Burnout, Being Human and Beyond
Burnout is defined as a state of emotional, physical, and/or mental exhaustion caused by extended amounts of stress. According to the latest poll from the American Psychological Association, over 80% of adults in the United States are feeling the effects of chronic stress. Why should this matter to you? What does this mean? This means that over 80% of Americans are currently susceptable to burnout. Our body's and minds are not meant to survive in this way, and yet we are attempting to normalize that as a society.
The stress is real, the fatigue is real, and the burnout is real. It is human.
So, what next?
In episode 101 of The Shek Check Podcast I explore my recent experience with burnout, honoring my humanness and how we can move beyond. Collectively and individually.
Host Erez Shek
I am Erez Shek. and you are checking in with the Shek Check. The podcast dropping gems of awareness that hopefully let you take it inward to work that self-awareness muscle of yours, promoting that self check fact check on how we think feel and behave. Today, let's talk about burnout, shall we? Let's get Shekked!
There is a quote by Sam Kean that states "Burnout is what happens when you try to avoid being human for too long." I've been thinking a lot about burnout lately. Really we've built a culture and a society based and promoting burnout and let's face it over the last couple of years. We all know burnout pretty well. We're also identifying it a lot
more than we used to, which is not always preventing us from burn out. Yet. And the truth is we are all experiencing burnout on some level, but you know, I'm here to talk about my own burnout and why it matters and why it matters for me to talk about it right now in this moment.
Also, of course, as usual, I'm hoping that it inspires you to have this conversation with yourself and with others because hello, it's needed. It's necessary. And if there is nobody in your life telling you this it's permitted, it's human yo!
Now, if you are returning to the podcast, you would know that the last episode that I put out was a few months ago, actually it was like six months, six months ago. And it was like my hundredth episode of the show. And, you know, after I put it out, I was just tired. And I think I had been tired for quite some time actually kind of felt like I was pushing myself to create, to put content out there, content that I, I fully believe in and I fully back.
It still felt like a push.
So after I put that hundredth episode out, I was like, you know what, I need a break. But at the same time, I wasn't actually able to admit fully, even to myself that I needed a break. I couldn't even admit to myself that I was exhausted in my creative realm. Exhausted in the way that I was exhausted.
Here's the thing. Podcasting is hard. And I mean, I think in general, being a creative person and creating in general is hard and as beautiful and as fulfilling as it is, it's exhausting. It's exhausting. It's beautiful. It's hard. It's fulfilling. You know, I don't really give into this thinking of, you know, that, that bullshit that, that you heard growing up or that I heard growing up, which was like, you know, if you, if you find something that you love to do, then do it and you will never work a day.
Bullshit. It's work. Anything, anything you care about that is requiring energy from you in any way
is work. And like, that's that's okay for it to be work and it's okay for you to love it. And for it to also be work, that's not bad. It's again, it's like it's human.
But for me, you know, as a podcaster or more specifically an independent podcast or who doesn't necessarily have all the money and other resources to put into like the fancy editors and the producers and the people who do all the other work, the extra work, maybe.
Uh, the finding of the guests, the, the, the editing, the research on the guests, all things that I actually love to do in, in their own ways, but I don't have anyone to like help me with it. And that's exhausting. I think not being able, not having that help having those resources. It's exhausting, but you keep going, right?
Yeah. I kept going because you have to make sure that content is flowing out of you because if content is not flowing out of you, then what? You must not get contently constipated with your content. It's not what we do.
although I was not able to admit it to at the time I was burnt out and then thinking about all the things that I needed to do in order to start back up again, to start putting out new content in terms of the podcast. I got overwhelmed, you know, like in my head I was thinking about all the things that I would have to do. And I got overwhelmed, which honestly looks a lot like fear and anxiety, which you could say, look like procrastination, which is really based in perfectionism and anxiety and fear.
Then more time passed, which actually just up the overwhelm, because you know, you believe there is even more steps that you have to go through and, and address. And then you are far from the flow that you once had. And the flow is the only thing that kind of kept you going. So now you're like no flow, too many things to do too much. It's a beautiful loop deloop that just feeds off of each other, which just leads to more exhaustion.
So I can look back, right. I can look back at the last six plus months, right. And I could go, okay. You know, this is where I am. Now. There there's so much that I could look back at this
last six months and you know, I can learn from it. So if this kind of burnout happens in the future, then I can bypass all of this and I can get back to working and I can get back to doing the things like I could do all of that. Right? I could say this is a learning experience. How can I override the burnout response? What can I do? What should I do? What would I have done differently? Go back, analyze, learn, correct. Prevent to protect, to prepare Another lesson we are taught. Prepare for any future disasters, the disaster, not being the burnout. The disaster being how I handled the burnout.
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Does that serve me though? So look at all the things that I did wrong because that's really what preparation for the future is. Picking apart all the things we did wrong in order to not do them again. Even though, like you might repeat a bazillion things again, because the context is not ever going to be the same. Some experiences we just experience and we have to accept them for what they are
and focus on moving forward versus looking at all the things that piece of time has taught because a lot of those lessons, if there are any, are just built into me.
Have I gotten things from the last six months? Yes. Has there been ideas that have formulated in that time? Yes. Would they have formulated if this time was shorter? I don't know. I can't know that I can't even predict that I couldn't have predicted that.
This time has been this time. This journey has been this journey. Until this moment. That is all there is. That is, that is all it is.
So someone might ask, right. Would I change anything in the last six months to bring me here faster to bring me to this moment as I am talking to you right now, as this episode is like heading into your ears, your brain, like what I have changed any of the last six months for this moment and the answer is no. The answer is I choose to honor this journey- that is.
Because when I'm focusing on the coulda's, the woulda's, and the shoulda's then I'm looking at all the things I've done wrong. All the mistakes I've made. I am ignoring my humanness. The coulda's, the woulda's, the shoulda's. They allow me to ignore my humanness and my journey as it was, as it is.
I get that there is this belief that our time on this planet, we are both students and teachers. There's a reason why we are indoctrinated into our educational systems from the earliest of ages. So a good portion of our lives. We are conditioned to be students and learners as we get older. And then as we get older, we are conditioned to be the teacher.
Except we're not. We are human. Sometimes we have to let go of the lessons, the potential lessons, the need for there to be a lesson, the need to know the purpose, the greater purpose, the need to prepare or prevent, the need to create shortcuts, to get results faster,
the need to bypass certain experiences, certain potential experiences, the need to investigate and come up with the shoulda's and the woulda's and the coulda's because all of that is exhausting and all of that is burnout.
Sometimes being human is honoring our movement as it is, as we are. So yes, we burnout. It's human. So we, we slow down when we need to. We rest when our body and mind tells us to, we listen less to the bullshit the world is telling us we listen less to the bullshit we were taught because we were taught by people, conditioned to teach, also ignoring their human-ness.
We human ourselves a bit more every day. If we allow it.
There are so many, there's so many voices that feed burnout and it's so loud and it's so common. We don't always see it. And if you're like me, maybe it's hard for you to even admit to yourself that you are burnt
out, that you are human. What does caring for that humanness look like for you?
What can you offer your humanness instead?
Something to sit with. Thank you for joining me again this week. Thank you for coming back this week after such a long period of time.
And if you are new to The Shek Check, thank you for checking us out for the very first time. I highly urge you, of course, to go check out like the last hundred episodes or so.
Yea know, you can make it a day day or it's probably going to be more than a day, but like a kind of like podcast and chill kind of thing.
And wherever you're listening to us from, please hit that subscribe button or follow button. So you get notified when any new episodes drop and please remember to keep taking care of yourself because as long as you are taking care of you, you're also taking care of those around you. And we like that. We like that for all of us. We like that for like ourselves as individuals or like collectively as a community, as like a
global community. We like that for everyone. And it all starts when you check yourself.
So do that, check yourself so that you wreck yourself a little bit less until next time.
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