How to Save Yourself from Trading Frustration and Burnout

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Save yourself from burnouts in DevRel

Jan 30 Updated on Feb 27, 2020 ・1 min read

Under the Hood of Developer Marketing Podcast (9 Part Series)

Trick question of the week:
How can you lead a healthy community when you are not feeling healthy?

Burnouts are -unfortunately- a common theme in the Tech industry and in DevRel.
Why?
Because of our empathy. According to Anjuan and Aneika Simmons who join us for this episode, burnout is the result of chronic stress. As Anjuan puts it: “in DevRel you work with many developers that are under stress and because you care, this stress is projected back at you.”.

In this episode, we discuss stress and burnouts in developer marketing and:

  • Early signs of burnout
  • How to recover from a burnout
  • How to make yourself, and your community and team, more burnout-resistant

A hot episode about saying healthy and helping your community grow without burning out.

Anjuan Simmons is a technologist with a successful track record of delivering technology solutions from the user interface to the database. He combines his experiences working at Big 4 management consulting companies as well as small technology startups to implement practical solutions that can be understood and scaled across organizations.

Aneika Simmons is a Full Professor of Management at Sam Houston State University who specializes in organizational behavior, human resources, leadership development, team dynamics, interpersonal relationships, and principles of management.

Under the Hood of Developer Marketing Podcast (9 Part Series)

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Save Yourself from Burnout: A System to Get Your Life Back

Running On Empty? Get Your Life Back

Save Yourself from Burnout: A System to Get Your Life Back provides the road map of a new, easy-to-use, personalized burnout recovery system. After experiencing burnout themselves, the authors, Dr. Marnie Loomis, a naturopathic physician, and Beth Genly, a Yale-trained specialty nurse-practitioner, boiled down hundreds of medical and Running On Empty? Get Your Life Back

Save Yourself from Burnout: A System to Get Your Life Back provides the road map of a new, easy-to-use, personalized burnout recovery system. After experiencing burnout themselves, the authors, Dr. Marnie Loomis, a naturopathic physician, and Beth Genly, a Yale-trained specialty nurse-practitioner, boiled down hundreds of medical and sociological studies to distill out key answers to these critical questions: Why do some people burn out while others do not? What protects us from burnout? What makes us vulnerable? How can we stay far away from burnout in the future?

Loomis and Genly’s book explains how burnout happens and how it is different (and worse) than stress. It gently but thoroughly debunks many harmful social myths around burnout. Throughout this friendly, often humorous book, readers discover self-tests, reflection exercises, and visual tools designed to enhance their learning and support their individual recovery. Central to the system: a unique “Burnout Shield” self-assessment, in which the reader maps their personalized recovery plan, based on the individual shape of their 5 areas of burnout protection and vulnerability. An appendix cites extensive sources and references.

Q: “Does having burnout mean I’m weak?”

A: No! Burnout can happen to anyone. Learning what to do can help you feel better, fast.

Q: “I’m exhausted. I want a manageable system that’s right for me.”

A: You got it! You’ll create your Burnout Shield, a simple visual dashboard that focuses on your needs. No more one-size-fits-all advice. Focus on what you need and what works.

Q: “Do you understand how frustrating burnout is?”

A: Yes! We’ve been there. We share some of our own experiences as we help you find your way out as well. Our research-based system has helped many people out of burnout, and it can help you, too. . more

Recovering From Burnout

Finding Passion for Your Role Again

Open the gate and allow balance back into your life after burnout.

When Ron first started with his organization, he loved his job. He went into work every day filled with purpose and passion, and he was excited about the difference he could make in his new role.

Three years later, however, it’s hard to recognize him. Now, Ron dreads going to work. He feels as if his work is meaningless, he’s always stressed, and he calls in sick frequently.

These are classic symptoms of burnout. If you’ve experienced this yourself, it’s essential that you know how to recover from it, before you experience lasting damage to your sense of well-being and your career.

In this article, we’ll look at what burnout is and how you can recover from it.

What Is Burnout?

Burnout is a state of physical and emotional exhaustion. It can occur when you experience long-term stress in your job, or when you have worked in a physically or emotionally draining role for a long time. You can also experience burnout when your efforts at work have failed to produce the results that you expected, and you feel deeply disillusioned as a result.

You might be experiencing burnout if you:

  • Feel that every day at work is a bad day.
  • Feel exhausted much of the time.
  • Feel no joy or interest in your work, or even feel depressed by it.
  • Feel overwhelmed by your responsibilities.
  • Engage in escapist behaviors, such as excessive drinking.
  • Have less patience with others than you used to.
  • Feel hopeless about your life or work.
  • Experience physical symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath, sleeplessness, or heart palpitations. (Make sure that you see a physician about these!)

Studies show that people who experience burnout early in their career often find it easier to recover than people who go through it later in life. However, it’s important that you know how to recover effectively, whatever stage you’re at in your career.

These are just a few of the many symptoms that you can experience with burnout. Take our Burnout Self-Test if you think that you’re experiencing burnout, and read our article on Avoiding Burnout if you think that you might be at risk.

Recovering From Burnout

Burnout doesn’t go away on its own; rather, it will get worse unless you address the underlying issues causing it. If you ignore burnout, it will only cause you further harm down the line, so it’s important that you begin recovery as soon as possible.

Recovery from burnout is a slow journey; not a quick dash to some imaginary finish line. You need time and space to recuperate, so don’t rush through this process.

The recovery strategies that we’ve outlined below are all useful in different situations. Some of these strategies will work for you, while others won’t, so find a balance of strategies and best practices that feels right to you. If you believe that something isn’t working, don’t be afraid to try something new.

Think About the “Why” of Burnout

You first need to identify why you’ve experienced burnout. In some situations, this will be obvious. Other times, it will take time and introspection to uncover this.

First, look at any resentment that you feel towards your work. Often, feelings of resentment point to something important that is missing.

Here’s a good example: Jennifer manages a team halfway around the world, so her workday often starts at 6 a.m. She doesn’t mind this because she likes her team and her job. But she feels resentful when her boss forgets that she works so early and repeatedly asks her to stay late, which causes her to miss important time with her family.

In this example, burnout didn’t occur because Jennifer disliked her job; in fact, she loved what she did. She experienced burnout because she hated missing out on family time in the evenings.

Take time to think about any negative feelings that you have about your role, and, perhaps, use a technique like the 5 Whys to get to the root of the problem. Once you’ve identified the cause of your burnout, write down at least one way that you can manage or eliminate that source of stress or unhappiness.

Another useful method for identifying underlying causes of burnout is to keep a stress diary . Each day, write down what causes you stress and record why the event stressed you. Stress diaries can be illuminating, so long as you keep up with them for a reasonable period of time.

Once you discover the root causes of your burnout, look at what you can do to resolve it. This might involve delegating some of your responsibilities to others, adding more autonomy to your job, working from home one day a week, or even changing roles.

Focus on the Basics

If you’ve experienced burnout, your body may be in need of attention. This is why it’s important to think about the basics of good health and well-being.

Start by getting plenty of exercise . Countless studies have shown that this offers many physical and mental benefits; not only does regular exercise help reduce stress, but it also boosts your mood, improves your overall health, and enhances your quality of life.

Next, make sure that you’re getting enough sleep , eating well, and drinking plenty of water throughout the day. These might sound obvious, but busy professionals often ignore their most basic needs. Instead, they take care of others and their responsibilities far more than they take care of themselves. This can contribute to burnout.

Finding This Article Useful?

You can learn another 75 stress management skills, like this, by joining the Mind Tools Club.

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