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How To Prevent Burnout And Live Life In Harmony With Dr. Sandra Lewis

 

Burnout has been a buzzword in workplaces in recent years. But burnout goes deeper than just exhaustion and disengagement with work. Dr. Sandra Lewis is here to talk about burnout, what it means, and how to prevent it. She is a personal energy strategist who combines research-based strategies with ancient wisdom and turns them into practical strategies we can apply to sustain us in our daily lives. In this episode, she goes in-depth about each individual’s deeper motivations and how to access them. Burnout doesn’t just affect our work; it also impacts our lives. Join host Rosie Zilinskas in this discussion with Sandra and learn about key strategies for burnout prevention and more practical wisdom with insights from her book, Life in 4-Part Harmony: Get Everything in Your Life to Work with Everything Else in Your Life.

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How To Prevent Burnout And Live Life In Harmony With Dr. Sandra Lewis

In this episode, we’re talking about burnout. First, we’re going to talk about how you identify that you’re experiencing burnout, and second, what to do about burnout once you’ve identified it. I invited Dr. Sandra Lewis to help us go through these burnout topics. Let me tell you a little bit about Dr. Sandra.

 

She is a Personal Energy Strategist, connecting women with resources to refill and make the journey from burnout to sustainable leadership and impact that brings them fulfillment. As a Clinical Psychologist, Yoga Nidra Teacher, and Qigong Practitioner, Dr. Sandra has a unique ability to blend research and ancient wisdom into practical strategies. She is the author of Life in 4-Part Harmony: Get Everything in Your Life to Work With Everything Else in Your Life. Stay tuned for this conversation about burnout with Dr. Sandra.

Dr. Sandra, thank you so much for being here. I appreciate your time. I know that you’re a Personal Energy Strategist. I was wondering if you could explain to our audience what a personal energy strategist does.

 

I am a clinical psychologist. I have been working with professionals around stress management for a large part of my career. One of the things I know that happens is that, as professionals, we can push ourselves to the point of exhaustion that we have nothing left to give. We can’t access our inner resources. Energy is one of our prime resources. It’s not just physical energy but mental, emotional, and spiritual energy. When we can nurture these four types of energy in us all the time, we can stay more impactful. We can stay more aligned with what drives us in our work. We can pull from the inside. We can live from this deeper part of us that has this wisdom.

 

Personal energy strategist for me allows me to combine part of myself as a psychologist who understands how people can become emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually drained, like lacking in fulfillment, with this part of me that understands yoga, Chinese medicine, and mindfulness. I can combine these more research evidence-based strategies with this ancient wisdom into practical things that people can do to sustain their leadership and impact and help them make these key decisions that will help them move to that next level or expand in that next way they want to expand. It’s about creating these strategies that are practical, simple, and easy to do but have a big impact.

 

This is a perfect conversation because we’re talking about empowering women to continue to advance in their corporate careers. There’s a lot of burnout in the corporate world. People have been leaving. The work has to be picked up and done by those that are left behind, so we need these tools. Your focus is on burnout. How do you help these leaders that are purpose-driven? Tell me a little bit about how to combat this burnout.

 

Let’s talk about what burnout is. If we go to the most well-known research around burnout, we’ll find out that there are three elements, and even the World Health Organization endorses these three aspects of burnout. One is this exhaustion that we talk about as being both physical and emotional exhaustion. There is a cynicism, disconnection, or disengagement that happened, and this difficulty in being productive and a lack of fulfillment. When I think about those things, there are different types of exhaustion. There’s the emotional exhaustion we see when people don’t have anything to give to their work anymore. They’ve overdone. They’ve given so much.

We can push ourselves to the point of exhaustion that we have nothing left to give. – Dr. Sandra Lewis Share on X

Sometimes they haven’t been rewarded in the settings that they’re in. Sometimes they say yes too many times and are overwhelmed, and they start to get doubtful. Once you hit that overwhelming spot, all of this knowledge and skill you have feels like you can’t access it, so now you’re doubting yourself. There goes the mental exhaustion because your mind is on how you are going to mess up, one step away from making the biggest mistake ever and feeling like an impostor. Those things start to happen. You are not fulfilled in your job. It’s like, “I love this job. I used to love this thing I do, and I don’t love it anymore.” That’s spiritual exhaustion. When we see that in people what burnout is, we can say, “It doesn’t happen all at once.”

 

The first thing you want to begin to help people to know is how to recognize it, so you teach peers what burnout looks like. What are these small things we’re doing along the way that eventually we might reach this point where we feel so depleted and can’t even go to work anymore? Those of us who are burnout coaches who do burnout prevention and burnout recovery do this work, many of us have been through burnout. We know that place where anything that looks like getting close to your job feels like, “I can’t do it anymore.” That’s when you reach that edge where it takes some time to come back. You got to give yourself some time to recover.

 

Along the way, if we can learn something about stress, and stress as a process, we can start to think about, “What are the resources I need to help me thrive in my life every day?” One of those is energy. Others could be support from supervisors, your family, and work environments that are more conducive to you being at your best. This is how we start. We start by saying what burnout is. We start by saying, “Here’s what it looks like when it gets to that point where it’s difficult to come back. It takes a lot of time to come back and heal. Here’s what we can see along the way.” If we can start to notice that in ourselves, we don’t have to go all the way down the rabbit hole and have to try to climb out.

 

You said energy. When you say energy, what are you referring to as far as people using the energy? People say, “I don’t have the energy to work out.” Is that the energy that we’re talking about here with burnout?

 

We’re talking about energy. We’re talking about physical exhaustion, that you’re physically too tired to move. That’s what people are talking about oftentimes. It was like, “I can’t work out,” but they’re not only always talking about that. When you’re physically exhausted, you can take a nap and feel refreshed. When you’re emotionally, mentally, and spiritually exhausted, naps do not change that. When we reach this point where we’re emotionally exhausted, the workout doesn’t feel good to us. It’s not inviting anymore. We don’t even know why we want to do it. We’re mentally exhausted.

NWB 27 | Burnout
Burnout: When you’re just physically exhausted, you can take a nap and then you’ll feel refreshed. But when you’re emotionally and mentally and spiritually exhausted, naps do not change that.

 

Our mind is going in eight different directions. Because it’s going in eight different directions, we can’t grab onto any ability to focus or be creative. When we have the mental energy, our creativity is on. That’s when somebody comes into your office and says, “I’m stuck on this thing. I’m trying to figure this out.” You say, “How about this?” You feel that mental vitality when you’re at work and feel a little upset by something, but you’re able to process it. You’re able to say, “I can handle this. I can move through this.”

 

That’s how the stress cycle is supposed to work. If we get stuck and feel like, “I do not have the resources to manage what’s going on,” that emotional and mental exhaustion and turmoil can spiral into something that feels even more intense and more difficult to manage, particularly if we don’t see resources to help us get through a situation. The exhaustion of, “I don’t feel like working out,” if you are simply too tired, you can take a nap, get up, and work out. If you are emotionally, mentally, and spiritually exhausted, that’s not going to go away by the nap.

 

You said something about making sure that you have the right resources. When we’re talking about women in the corporate world, what are the resources that a woman can tap into? You can ask a buddy or a friend, “Can you help me with this? I’m stuck,” and they give you an idea, and you get unstuck. What other resources can people get to so they can continue to figure out that they are in burnout?

 

If we’re talking about resources, I like to think about it in a multilayered way. There’s the individual, our own inner resources, and what we can access within us, and then there are our families and people around us who might be support systems. There are peers and supervisors in our workplace. There may even be community pieces that happen around us. We could have professional organizations that are useful to us as well. We can keep building out these layers that are full of different resources and challenges. Let’s talk about this individual level first. We got a person who’s great at their job.

 

These are my typical clients. They’re great at their job. Not only are they great at their job, but they’re also great at a lot of other things in life. They excel at some creative things. They’re active in their communities or their profession or professional organization, but they’ve grown up with the idea that they have to be the ones to solve the problems. They tend to take on too much. You put them in an organization that tends to be too demanding, asks for too much, and doesn’t reward people the way they should, or there’s a lack of fairness in the organization.

There are some pieces that organizations have to work on also in order to change burnout. – Dr. Sandra Lewis Share on X

In the last couple of years, with people leaving the corporate world, a lot of women have felt more burdened because now they got this extra work. If we got this person who has extra work because of the shifting in the pandemic and grew up being the people-pleaser or problem-solver, the one who’s always attending to the details, the one who wears busy like a badge. We mix all that together, and we’re stirring up the pot to get to this place we call burnout.

 

We have to be aware of what is operating in us that can lead us to that place where we feel like we’re taking on too much. We’re not allowing work to give back to us. We’re giving out a lot, but we’re not taking a lot in, and what’s happening in our work environment that could be shifted that would help us. It’s work environments that have paid leaves and flexible work schedules, where people feel fair. There’s fairness.

 

Women often feel like they don’t excel as much as men in some of the industries. There’s this sense that, “I’m doing all the things I’m supposed to do, but when people look at me, the people who make the decisions, they are not looking at me as though I’m the person who would fit this job or promotion.” There are some pieces that organizations have to work on also in order to change burnout.

 

It’s not just having employee wellness programs. You have to create a different environment where people work, one that says, “We are fair to everybody. We want everybody to excel.” When people come to work, enjoy what they’re doing, and are giving, the company is thriving, and the company then says, “I want to invest in you.” Right now, we have this reciprocity between a person and the environment. When you have that reciprocity between the person and the environment, even when you hit a hitch or a challenge, there’s going to be a way to navigate it, where each is willing to support the other.

 

A lot of times, people say, and these are general statements, that the company gives back to you in the form of your paycheck, but that’s not necessarily the only thing that the employees should expect. We should expect support. We should expect that when you’re stuck or have too much work, say something and talk to your supervisor so that they can try to allocate some other resources.

NWB 27 | Burnout
Burnout: When you have that kind of reciprocity between the person and the environment, even when you hit a hitch, there’s going to be a way to navigate it where each is willing to support the other.

 

The other thing that comes to mind is that the Gallup World Poll does a poll every year. It’s now gotten worse than before, when 70% of people were not engaged in the work. Now, it’s up to 80%. That’s so many unhappy people. Before our conversation, I was thinking, “They may not be in the right job.” To your point earlier, you said, “They used to love their job, and now they don’t so much.” I’m almost thinking that people are in this burnout phase and are not recognizing it. Would you say?

 

That could be the case. To your point about this low engagement, there’s this book Are You Fully Charged?. Tom Rath writes about this. He works a lot with Gallup polls. One of the studies he reported was that 11% of people said they felt fully engaged in their jobs. He said that there are at least two things that make a difference in your ability to be engaged at work. One is your energy. Are you taking care of your energy resources? Are you nurturing yourself in a way that allows you to bring your energy to it?

 

The other is a sense of mission and purpose. All of those things relate to burnout. Burnout is this physical and emotional exhaustion. It is also this sense that you lost the fire for what you’re doing. We want to be mindful of that every day. As a person who believes in these different types of energy, physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual, I would have you to every day attend to the body, mind, emotions, and spirit. You’re tuning in. You learn how to use your emotions to guide you.

 

When you start to notice this in yourself like, “I’m not in love with my work anymore. Wait a minute. Something’s going on here,” that feeling is a good thing because it’s a signal to you that something needs your attention. Oftentimes when we feel that, we say to ourselves, “I can’t go off my job because I have my kids in college. I have this going on. I have that going on. I have my mother to take care of. I’m just going to have to suck it up. I always deal with this thing.” If we go that route, we push ourselves to burn out because we don’t listen to our emotions.

 

That’s going to emotionally exhaust us because of not processing the emotion that’s going on. We’ll be emotionally exhausted, for sure. If we listen to that, we might begin to see small ways we can make shifts, even in organizations where there are challenges. Sometimes people can do small things like, “Thirty minutes a week, I’m going to work on a project that lights my heart.” You could be in a fairly demanding job, but let’s say you and a colleague work out this deal, “You cover for me ten minutes now so I can work on this project for 10 or 15 minutes. I’ll cover for you 10 or 15 minutes tomorrow.”

We have to be aware of what is operating in us that can lead us to that place where we feel like we're taking on too much. – Dr. Sandra Lewis Share on X

During the week, you give each other these 15 to 20 minutes slots where you help each other out and get to do a thing that lights your heart related to your work. It could be that you’ve seen some little shift that could be made, and you want to write a little proposal and eventually share it with your higher-ups and managers. You could take fifteen minutes a day to put your mind into that because that begins to help you feel that relationship with your work again. Eventually, if there are real problems in any organization, the management has to attend to them.

 

It’s incredible that as little as fifteen minutes can make a difference in that shift where you’re like, “I like to work on this.” If you write the proposal and your manager likes it, maybe they’ll give you 30 minutes or an hour to work on it a week. That’s great. What are some actual things that people can do other than what we talked about to refuel themselves?

 

I’m thinking more spiritually. As we all know, if your spirit is not in into the job, if you’re not feeling like this is the place that you want to be, you’re already depleted. What are some things that someone, specifically women in corporate, trying to advance in their careers and can’t leave work because they have family, loved ones, or whoever at home they’re taking care of? Let’s talk a little bit about that.

 

The first thing is to say why the work matters to you. I could be a teacher, an insurance broker, or a financial advisor, but why am I doing that work? Let’s think about that for a moment. A person who believes in helping people maximize their resources could end up working in the finance industry. A person who believes in helping people have big ideas or manifest big ideas could end up doing something in the tech industry. It’s when we know what it is about this work that makes us feels we’re thriving. It’s because, in us, we have a commitment to innovation or teaching people how to use their resources.

 

That’s our deep wisdom. That’s our spirit. The thing that feeds us is helping and doing that thing in the world. We will probably do it in our family. I’m the person in my family who helps people see how they can do something, even when they don’t believe they can. I can see. I can believe in you. If I let you know how much I believe in you, I know that somehow you’re going to start to find that and shift. I do that with my family. I do that with my clients.

NWB 27 | Burnout
Life in 4-Part Harmony: Get Everything in Your Life to Work with Everything Else in Your Life

If we know the thing that fills us up and start to see how that thing is taking action in different places, we can start to notice, “How can I get more of this feeling at work?” It’s because the work is more of an opportunity for us to express something as deeper in us. That’s where the spiritual piece comes in. How do we access that? You asked me a moment ago, “How do you do this recovery piece? How do you do this part where you’re recharging yourself?” This recharging, particularly deep rest practices, there’s a bunch of research on this now. I don’t remember the researcher’s name now.

 

Deep rest practices like Yoga Nidra and even self-hypnosis are the practices that allow us to get deep in ourselves into our inner wisdom to renew our bodies and our nervous system and access that creativity, access that part of us that knows, “This is why I do what I do. I’m doing it at this or that company, but this work comes from a deep place in me.” That’s a spiritual energy part that we feel connected to something in ourselves. That allows us to connect to other people in the world to connect to this company mission and to people who are impacted by this company mission. That is where we get the fuel that keeps us from getting to that burnout symptom, which is about being unfulfilled and unproductive.

 

You wrote a book. This is a Life in 4-Part Harmony: Get Everything in Your Life to Work With Everything Else in Your Life. This is dedicated to high-achieving women, which is perfect for our show here. When it comes to putting an end that leaves them drained emotionally and physically exhausted, what do they do to try to combat that feeling of draining? We’ve already been talking about it, but tell me a little bit about that.

 

In this book, my goal was to give people a value-based strategy. Those are four simple strategies to guide them to build physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual energy. Those strategies are accessing this inner wisdom that we have and the way our bodies talk to us. One of the things I know about people is that when we get burned out and start turning off to listening to our emotional signals, we lose this body wisdom, this emotional wisdom. When we don’t access that, we’re much more likely to burn out. Wisdom is one of the strategies.

Rhythm is another one. We can talk about rhythm from a perspective of everything your mother taught you as a kid, “Get your stuff together at night. Do this and that.” It’s putting an order to things that allow you to feel your own flow in the world. That’s not just the physical do everything. It’s also beginning to notice the order of the way your thoughts and emotions connect to each other. If you have this thought, this usually leads you down this path where you feel more stressed. If you begin to shift your thoughts, you start to move into a different emotional space. There’s the rhythm of your thoughts and emotions as well.

See why the work matters to you. – Dr. Sandra Lewis Share on X

Flexibility is the other strategy. All of these are based on how we use these principles and strategies to help us build energy so we can thrive. Flexibility is about noticing how and where you’re using your resources. Some people say, “I’m so much fresher in the morning.” The morning is the best time for you to do your work that requires a lot of attention. I’m also a college professor. If we ever have afternoon meetings, like 3:00 in the afternoon, that’s not my time.

 

I’m an early riser. I tend to like that early part of the day, but in the afternoon, I’m like, “We’ll do a little bit more to closing now, slower things, and getting toward the evening. We have dinner.” We’re shutting down. If I have to do that, then I know that I need something else to give me a little bit of a boost. I need to take some time and recover, maybe a Qigong and meditation practice. Flexibility is about understanding your resources. How do you use your resources? How do you maximize them?

 

The last principle is connection. The connection has to do with our ability to connect within ourselves and allow ourselves to receive. One of the things I’ve learned about women is that we’re socialized to be givers oftentimes. We’re socialized to give. We give a lot. There’s this quote from A Course in Miracles that says, “In truth, giving and receiving are one.”

 

If we recognize that, “I gave something. Now I need to notice what’s coming back to me.” I did this for my child. I did this for my parent. I have a mom who’s in her 80s. Both my brother and I take care of her. We do lots of things for her. I’m thrilled to receive her gratitude because I get caught up and like, “There’s a lot of stuff to do. I have to make sure I take care of this for mom. I have to make sure I do this for the students. I have to make sure I do this for the clients.”

 

I can make it all have to’s and feel pressured by it. If I can step back and say, “I get to do this,” that’s a shift some people talk about, and I also get to notice what comes back to me. It’s the smile in her heart. It’s my ability to see who she is as a person when I do something for her and the way she gives back to me. That makes a big difference in me being able to fulfill the responsibilities that feel right to me. This connection principle helps us to free ourselves in a way that we can access the good that comes back to us when we are in this giving. We can do that even with our workouts because our workout and eating our vegetables can become like a checklist.

NWB 27 | Burnout
Burnout: This connection principle is recognizing how we connect to the world in such a way that we can sustain ourselves.

 

I had a friend when I was younger who loved basketball so much as a child that when it snowed, he would shovel the snow off the basketball court so that he could play. He was willing to give it that. We might come to love a meditation practice, Tai Chi practice, or walking practice so much that we’re willing to be a part of it. If we like to walk on a certain trail, we might like to be a part of the cleanup group that makes sure that the trails around the area are clean. It’s because that trail gives to us, so we give something back to it.

 

This connection principle is about connecting to people. It’s also recognizing how we connect to the world in such a way that we can sustain ourselves, that we can see as we give out and take from the world, we can also get back from that. There’s a relationship between us and what’s around us. The book has those four principles spelled out and how to use those four principles to elevate your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual energy.

 

That’s fantastic. It’s wisdom, rhythm, flexibility, and connection. Those are the four components. Could you give an example or a story of one of your clients that used these four principles and how it impacted their lives?

 

I’ll tell you the one thing that makes me so excited. Usually, in the first three months or so, clients are depleted and burned out. We have to get them to a place where they have started to get a rhythm. They’ve got something that gets them into a rhythm. What I love is that by the time we get to the end, when we’re talking about this spiritual wisdom piece, this piece of, “What is my purpose in the world? What is this thing in me that can show up in every part of my life?”

 

Once they get clarity around that statement, I’ll watch them use this to negotiate promotions, explain who they are to their higher-ups, and say, “This is how I see my work. This is how I see it shining through my work.” I’ve watched them be able to use that to say, “I hit a rough spot now. Let me think about what’s the essence of who I am and how I begin to use that to help me move through this rough spot.” What I love about gathering this information over the course of working with clients is that they then own it. They do what I call living from the inside out.

Flexibility is about understanding your resources. – Dr. Sandra Lewis Share on X

When you live from the inside out and know deep inside who you are, you can access that. You get to access your internal wisdom and use that wisdom to build your physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual energy. These are clients who are oftentimes very competent but might have felt like having difficulty saying what they needed and wanted in their work and how they wanted it to move. Once they have that sense of who they are at the deepest level, they become like the cog that guides the wheel.

 

That’s awesome. You said that people get to know their worth. It’s interesting because I talked to another woman from Innovation Women. She had pointed it out to me because I keep telling people, “You have to articulate your worth with massive confidence and conviction.” She told me exactly what you said. She said, “You don’t have to. You get to because it’s a privilege and an honor for you to be able to know the essence of yourself and share that with your manager so that they, in turn, know the contributions that you’re giving to the work so that you can eventually get promoted into something that fulfills you.”

 

It’s saying, “Who I am in my authentic self matters to this work,” and when you can stand and be confident in that. The other side of the person who wants to be the people-pleaser may say things they think people want to hear, but then the person doesn’t know them. They know who they think they want them to be. They got a version of them that’s not who they are. When you stand in your value, you’re able to say that with your confidence in a way that you honor where the other person is and where you are. There is much more room for expansion and mixing your talents with the organization or your manager so you can build.

 

Part of what you mentioned about your book is for women to recover and reignite their motivation and creativity in their careers. I liked that because when you are able to recognize that burnout and tap into these four principles, the wisdom, rhythm, flexibility, and connection, that opens you up to be able to reignite that motivation and tap into your creativity, that 10 to 15 minutes of that passion project so you can continue to move forward in your career. A lot of us have many years to go still before we retire. Give me a little bit of an example of how you recover and reignite the motivation.

 

That can vary from one person to another. I like to start by getting people to look at what they are doing every day. What is your day filled with? At the end of the day, if you were to look back on that list of things, which of those things left you feeling energized? Which ones left you feeling like you never want to do that thing again? Which ones might have left you feeling neutral? It’s a simple activity you can begin to do to see how you can shift it. Let’s make an example. You may be doing a job. You’re having to go to the office every day in order to do a certain job. What you realize is that it’s the commute that’s draining you.

NWB 27 | Burnout
Burnout: Treat your emotions and your body sensations as signals to really help guide you through stress management.

 

When you get to work, you don’t have anything to give. If you were to negotiate and say, “Allow me these days that I have to take care of this task. If you could allow me to do this from home, I can shift the energy.” You add some remote work so that you have more access to energy. Here’s the other part of this recovery piece. I always say, “The first thing you do in the morning, your first two minutes belong to you.” Nobody knows you’re awake except you. I don’t even care if you’re in a bed with someone.

 

You’re the first person to know you’re awake. The first two minutes of your day are just about you simply saying who you are to yourself and remembering who you are. Start your day there. We’re already now plugging into what I call the power of you. This wonder and purpose are only yours. There’s that. In the morning, that’s my time to gather energy usually. I like doing my workouts, my things, my physical workout, and my spiritual workout in the morning. Mid-day, mid-morning, or mid-afternoon, we need at least 1 to 2 check-ins during the day because we can get out of the desk and get into something and not get up.

 

Here’s one of the things I learned from reading someone’s research. It was Tom Rath who reported this research. If we sit for extended periods of time, we tend to make bad cholesterol. About every 50 minutes or so, we need to stand up and move around. I like to do fun things. Particularly during a pandemic, we were stuck in the house. I like hula-hoops. I have a hula-hoop. I keep it across from me. If you got a project and you know it’s going to be a long, like a two-hour project, set a timer, like 45 minutes to get yourself up, hula-hoop, move around, have a five-minute dance party, then go back. Your body has to move.

 

Stagnation creates all kinds of challenges in our bodies. Those are the check-ins during the day. At night, we have to have a shutdown process. I still talk to people who have their television on at night as they’re laying in bed. My goal is to always get myself to sleep by 10:30. One of my friends said to me, “I could go to bed at 10:30, but I don’t think I’ll go to sleep.” I said, “Why is that?” She said, “Because of the TV.” I said, “You can’t go to bed because your nervous system is all around.” In the evening, you want to have a shutdown process. For some people, particularly during a pandemic, when people couldn’t set boundaries between work and home, they were overworking a lot of times.

 

That might mean you have to close your computer down, put it in a box, put it in a closet, and put it away. There are some people who do things like at a certain time at night, the internet in their house goes off. There is no more internet. There is no more TV. There’s no access to anything. Everybody is in a quiet space. Some people like to read. That slows them down. You want to have a slowing down process because we were on all the time, particularly now that we have all these devices that signal and call us. You want to have an evening time. The strategy for being able to renew yourself and recover is to have these times throughout the day that are your strategic times for recovery.

Everybody's life is different. You don't have to hit the milestones at the same time. You can actually create new milestones for yourself. – Dr. Sandra Lewis Share on X

That’s all great advice. I have an Apple Watch. Every 50 minutes, it buzzes. I try to make sure to get up and do something, even if I walk around my living room. I also have a timer at 2:00 PM, where I have a desk that I raise up. I stand for the last 2 or 3 hours of the day. I work standing up because it’s good for my legs. They say sitting is the new smoking. I need to make sure that I move my body. For me, I need to work out first thing in the morning because I’ve proven to myself 1 million times that if it doesn’t happen first thing in the morning, more than likely, it’s not going to happen.

 

I also try to be protective of my time in the morning. I either do meditation, a journal, or something before I turn my computer on. It’s because it’s like, “I’m going to check this one email,” I get sucked in, and there goes my protected time. I like that. I’m going to ask you one more thing, and we can go into the two tips. It’s doing work from the inside out. We already talked a lot about different tools that you can do. What does that mean when you’re doing work from the inside out? What is it that you’re getting there?

 

We can set a lot of strategies. I have my morning routine. I have these check-in times. I have these ways of noticing when I’m pushing too hard. I have little things I do that say, “Take a break. Come back into the center.” Looking from the inside out is when those things we’ve set up like, “These are going be my strategies,” feel like second nature to us.

 

It feels like, “This is how I operate in the world. This is how I live.” We’re not doing a thing to get through life. We are building a life that we love living. All these strategies are about that feeling we want to have about how we’re greeting every moment in our life like, “Is this a place I’m loving living? Am I in love with where I am? Am I noticing the love, and my feeling of love? Is life giving love back to me?”

 

That’s what I mean when I say living from the inside out. I’ve had clients talk to me about, “Other people who’ve been in this industry for this amount of time are here and here, and I’m not there yet.” They’re in this comparison trap. Everybody’s life is different. You don’t have to hit the “milestones” at the same time. You can create new milestones for yourself. What has to happen is that you have to honor what’s going on inside of you. How and what you’re doing resonates with who you feel yourself to be in the world.

 

I liked the way you explained working from the inside out. That was a perfect explanation. Before we go into the two tips, there is a gift that you have for our readers, which is very important. It’s, Exhausted to Energized: 6 Simple Strategies For BIG Relief. Tell me 2 or 3 things about your free gift.

 

One thing is you get to figure out your little burnout traps, the things that might be getting you stuck, and leading you into burnout. You get these six simple strategies you can do to help you stay out of that trap and help you begin to renavigate. Always know that if you are so far down, having trouble, and keep feeling yourself losing grip, always reach out for help.

 

This is the connection principle. Recognize that there are resources around you. There are people to support you. Always reach out. We need you whole. We need you to do this work that only you can do. Reach out because somebody is going to believe in you. We want you to keep believing in yourself and stay energized to sustain yourself to do the work you feel called to do.

 

That’s awesome. Dr. Sandra, let’s end with two tips. You’ve given us a bunch of tips already. If we can summarize two tips that you can provide for women in corporate in regards to how to avoid burnout.

 

The one thing is to make rest and recovery a way of life that you give yourself some time for rest and recovery. The second tip is to treat your emotions and your body sensations as signals to help guide you through stress management. Know that there’s a wisdom in you that’s born in you as what we as human beings can do, so your emotions and bodily sensations are all signaling you. They’re letting you know when it’s time to ease up, when it’s time to go, and when there’s something you need. Pay attention to the signals.

 

Those are great because so often, your body is talking to you, and you ignore it. If there’s an ache, pain, or something taking up head space in your brain, those are all signals. If you don’t pay attention to them, that’s when you run the risk of getting into that burnout. I liked your first one, too, rest and recovery. It’s so important for us to have rest and recovery emotionally and spiritually. Every part of you has to be renewed every so often so that you can keep giving back to your organization. Those are great tips. Dr. Sandra, thank you so much for spending the time with us. Any final words that you have for our audience here?

 

I want to say thank you for having me, Rosie. Thank you for doing what you’re doing because the more women feel that there’s someone out there who understands them and supports them, the more we help women feel supported enough to excel and lead the way they feel they want to lead. Thank you for that.

 

Thank you for your time. This was a lovely conversation, Dr. Sandra. Thank you, and I will talk to you later.

I hope you picked up some good tips from Dr. Sandra on what burnout is, how to identify it, and what to do about it. Dr. Sandra is also providing us with a free gift. Her free gift is called Exhausted to Energized: 6 Simple Strategies For BIG Relief. To recap, here are Dr. Sandra’s two tips. 1) She says, “Rest and recovery. That is crucial.” 2) She says, “Treat your emotions and body sensations as signals. They’re trying to tell you something.”

 

Those are Dr. Sandra’s two tips. I hope that you enjoyed the episode with Dr. Sandra. If you have any topics or anything you want me to cover in the future, please send me an IM. Contact me via email. All of my contact information is on NoWomanLeftBehind.com. The last thing, remember to be brave, be bold, and take action.

 

 

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About Dr. Sandra Lewis

NWB 27 | BurnoutDr. Sandra Lewis is a Personal Energy Strategist connecting women with resources to re-fuel & make the journey from burnout to sustainable leadership & impact that brings them fulfillment. As a clinical psychologist, Yoga Nidra teacher and Qigong practitioner, Dr. Sandra has a unique ability to blend research and ancient wisdom into practical strategies. She is author of ‘Life in 4-Part Harmony ~ Get Everything in Your Life to Work with Everything Else in Your Life’.