[Podcast] Burnout: What It Is and How to Handle It! with Tanya Tarr – Part 1

Brave Writer Podcast

Do you ever feel like your energy reserves are just being depleted, and you can’t seem to replenish them? It might be more than just fatigue or exhaustion; it could be burnout.

Tanya Tarr
Tanya Tarr

We had a riveting conversation with Tanya Tarr, a behavioral scientist, columnist, corporate educator, and the founder of Cultivated Insights, who had plenty to say on the subject of burnout.

In fact, we had so much to discuss, we had to divide the chat into two parts!

Show Notes

Understanding Burnout

Tanya was generous enough to share her expertise on distinguishing between fatigue, exhaustion, and burnout. According to her, burnout is not a mental health issue but an occupational one recognized by the World Health Organization.

Characterized by extremely negative feelings like rage, resentment, apathy, or numbness, burnout may emerge when chronic exhaustion is left unaddressed for too long. There are other signs too, like anhedonia (avoidance of pleasure), self-isolation, and a loss of interest in activities once enjoyed.

Burnout isn’t a quick fix. Unlike fatigue and exhaustion, which can be managed with sufficient rest, burnout requires small, consistent interventions and gradual changes to the conditions causing it. This is an important point to keep in mind, especially for those of us homeschooling children for an extended period of time, say four to eight or 10 years.

The Stress Cycle and its Implications

The stress cycle is a concept dating back to the ’50s which describes how our bodies react to stressors. In this age of constant digital connection, we’re often stuck in a hyper-focus attention state that prevents us from completing the stress cycle. This incomplete cycle can lead to chronic stress and even burnout.

Physical activities like running are essential to human health and act as a natural antidepressant. Tanya, who practices martial arts, shared that certain movements could trigger emotional release, hinting at the deeper connection between our physical activities, emotions, and stress.

Navigating the Stress Cycle with the House of Wellbeing

The House of Wellbeing is a framework, devised by Tanya, to help close the stress cycle and prevent burnout. It involves four rooms: physical, mental, emotional, and cultural. The idea is to conduct a ‘self-inventory’ of our self-care activities related to each aspect and evaluate their impact on our well-being.

She advocated for a focused approach to self-care, where we prioritize reliable practices that truly benefit us instead of sporadically trying everything under the sun. This approach helps us concentrate on the activities that have a positive impact on our well-being, while discarding those that don’t.

All in all, it was an insightful conversation filled with knowledge and understanding. I encourage you to reflect on Tanya’s insights to better comprehend your own state of burnout or stress. And don’t forget to join us for the second part of this conversation in our next episode, where we’ll be delving deeper into the topic.


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