Relax. Do Not Burn Out.
In burnout, one feels one’s energy being drained. A natural reflex is to rest, but there is more to it than meets the conscious relaxation.
Please read first: Meaningful Relaxation
Diminishing burnout through resting is not straightforward.
Frequently, it doesn’t even seem to help. Someone feels tired before the resting and equally tired immediately or shortly after.
Here comes the purposeful resting.
If you don’t see the resting by itself as valuable, it may be something you fight against in-depth ― something you would like, ideally, to get out. You fight the resting; thus, it cannot do what it is supposed to do for you: give you energy. Contrary to this, it drains your energy. So, after resting, you can feel exhausted instead of recuperated. You might want to catch up with ‘time wasted’ by going into overdrive, which is further exhausting.
You go from drain to drain. Nothing seems to help. Is this somewhat familiar to you?
Meaningful/purposeful resting relieves burnout.
Not as a miracle cure, but it can help a lot.
Much meaningless work is draining as if the work sucks the meaning out of the person. One may see the culprit in the amount of work, but it comes rather from the lack of meaning. Working less leads to less possible sucking through the work. But simple rest doesn’t bring meaning, nor does it put meaning into the work.
That’s a job of a pretty different nature. Support in this can be delivered through a Deep Motivational Check-Up. This frequently also involves attention for meaningful resting.
From resting in inaction to resting in action
Much mental fatigue doesn’t come from the action – even mental action – but from how one perceives the mental effort.
As in inactive purposeful resting, one can, during any action, also relatively ‘fight idleness’ or enter a domain of purposeful resting. Compare it with being in a small boat on a river. In this metaphor, everything is eventually you: yourself, the boat, and the river. You can fight the natural course and try to impose your own course (exhausting) or use the vessel dynamically and flow along with the perceived river (relaxing).
This doesn’t shove the responsibility upon the shoulders of the worker.
Instead, the responsibility lies in different places simultaneously.
The worker is responsible for taking purposeful resting seriously. Without his commitment, nothing will happen. The environment – from employer to broad culture – is responsible for organizing and validating this kind of rest. Without such an environment, workers will not have the ability to act upon any commitment. Of course, this should come on top of a meaningful occupation.
Science is also responsible for taking this seriously ― validating the relevant concepts, enhancing the necessary theoretical background, and performing experimental lab and real-world science.
Together, we will reach the goal sooner or later.
It will be a crucial element in the relief of present-day rampant burnout.