The problem with holistic, all-consuming burnout is that there’s no solution to it. You can’t optimize it to make it end faster. You can’t see it coming like a cold and start taking the burnout-prevention version of Airborne. The best way to treat it is to first acknowledge it for what it is — not a passing ailment, but a chronic disease — and to understand its roots and its parameters. That’s why people I talked to felt such relief reading the “mental load” cartoon, and why reading Harris’s book felt so cathartic for me: They don’t excuse why we behave and feel the way we do. They just describe those feelings and behaviors — and the larger systems of capitalism and patriarchy that contribute to them — accurately.
~ Anne Helen Petersen
I was startled (or perhaps proud?) to notice this seems to be the first thing I’ve ever linked to on Buzzfeed. I was also startled to realize this article makes a lot of great points about burnout.
It doesn’t have any suggestions about how to recover. But it does point out the key observation that you cannot optimize your way out of burnout.
Been there. Done that. Am there. Doing that.