Hello, everyone. Welcome to Preventing & Overcoming Burnout. This is a topic in the 2023 Deer Oaks Stress Management Webinar Series. My name is Greg Brannan from Deer Oaks. Good to be with you.

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I want to begin talking about the causes of burnout. But I want to define burnout as a jumping off place today. I want to define burnout utilizing the World Health Organization's definition.

They call burnout a syndrome. Not necessarily a diagnosis, but a syndrome that occurs when people are under chronic stress. So that's ongoing stress for a significant period of time, and it's not being well managed. So again, the World Health Organization says burnout is a syndrome that occurs when people have had ongoing stress in their lives and it's not being adequately managed. I think that that's a really good definition of burnout.

Now, burnout does look different in different people. I think the World Health Organization calling it a syndrome speaks to the fact that different people may experience the symptoms of burnout differently. And so we're going to talk about that here today.

But I want to start with the causes of burnout. We call this presentation Preventing & Overcoming Burnout. There are some things we can do, since one of the driving factors that causes burnout is chronic stress. There are some things that we can do day-to-day to better manage our stress, better keep our lives in balance so that we can potentially prevent burnout from occurring in our lives. We're going to talk a lot about that today.

So let me go through the causes of burnout. So the first cause is right in line with what the World Health Organization recognizes, that when people are under a lot of stress for a long period of time. And that can be due to a lot of different factors.

It can be due to a heavy workload. It can be just that you've just got too much going on in your life day-to-day. It can be because your pace of life isn't healthy. Where you're feeling like you're running around all the time, there's not enough hours in the day, and you're a flurry of activity. Yet you get to the end of the day, you feel like you just ran out of time to get everything done.

Or our lives are out of balance. That's another potential cause of burnout that comes from chronic stress, is that people's lives are out of balance. And so I want us to remember that as part of our jumping off place today, is that chronic stress really is one of the primary drivers of burnout.

Now, chronic stress is ongoing stress. We can all deal with some stress, right? Stress is part of life, as we all know. We can all deal with that.

We're going to have stressful days. We're going to have days where we've got too much to do and not enough hours in the day. We're going to have weeks when we're on a deadline. We're going to have something going on in our personal life that's difficult that's causing us stress. That happens to everybody.

But what we're talking about here that leads to burnout is chronic, ongoing stress. That can be a set of circumstances in your life going on for weeks or even months. And so that's what we're talking about here.

It's not short-term stress or normal day-to-day stress that we all experience. But it's ongoing chronic stress that's occurring in your life over the long-term. Because eventually, if we don't manage it well, that can lead to burnout.

Now, following that is the loss or lack of control. Another factor that has caused burnout in the research is when people feel like they feel stuck. We've got a picture in the lower right-hand corner of the screen right there of that slide.

If someone feels stuck, they're in a situation that's very uncomfortable. And maybe they don't feel like they have any input into it, or they have no control over what they're doing, or they just feel stuck. They don't see a way out. And that happens to people at different times. I think we've all experienced that in one way, shape, or form.

And again, it's not a short-term thing, going through something where you're in a difficult set of circumstances for a week and then you're able to solve the problem and move on. That's not what we're talking about here. We're talking about being stuck in a situation or a set of circumstances for a long period of time-- again, weeks or months.

Or just feeling like you're out of control, you have no control in your life. We have a need to feel like we have at least some say, or some input into what we do. It's a need that all people have. We want to feel like we have input, we have an opportunity to weigh in on what's going on. And when we don't have that for the long-term that, again, can cause people to burn out.

Another potential cause of burnout is working really, really hard and not getting rewarded for your efforts, not seeing enough results. All of us, when we work hard, when we invest a lot, when we put a lot of effort in, we want to see a payoff, right?

We want to see results. We want to get feedback. We want to be appreciated. We want our efforts to be appreciated. We want recognition. And so if you feel like you've been doing really good work, or putting in a lot of time and effort for the long-term and you're just not seeing results, or you're feeling underappreciated or just not recognized for the good stuff that you're doing, that can lead to burnout over time.

Another potential cause of burnout is not being part of a thriving group or community, and that can be personally or professionally. If you're in an environment-- it could be a volunteer group, it could be the workplace, it could be a family system, could be a neighborhood where you feel like there's just too much negativity and it's pulling you down. Or there's too much toxicity or chaos in that environment, or you're not getting any support.

Because we all need to feel like the groups that we belong to are welcoming to us. We have a sense of belonging. We feel like people want us there.

We've got to have some peace in those environments if we're going to enjoy it day in, day out. We've got to feel like we're a part of something that's working, that's thriving. And if you're in a situation-- and again, it could be professionally, it could be personally, could be socially-- over time that can cause people to burn out, especially if the situation is really negative or unsupportive.

And then following that is being treated unfairly. We all have a sense of what's fair in life, and equitable. And when we're not being treated in a way that we perceive as fair, again, in the long-term-- for example, if we're not getting the respect we feel like we deserve or the same respect that others are getting in a similar situation, or we're not getting opportunities that we think we deserve-- over the long-term, if we feel like we're in an environment where we're being passed over a lot for opportunities and the doors just aren't opening for us that we see opening for other people, being treated unfairly like that over time can cause people to burn out.

Last but not least, I want us to realize that people can burn out if their lives don't have the kind of meaning and purpose that they want it to. I think we all know that people need to have a sense of meaning and purpose in their lives. Some of us call that our calling. Others of us call that finding our purpose.

We want to make a difference in the world. And if you're spending a lot of time at work, or in your personal life, or in your social life and feel like you're just not getting to do enough of what makes your life meaningful-- that's another need that's wired into all of us is we need to feel like our lives matter and like we're making a difference. And if you're spending a lot of time and you're just not being able to do the things that matter to you, that bring meaning to your life, or you're not able to be in an environment where you can give back, or you can make a positive contribution and help others, again, you could feel like your life isn't having enough meaning and that can cause burnout over time.

Sorry about that, folks. I just got disconnected. My apologies. I want to do another quick sound check, if you don't mind, to make sure that my connection is solid again. If you could please use the Raised Hand icon again and let me if you can hear my voice again.

Am I back online with the audio? All right, thank you, folks. Again, my apologies for being disconnected. I'm sorry about that.

All right, so let me continue. So those are the potential causes of burnout on my list. Now, this is not an exhaustive list. There are other causes of burnout.

So let's try to interact a little bit together. If you could use the question box in the GoToWebinar software in the upper right-hand corner of your screen. If you wouldn't mind using the question box, and if you wouldn't mind giving me some of the other ideas that you might have of causes of burnout, if you wouldn't mind.

And I won't be sharing people's names with the group. I'll just be sharing what you put in the box, your suggestions and ideas. So if you can, use the question box here for a moment. And if there are other causes of burnout that you're familiar with or that you've experienced in your life or in your career, please you can type those into the question box and then GoToWebinar software you'll see up on your screen.

Again, folks, if you have any ideas that you want to share, other potential causes of burnout that you've either experienced or that maybe you've heard about or studied, I'd appreciate it. One of our colleagues just said "understaffing." That's a great point.

When organizations are understaffed, that puts a lot of pressure on everybody else in the organization to pick up the slack. You're right, that's a great point. Over the long-term, that can cause burnout for a work team. That's a great point.

Someone else said "unhealthy work/life balance." You're right, that's another really good point. If our life is way out of balance and we're spending way too much time at work and not having enough opportunity to do the things that are important to us that we enjoy outside of work, you're right. An unhealthy work/life balance can cause burnout, absolutely. Good point.

Another colleague talked about family medical needs. Absolutely. When people go through illness-- and I know we all know that illness doesn't just affect the one person that's going through the illness-- it affects the whole family. And so that's a great point.

If you're going through some sort of a chronic illness with a family member, that can certainly cause burnout over time. It can be a stressful situation for a family, not just for the individual struggling with the illness. Thank you. That's a great point.

And then another colleague said "not having equal treatment at work." Absolutely. Thank you, folks. Thank you for weighing in and sharing some of your ideas. I appreciate that very much.

All right, let me next talk about symptoms of burnout. Let me go through the symptoms of burnout real quick. This is, again, not an exhaustive list. But this is a list in the research how some people have experienced burnout.

Remember I said at the beginning that we all experience burnout a little bit differently? I think I've gone through burnout probably at least a half a dozen times. I've been in the workforce over 40 years now, and I honestly think I've gone through burnout at least six or seven times. I really do.

I've experienced a lot of these different symptoms of burnout-- and again, it can be different in different people. We're all wired a little bit differently. And then what you're going through at the time can have an influence as to how you're experiencing burnout.

So some people when they're burned out, they'll start to experience symptoms of negativity. They'll get really negative or cynical, and maybe they're typically pretty positive. But as they're going through burnout, they start to get real negative, real cynical, and they have a hard time staying positive. That can be a symptom of burnout.

Now again, folks, just like I was talking about with the causes of burnout, I'm talking over the long-term again. Burnout isn't something that happens in a couple of days. For example, if you have symptoms of negativity, you're having a rough week and you're not sleeping real well and you find yourself being more negative than normal, that probably wouldn't be burnout in and of itself.

But if you are generally in your life a pretty positive person and you go through weeks or months where people are saying to you, "what's wrong with you lately? Why are you so negative? You used to be so positive. What's going on?" That could be a sign that you're going through burnout.

Because when people are really starting to burn out, they can get real negative. Because the chronic stress that we experience that brings burnout on can really wear us out. And when stress levels are higher, people tend to get more negative.

We also can show symptoms of burnout through our physical energy. You can find yourself exhausted, or fatigued where it doesn't seem to matter how much sleep you get but you still have no energy, or not enough energy to get through the day. That can be a symptom of burnout.

Other people who tend to be social and usually like to be around others when they're going through burnout end up not wanting to be bothered. They push away from others. They withdraw. They isolate. Over the long-term, that can be a symptom of burnout.

Still other people experience burnout in the area of faith or motivation. And so if you're someone that usually has a lot of faith and hope for the future, you're really believing that things are going to work out. It's going to be OK, and you'll get through your problems and things will be better in the future. When people are going through burnout, sometimes they get really down and they have a hard time experiencing the hope and believing that things are going to get better-- especially if you're someone that generally is pretty hopeful.

That's how we can differentiate normal ups and downs that we experience. Because with every one of these symptoms I'm talking about-- being negative or cynical, going through exhaustion, pulling away from others, losing faith and hope, losing motivation. All of those symptoms are things that people will experience once in a while as part of normal ups and downs of life.

But what I'm talking about is when you go through a period of time, weeks or months, where these symptoms have set in and they're not going away. That's when you can ask yourself, am I burning out, or am I burnt out? Because this isn't me.

I'm normally pretty hopeful about the future, and right now I don't have any hope or motivation. I'm not feeling like things are going to get any better. I'm not enjoying life the way I used to. So those would be examples of symptoms that could be indicative of someone burning out.

Now, the last one I want to talk about, I'm going to drill down into, is probably one of the most common ways people recognize that they're burning out, and that's stress-related health problems. I think we all recognize the term "stress-related illness," right? So when people are going through stress-related health problems, I think we all recognize.

Depending on what study you read, doctors say that anywhere from 70% to 90% of all illness-- and that's mental health problems like depression and anxiety, or physical health problems like the exacerbation of existing conditions like asthma or migraine headaches, or the onset of new physical health problems like gastrointestinal problems or skin rashes-- that doctors do say that anywhere from 70% to 90% of health problems that people experience are either caused by or made worse by stress.

So again, since burnout is typically caused, or at least most often caused by chronic stress, when we're going through burnout, the risk of stress-related illness is going to increase for us. I think most of you recognize we're coming out of a very stressful time in life. According to Gallup, the polling company, the pandemic-- 2021, 2022-- has been one of the most stressful times in history, if not the most stressful time in history.

And so since chronic stress is a leading cause of burnout, that's one of the reasons why I think during the last couple of years our risk of burnout as individuals, because the world has been more stressful than perhaps ever before, is higher. And when the incidence of burnout is more prevalent, people end up getting sick more often.

And so I just want us to recognize that if you're someone that usually doesn't get sick-- I'll give you a great example in my family. My wife and I don't get sick very often. We take really good care of ourselves. I'm a hockey coach, in addition to the work I do for Deer Oaks, and so I'm at the ice rink a couple of nights a week.

During that time, I'm on the ice a lot. I'm skating anywhere from 8 to 10 hours a week. As a result, I can go years without getting sick.

Well, a few years ago, my daughter went through a divorce. She wouldn't mind our sharing. And she and our grandkids moved in with us. And they're still with us, and we're happy to have them.

But it was interesting, within the first few months of them moving in-- and they were young at the time. When they first moved in, they were 2 and 1. I mean, they were little children. One was a baby and one was a toddler. And as you all know, those of you that have raised kids, or grandparents, you know it takes a lot of hands-on work. It takes a village to really take care of especially small children.

And so my wife and I, just about every night after work we were helping our daughter with the kids. Well, here's two people, my wife and I, that didn't get sick very often. I hadn't had a common cold in like five years. And within a month or two of the kids moving in, and the fact that we were helping my daughter with the kids every night, my wife and I both got really, really sick. I had the worst head cold I had had probably in a decade.

And I was shocked. I was like, what's going on here? I don't get sick.

But I realize now, in retrospect, it was because we went from having the empty nest and my wife and I had pretty balanced lives. We both work, and after work we were spending time together, lots of leisure activities, and it was really a good time of life.

And all of a sudden, we were back into helping my daughter take care of the kids every day. And as much as we love the kids, it just was stressful. And we both got really, really sick shortly after the kids moved in.

And what that told us is it got our attention that we needed to take a step back and get our lives back in balance. And so that's what I want to talk about here next. So when you become aware that you're starting to burn out-- and again, the kinds of symptoms that we talked about here today, that typically is the first indication to people that maybe they're burning out. So when you become aware that you may be burning out, we need to start making some adjustments and doing a better job of managing our stress and getting our lives back in balance.

So again, whether it's negativity, or exhaustion, or lack of motivation, or you just end up with health problems that you don't normally see, that can be an indicator that you're dealing with burnout and you need to take some action. We need to do some things either to prevent ourselves from completely burning out-- if you're just starting to notice the symptoms, or if you know you're burned out-- to be able to recover.

All right, so for the next 10 minutes or so, I'm going to walk through some of the things that we can do day-to-day, intentionally and proactively, to help prevent burnout. Or if we do find ourselves starting to burn out, to recover. So the first part is managing our attitude and our emotions.

And so I know I'm preaching to the choir. I know most of you know a lot of this. But I think it's important to be intentional, especially when the stress level in your life is high.

One of the things that could have prevented my wife and I from burning out back when my daughter and the kids moved in, we could have been more intentional of staying positive about it. As much as we love our grandkids, we had gotten ourselves in kind of a negative place. It was like, oh, my gosh, this is really hard. I'm glad they're here, but oh, my gosh, we're not getting any space. We're not getting any time.

My wife and I, we had to adjust-- mentally, and in our attitude. So one of the things I think we did a good job of is we started looking at the bright side of it. Like this is a lot of extra responsibility, but guess what? We are very blessed to be able to see our grandkids every day. Most grandparents don't get to see their grandkids every day.

So that was one of the things that we were able to do to help have a better attitude about it, and helped us transition into getting used to it. Yesterday, for example, Father's Day, the kids were awesome. I was so grateful that they were here.

But also, we've adjusted, right? The kids have been here for a couple of years now. So we're used to it now. We've made the adjustment.

But our attitude about it has become a lot better, too. We're very thankful. We're very positive. And that's helping us stay healthy day-to-day as we still continue to help our daughter with the kids.

And so the strategies for improving attitudes, staying as positive as you can about your circumstances. And recognize that there's a connection between how you think and how you feel. A lot of times when people are getting anxious or they're getting upset, one of the reasons that's happening is because their self-talk has gotten negative. They're either complaining a lot, or they're upset and getting really negative. And when we complain a lot, when we get really negative, when we worry a lot, we're naturally going to feel more negative emotion-- more anxiety, more fear, more frustration, more feelings of being upset, more annoyed, more angry.

So let's think about one of the best coping mechanisms for dealing with chronic stress. All of our lives are going to be stressful from time to time, but especially when you're going through ongoing stress. If you've got something going on in your life right now-- dealing with a sick relative, some sort of a big change that you're adjusting to in your life, or some sort of a life stressor that you're dealing with, or maybe your work situation is really, really busy right now-- the more positive we can stay when we think about those situations, the better we can be with our self-talk.

So instead of looking at that situation and saying, this is terrible. This is awful. I can't stand this. I can't handle this. That kind of negative thinking is going to lead to more frustration, more anxiety, more annoyance, more feelings of being upset.

And so the more intentionally we can look at our situations and say, I'm not happy about this. It's important, of course, to be honest about what you think and how you feel about your circumstances. I'm not saying deny what's happening is bothering you. But if it's bothering you, be honest about it. But just don't allow yourself to stay stuck in negativity day in, day out. If you are in a difficult situation and you've gotten in a habit of complaining about it to anyone who will listen every single day, that keeps us stuck in negativity, and it keeps us stuck in a stressful place, and it keeps us stuck in negative emotion.

And so one of the things I learned when I went to see a counselor years ago when I was dealing with some anxiety, and it was very helpful, he said, what a lot of people don't realize is although you're going to have immediate feelings and thoughts about challenging circumstances and stressors, that's normal for all of us. But you have to remember that you can be intentional about managing your thinking. And he taught me how to do this.

He taught me to look at a negative circumstance or a stressful situation and say, you know what? I don't like this. I wish it wasn't happening.

But you know what? It's not the end of the world. I can handle this.

My wife and I have a good support system. It's going to be OK. We're not going to lose sleep over this, or this too shall pass-- whatever the case may be.

And again, that was one of the things that we gave ourselves an attitude adjustment that helped us adjust to having the kids living with us full time. And it really helped us. Doing a better job of managing our self-talk and giving ourselves that attitude adjustment really helped improve our mood and feelings, and it really helped us get back in a good place. And so that's one thing. It helped us cope with the stress of helping with the kids much, much more effectively.

So how we think about our situations can be a really important coping mechanism, if you can stay constructive in your thinking. And when you find yourself getting really negative or getting stuck in excessive worry, to catch yourself and say, OK, sure. I'm not happy about this, or I'm concerned about this.

But you know what? I can handle this. I've got a good support system. It's going to be OK. And the better you can manage your thinking, that'll help improve your mood and help you cope with that situation better. And help you either prevent getting into burnout, or help you come out of burnout.

Now, I also want to remind us of emotional intelligence. I we're all familiar with emotional intelligence. But it's really, really important that we recognize that there's never a problem with feeling emotional. Emotions are a normal part of everyone's life. They're wired into wired into all of us.

When they're going through challenging circumstances, everyone's going to have feelings. But the important part is to manage those feelings to not let those feelings manage us. If you're going through a difficult circumstance, stay aware of how you feel about it but manage those feelings so you're not just reacting to it. A lot of times when people are going through a difficult situation, or a stressful event, or stressful set of circumstances, we'll get a tendency to allow ourselves to get real negative and to just really, really vent frustration day in, day out, to anyone that will listen.

Now it is, of course, helpful and healthy to express emotion. Yes. But there's a difference between talking to someone that you trust-- a counselor, a trusted colleague, a loved one that you trust-- to express how you're feeling about what you're going through and to just complain about it every day. There's a big difference.

Pulling someone aside-- hey, I'm going through a tough time. Do you mind if I talk through it with you? That's a healthy expression of emotion.

But to just complain about your situation every single day, day in, day out for weeks can keep you stuck in that. And staying stuck in that negative place can actually increase our stress level. Sometimes it's not the situations we're going through that's causing us the most stress, it's how we're responding to it.

And so we don't want to allow ourselves to get excessively focused on what's not working and just complaining all the time and venting all the time. Because again, that can keep us stuck in that and that can actually increase the amount of stress that we're experiencing from that situation. And that can lead us to not coping with it very well.

All right, the next thing I want to talk about is managing our stress and time. I have these two lumped in together, because obviously if we're not managing our time very well, our lives are going to be more stressful. But it's really important for us to recognize, since chronic stress is one of the driving factors and one of the main causal factors for burnout, that the better we manage our stress and time day-to-day, typically the more we can reduce our risk of experiencing burnout.

Because again, we're all going to go through stressful times. But if we manage our stress well and cope with it effectively, oftentimes we can keep that ongoing stress from causing us to burn out. Or if we find ourselves starting to burn out and we improve our stress management skills, or we do a better job of managing our stress day-to-day and getting our lives back in better balance, we can start to come back out of burnout and get back to a healthier place.

All right, so let's start with strategies for managing stress. I I'm preaching to the choir. I know that all of you have some pretty good things that you do to manage stress.

But the first thing I want to manage is keeping our lives in balance. I know one of our colleagues here, a few minutes ago when I had asked you all to give me some input had shared that one of the causal factors that she found was just letting her life get out of balance. And so folks, I want us to recognize that if we let our lives get out of balance-- and out of balance would be overworking, or staying too busy day in, day out, and not having enough downtime and enough leisure time to rest and recharge your batteries. Out of balance would be being so preoccupied with all of your tasks and responsibilities personally and professionally that you're not taking care of yourself. That would be out of balance.

And so we want to be careful. During the workday, we want to make sure that we're taking our breaks during the day. Of course, you want to follow your organization's policy for taking breaks. But folks, a lot of people just don't take enough breaks. They don't take the breaks that their organizations are affording them.

I read an article recently that a lot of annual leave that people get, their vacation days, where their paid time off is not being used in our country. Actually, one study said that since the pandemic, twice as many people are not using the leave that they have than before the pandemic, which is interesting. But folks, that leave is there for a reason. It's there so we can keep our lives in balance.

And so we need to make sure that we're taking our lunch breaks at work during the day, we're taking our breaks during the day, and we're taking our vacation time. So we're doing what we need to do to keep our lives in balance. That's a really important part of managing our stress.

So if you wouldn't mind using the question box, and if a few of you wouldn't mind typing in just some of the things that you do to manage your stress or keep your life in balance so we can share with each other? Again, I'm not going to share the names of the folks that are submitting the answers. But I want to share some of your strategies for managing stress with everyone else so we can learn from each other. So again, if you can think of something that you do that really helps you manage your stress on a regular basis that you'd like to share with the group, please type it into the question box in the GoToWebinar software in the upper right-hand corner of your screen.

One of our colleagues said take a walk before work or during lunch. I think getting outside taking a walk is a great way to keep our lives in balance and to de-stress yourself during the day, especially when the weather's nice. I know some of you are in a part of the country right now where it's gotten already pretty hot. So this might not be the best time of year. But we can get out in the morning before it gets too hot, or get out in the evening when it cools down a little bit.

Someone said read a good book during a break. Doing something like that during the day-- now obviously, following the break policies of your organization-- but reading a good book. Or I go online and read my local sports page sometimes while I'm having lunch. And so doing something like that gets your mind off of work and gets you into a mental state of relaxation.

Those are good ideas. But remember, we need to be intentional about stress management. We don't want to just go through a day trying to get as much done as we can and forget that we need some downtime, we need to de-stress. So please be intentional during these difficult times about managing your stress. Thank you for your input.

I also want to talk about time management. One of the best time management seminars I've ever been to talked about starting with an achievable daily plan. And it was interesting, the speaker, his name was Zig Ziglar. Some of you might remember him. He was a motivational speaker that went around the country, had a lot of wisdom.

He was talking about the importance of having an achievable plan for every day. So going into every day with what he called, instead of a "to do" list, a "have to" list. He said take your to do list every day, circle maybe half a dozen things that have to get done that day, and focus only on that smaller, more achievable list.

His point was, many people are taking their to do list and they go to work every day and their whole goal at work is to get as much done as they possibly can. And so they're using more of a quantity approach to productivity, instead of a quality approach. And his point was, if you slow down and have a more achievable list, you'll pace yourself better throughout the day. You won't feel like you're so overwhelmed. You won't have the temptation to work through lunch or work late because you just didn't to get enough done that day.

And this was a big problem I had earlier in my career, and I really started implementing his system several years ago. It made a huge difference to slow down and focus on a smaller, more achievable list. I've been doing it pretty much ever since, for the last couple of decades.

It really works. I feel less rushed throughout the day. I feel less overwhelmed throughout the day. And since I have a more achievable plan, I'm more apt to take my lunch break, take a break during the day, and walk around a little bit.

I went outside. It's really nice here in my neck of the woods today. I went and took a walk around the grounds. My wife has planted beautiful butterfly bushes.

And so I just got outside for 10 minutes and just walked around a little bit. It was really a nice little break. And those are the kinds of things I wasn't thinking to do 20 years ago that I'm much more intentional about doing nowadays.

But remember, because burnout is primarily driven by chronic stress, the better we take care of ourselves during the day, the better balance we achieve in our lives, the better we manage our time and take care of ourselves, the better we're going to be able to prevent experiencing burnout. And if we do start to burn out, the better we're going to be able to come back out of that.

All right, the last thing I'm going to talk about today is about increasing resilience. Then I'll open it up for questions. All right, resilience, as most of you know, a lot of people see resilience as our inner strength and ability to get through things.

So resilience can be our ability to deal with stress. It can be our ability to persevere through difficult circumstances. It can also be our ability to bounce back from traumatic events.

So resilience is that inner strength. And we're living in a very busy, stressful time now. We're just coming out of a global pandemic. And I think as human beings, we need to have a good amount of resilience, or maybe there's more of a need for having a good amount of resilience for people than there's ever been.

And so I just want us to be thinking about being proactive to keep our resilience up. Think about it. If you go to work on a Monday morning-- and you have taken good care of yourself. Resilience comes from self-care. So if you're exercising regularly, if you're getting enough sleep, if you're eating right, that can help you be stronger, be more resilient so you can get through things better.

If you spend enough time with your support system, if you're hanging around the people that you care about who care about you, that can strengthen your resilience. So if you're taking care of yourself, practicing self-care, and you're staying connected to people that motivate you and encourage you, you're naturally going to come to work each week with more bounce in your step, a little bit more motivation, a little bit more energy, and better ability to get through the stress and pressure that you have to deal with day-to-day in your life.

And so let's consider ourselves athletes. I mean, we're all professionals. We may not be professional athletes, but we're professionals. We work for a living.

And so to take care of ourselves is preparing ourselves to be able to be at our best as we do our work, as we deal with the stressors and the problems that we have to contend with as we're accomplishing our tasks and projects. And so let's be proactive and intentional about building up our resilience so we'll be better able to deal with the stress and pressure that comes our way. And as we do that, we're going to minimize the risk of burning out.

One more step to becoming more resilient is to make sure you're doing things every day that make your lives more meaningful. I want to remind us-- I mentioned this at the very beginning today-- is that one of the reasons why people tend to burn out is that they feel like their life doesn't have meaning. They feel like they're just busy all the time, but they're not doing anything that's really meaningful, or maybe that their lives aren't really making a difference.

All of us have gifts. All of us have strengths and abilities that can really make a difference in life. I think it has to do with how we help others. Martin Luther King once said it all comes down to what are we doing for others. So I think when you use your gifts and talents, your strengths, to help other people, that is a key way that people experience that their lives have meaning.

One of the reasons why I like to teach is I feel like when I'm teaching, I'm helping others. And so I really have made it a point to teach as much as I can. Because I feel like when I'm doing this, my life matters, my life has more meaning.

And we all have those gifts and abilities. Every one of us here on the call today has a couple of things that you do that really make a difference in the lives of others. Some of you are incredibly gifted administratively, and you keep us all organized and make sure that everything works the way it's supposed to work. That's a skill and a talent that we all need.

Others of you are very compassionate. And when people are suffering or hurting, you're the first shoulder that people lean on because you've got a big heart, and you're a great listener, and you're there for people. So whatever strength and gift that you have that you use to help other people, just make sure you're doing enough of it every day.

Because when you are, you're naturally going to feel more like your life matters, like your life has meaning. And when we feel like our life matters and our life has meaning, we're typically going to be more resilient. And when that happens, we're going to protect ourselves against burnout.

All right, folks, I know I covered a lot in a very short period of time today. Let me open it up for questions. If anyone has any questions, you've got that question box in the GoToWebinar software in the upper right-hand corner of your screen. If you could take a moment and ask any questions that you have in that question box, we have plenty of time for questions today.

Let me give you some time. Again, if you have any questions, please type them into the question box in the GoToWebinar software in the upper right-hand corner of your screen.

Folks, if you have any questions, again, I won't read the names of people asking the questions. I'll just be reading the questions and then answering them for all of our benefit today. So if you have any questions, please type them into the question box in the GoToWebinar software in the upper right-hand corner of your screen. I'm going to give you one more minute to see if people have any questions.

It looks like we don't have any questions today. Not a problem at all, folks. I want to thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule.

Oh, we did get a question. I apologize. So we still do have a question.

Here's a really good one. "What is suggested when you are short-staffed and have to cover additional tasks along with major projects?" I appreciate that. That's a really, really good question.

It happens to all of us. We're all going to be in situations at one time or another where there's a staffing issue, and so I just want us to recognize that. And one of the things I wanted to share is I think good communication between employees and supervisors is a key there.

So when you're in a situation where you or your team are feeling like they're overwhelmed, or they feel like they're overworked, or there's just too much work to do and people are just struggling, they just don't have the ability to get it all done, that causes stress. When people feel overworked, that increases their stress level-- naturally, absolutely. I think there needs to be, first and foremost, really good communication between employees and supervisors about what's realistic. Like, here's the workload, here's how we're struggling with it and to ask for support and resources to cope and deal with it. I think that having that conversation is a really, really important thing between employees and supervisors.

The other piece is, the busier we are, when you're going through really busy times when you feel like you're overwhelmed or your workload is too heavy, that's when we have to take care of ourselves most. Unfortunately, sometimes when people get busier, they don't take time to exercise, for example. They feel like I don't have time to exercise.

I'm working 50 hour weeks right now because we're so overloaded at work. I don't have time to exercise. But folks, the busier we are, the more we need to exercise.

So it's really important that even though you might be in a place where you're busier, or you just don't feel like you have enough time to take time for yourself, we have to make time for ourselves. We have to make time for self care. That helps us get through those busier periods of life.

If I didn't get a break, get to go to the ice rink-- I told you all I'm a hockey coach-- if I didn't get to go to the ice rink a couple of times a week, which is one of my stress managers as well as being away I stay healthy, or if I didn't take walks, if I wasn't doing those kinds of things, my workload at times would be overwhelming. And so when you feel like there's too much on your plate and there's just not enough hours in the day, make sure you're, especially during those times, scheduling taking care of yourself every day.

Do something for yourself every single day. Take your lunch breaks, get outside, take part in leisure activities. Even if it feels like you don't have time to, make time for that. It's an investment in taking care of yourself.

Because if you don't take care of yourself, that's when the high volume of work or feeling overworked can start to lead to burnout. So it is important to make time for taking care of yourself. Thank you. Great question, folks.

Are there any last questions before we wrap up for today? It looks like we don't have any additional questions. I want to thank you again for being with us. It is such a privilege for us at Deer Oaks to be the EAP provider for all of your organizations.

So thank you so much for taking time out of your busy day to be with us. I hope you all have a wonderful summer, and I hope to be with you all on another one of these educational programs here in the near future. Thank you, everyone.

Have a wonderful rest of the week and a wonderful summer. Take care. Bye bye.