Episode 189 THE Amicable Divorce Expert: presents Burnout to Balance and How to Turn It Around w/Dr. Drea Letamendi, Psychologist, TEDx Speaker & Consultant
In this episode you will learn the following:
- What is Burnout?
Being emotionally, physically, and mentally exhausted by a state of prolonged stress. We generally refer to workplace burnout when we speak about this topic, but burnout can be caused by a personal trigger that affects people, like divorce. Think about it; divorce isn’t a moment in time. Divorce is a process that starts when the marital relationship is unhealthy, distant, or seriously toxic. A bad marriage morphs in the emotional grieving with at least one spouse who is pondering, planning, and the first to broach the topic of divorce. That takes enormous emotional energy. Then the divorce process starts, and who knows how long it will last. It will last as long as the emotional tug of war lasts, and that is an indefinite amount of time.
- Why do people become burned out?
Most people going through divorce bring their divorce work to their jobs. They compound an already stressful and busy activity called work, with their new job, the divorce. People are too emotional, and in the grieving process, to compartmentalize their time and put divorce in its own time slot. Handling jobs, possibly children, the extended family, friends, all people who will give an opinion of your divorce decisions, and divorce paperwork with meetings and phone calls and texts and mediations and other meetings, will turn the sanest person crazy.
- What are the signs of Burnout?
Emotional signs are an inability to focus, lack of enjoyment in life, lack of motivation, a feeling of defeat and self-doubt, a feeling of detachment, and no feeling of hope in the future. Physical signs are feeling tired and drained all the time, a loss in sleep or an increase in sleep, appetite changes,
- How does Burnout express itself at home and at work?
At work there can be a loss of interest in the job, and a loss in productivity. At home there can also be a loss in productivity as a parent, coupled with a loss of short-term memory; not caring about family, extreme exhaustion, and difficulty with communication skills. There can also be numbing by drug and alcohol use, procrastinating, withdrawing from family activities, isolating, and taking frustrations out on everyone, including the family pets.
- How do people determine where Burnout is coming from?
If a divorce is underway, this is absolutely one of the main causes of Burnout if behavior has dramatically changed once it’s apparent that the marriage is in trouble. In general, people should take an accounting of their lives to see where they have enjoyment or where they do not. Look at the last time life seemed good, evaluate why life seemed good, and then see what has happened since that time in order to know what to change.
- How can people address Burnout?
By actually understanding what Burnout is, by taking steps to mitigate it, like compartmentalizing time and putting divorce in its own place, by developing a self-care program that includes physical activity and laughter, by understanding that Burnout can be controlled, by asking for professional help to prioritize how Burnout can be managed, and by knowing that people going through Burnout are not alone. There are support groups for Burnout, especially Divorce Burnout.
- What are some behavioral changes people can make to go from Burnout to Balance?
Through professional mental health help from therapists, and from divorce coaches, people can turn Burnout around. A good self-care program is essential because exercise changes the metabolic balance in the body and can shift the way people think. Changing the way people communicate internally with themselves, and by changing the communication with the other spouse, Burnout can change while going through divorce. Lastly, by putting divorce in its place; by that I mean by compartmentalizing time and giving divorce a time slot so that divorce doesn’t consume every second of the day, will create balance.
- How can those of us seeing a loved one or co-worker who might be experiencing Burnout help them?
Understanding what Burnout is will allow a friend or family member to be supportive. People going through Burnout cannot just turn it off with a decision to do so. Going from Burnout to Balance is a process starting with self-awareness, self-forgiveness, a belief that Burnout can be changed, and getting the help necessary to make the changes to restore balance. As a friend or family member, just being there to listen is important. But there could be a moment when listening has to move towards providing direction for professional help.
Dr. Drea Letamendi Biography
Dr. Drea Letamendi (she/her/ella) is a licensed psychologist and consultant who specializes in organizational development, mental health training, and corporate wellness. She is a fellow at the Institute of Coaching at the Harvard School of Medicine affiliate, McLean, and serves as the Director of Resilience at UCLA, where she designs and activates mental health initiatives and prepares leaders with crisis intervention and field response protocols.
As a wellbeing strategist, her passion is fostering curiosity, enthusiasm, and capacity for enhancing work-life health, belongingness, and equanimity among ambitious teams. Dr. Drea is a TEDx speaker and delivered TED sessions on “Resilience and Media During a Pandemic,” as part of the special COVID-19 series. She’s published several articles and chapters about the positive impacts of media storytelling on mental health, and this work has been featured in the Atlantic, the Guardian, the Los Angeles Times, and on Disney+. Her podcast, “The Arkham Sessions,” examines pop culture and its impact on our mental health.
Social media: @ArkhamAsylumDoc
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