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Transcend The Hustle

Why Self-Care and Resilience Don’t Work While Burning Out

The Burnout Clinic TBC
The Burnout Clinic TBCPublished on May 19, 2022

And how it hurts and slows down your recovery

Key Points:

  • Hustle culture and burnout habits eventually outmatch resilience 
  • Address the root causes of burnout and stop energy draining habits 
  • Self care and resilience practice is great as a maintenance and prevention practice 

Have you ever been knocked down so many times, drained and exhausted - only to get words of encouragement to better self care, develop character and be more resilient?

It’s like being told to stretch before your workout as you're cramping out, or to tread harder as you’re drowning.

While it’s rarely done with any bad intent, it usually is expressed with misplaced good intentions.

The key trait behind resilience helps us develop the capability to recover quickly from stressful injuries and situations.  To support us in moments of trauma, stressors and challenges in life.

What makes developing resilience such a popular practice is because it can help us maintain our mental health despite exposure to mental or physical adversity.

Don’t we like to hear how great it is to have the ability to quickly bounce back when life (or your workplace) hits you hard?

Now that assumes that work and life need to be hard, and if you’re burning it, chances are it’s grinding you down.

In theory, it suggests we can just adapt to challenging life experiences with mental, emotional and behavioral flexibility.

However, resilience isn’t the key to ending burnout.  

Eventually we’ll be outmatched by our hustle culture of unsustainable fast-paced profit demands, over consumption, hyper-growth, endless distractions and the nearly instantaneous alerts and information from technology.

What drives burnout is an unhealthy and unsustainable human-made condition.  How we experience burnout falls under many these factors:

  • + Fatigue and Exhaustion 

  • + Chronic worry and anxiety 

  • + Rampant cynicism 

  • + Loss of passion, focus and productivity 

  • + Crisis of identity and depression

If you don’t address the root causes behind your burnout, it condemns you to live a life where you’re always being mentally and emotionally stressed and injured - and that’s where many of us fall short and ignore.

With the right choices, work and life doesn’t have to be a burden and there are strategies you can use to re-orientate yourself as you liberate mental and emotional resources from your recovery process.

Dealing with burnout is both a systemic challenge and an individual one.

When you’re burning out, it also implies that your life is riddled with obstacles. Constant firefighting. Always on. Problem, reaction, solution in the mode of survival and hyper-vigilance.

It constantly floods you with stress hormones and ultimately gets you physically prone to illnesses. In short, for you to flourish, you aren’t designed to operate like a machine or survive well in mentally and emotionally toxic environments.

So it’s not more resilience that you need. That’s because chances are you’re not having a one-off streak of stressful and bad days.

It’s the realization that a good chunk of your underlying circumstances, driven by chronic thoughts, feelings and behaviors are predominantly and chronically energy draining. Sometimes it’s not even with many things - just a select few that throws off the entire balance.

“I’m mentally and physically drained, exhausted, and deeply unhappy.  I played the game and it sucked me dry.  Spending my time off for self care so I can cope with my work.  Now I want a life of community, gardening, bicycling, reading, music and other quiet endeavors.  I’m fed up and this realization has come at a high cost.” - Robert W

The breakthrough is: Taking responsibility for it, even if you believe it isn’t your fault, using an effective burnout recovery strategy to self regulate and achieve outcomes without the chronic stress.

#HustleandFlow #TranscendtheHustle

At the Burnout Clinic we define burnout as expending more energy than you recover, as a habit.  Primarily driven by unconscious behavioral patterns.

By addressing the root causes of burnout means making clear decisions to stop coping with an unhealthy career and lifestyle.

We help you clear the underlying driving beliefs that lock you in burnout, release suppressed emotions and resolve your inner conflicts so you can easily move forward with a new outlook and grace in your career and life.

Otherwise, self care practices and being more resilient not only turns into an intellectual exercise, it turns into a coping strategy with diminishing returns.

So the next time you ask yourself if you’re doing your self care such as:

  • + Going for a walk

  • + Getting sun and fresh air

  • + A spa pampering day or nice hot Epson salt bath

  • + Journaling. Meditation. Breathwork.

  • + Booking a vacation

The food-for-thought question is:

Are you doing it as a regular wellbeing maintenance activity, or are doing it because you’re stressed out?


Written by: Duncan So, C.Ht, MMER, MNLP

Co-Founder & Executive Director at The Burnout Clinic

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