Burnout and Hope in Regenerative Systems

In the nearly two years since COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic, most people have become familiar with “burnout.” As defined in “Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle” by Emily and Amelia Nagoski, burnout is the state of being overwhelmed and exhausted by what’s expected of us and feeling that our effort is never enough.

Our Regenerative Leadership Community recently discussed the book, the nuances of stress and burnout in our own lives, and our efforts to find active hope again. Women, the book explains, navigate additional stressors in a patriarchal society. Those who work in sustainability and are keenly aware of climate change often question whether their professional and personal efforts are enough. Tack on the pandemic, and we are juggling multiple urgent, intangible, and unknown stressors at the same time. That’s a recipe for burnout.

The good news is that there are ways to meaningfully manage stress, the most obvious being the proven effects of physical exercise. Our Regenerative Leadership Community members shared our own solutions in our most recent call, and many agreed that reframing how we think about our own agency is key.

For example, it’s helpful to focus on what we have changed and have accomplished as opposed to what isn’t changing and what we didn’t get done. We can similarly reframe our mindset by getting to a new environment — going on a trip, to a park or gym, on a walk — and attempting to be present there until we regain our perspective and connections.

Our Regenerative Leadership Community meets virtually each month to access deep insights on personal growth and development, and you are welcome to join us! Meetings include a mix of expert presentation and interactive, enlightening discussion. Please visit the Regenerative Leadership Community page to watch past conversations and sign up for future events.

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