think she took her last holiday?

It was over a year ago!! 

I actually said to her, “Has the word “unlimited” been redefined to mean “never”!” 

Sometimes I really need to work on my sarcasm! But that is a topic for another day! 

So, let me ask you… are you feeling exhausted?

your brain needs rest to prevent burnout

If so, you are not alone.

The world of work is being redefined.

Leaders are bearing the brunt of this evolution.

As a leader, you might be grappling with:

  • Constant organizational change
  • AI and rapid technological changes 
  • The ups and downs of your return to the office policy
  • How best to motivate your hybrid team… who are also likely exhausted
  • And the list goes on…

We can actually turn to neuroscience to help us understand why we all feel so exhausted.

According to Dr. David Eagleman, a neuroscientist, author, and professor at Stanford University, our brain can actually get tired!

In a recent interview with Dr. Eagelman, he said that all the challenges we have faced since 2020 have actually worn us out. He explains that the brain uses glucose carried from our blood as fuel or gasoline.   

If you do something that requires a lot of mental exertion, the gas tank in your brain gets low.

All this thinking, wondering, processing, analyzing, spinning, adjusting, changing, and re-working burns a lot of energy.

No wonder we are all exhausted.

I must admit: hearing Dr. Eagleman made me feel so much better. 

I now understand why this exhaustion is so prevalent. 

There is nothing wrong with any of us for feeling so tired. 

It’s a normal reaction to our hectic, fast-paced lives.

So, now that you understand it, what can you do about it?

Here are three ways to avoid burnout:

  • Refuel your brain. This requires rest. You need lots of guilt-free, work-free, unapologetic rest! This includes a vacation or two every year.
  • Name it. It has been a wild, uncertain, and challenging time for all of us. We are feeling physically and mentally tired. This is normal under the circumstances. You are not alone. 
  • Put things into perspective. This discomfort is temporary. You can refuel your brain by caring for yourself, eating well, exercising, sleeping, laughing, participating in activities you enjoy, relaxing, resting, and taking vacations. 

Let’s learn from neuroscience as we head into the glorious summer months ahead!

Shall we make refueling our #1 priority over the next few months?

It’s certainly top of my list!

Vanessa Judelman

Vanessa Judelman is an author, coach, and sought-after leadership expert. Over the past 20 years, she has created a proven formula to develop results-oriented leaders who feel empowered and confident in their job. Vanessa is the author of Mastering Leadership: What It Takes to Lead in Today’s Fast-Paced World. Order your copy here.

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