This week on Real Talk with Rachael, I’m chatting with Dr. Amy O’Hana about her book Beyond Burnout: What to Do When Your Work Isn’t Working for You. Dr. Amy O’Hana is a licensed professional counselor in Oregon and an Approved Clinical Supervisor. She is a full-time professor of clinical mental health counseling at the University of Western States in Portland, OR, has been a full-time counselor educator for 18 years, manages her own private practice, and has been the director of two counseling training clinics. Amy’s research interests are human potential and motivation, erotic intelligence (which is more about spirituality than sexuality), and integrative approaches in psychotherapy (spirit-body-mind). She is the author of two published books, When Your Child is Grieving: God’s Hope and Wisdom for the Journey Toward Healing and Beyond Burnout: What To Do When Your Work Isn’t Working For You. She writes every day – whether fiction and non-fiction, poetry, journaling, letters, or emails. When not writing, counseling or teaching, you can find Amy working on her fixer-upper, playing with her French bulldog Sunny, kayaking, or exploring the mountains of Central Oregon.
Key Points from Our Conversation:
- Burnout is essentially a disconnection. It’s a sense of dysregulated wholeness meaning you’re fragmented in some way and disconnected from your purpose.
- 3 characteristics of burnout – a sense of emotional exhaustion, physical exhaustion, and loss of meaning
- Loss of meaning can result in unethical behavior that seems out of character with the person engaged in it. They have become so disconnected from themselves that they no longer perceive things rationally. It’s easy to judge, but we can all become so exhausted that we disconnect from ourselves.
- Work is not a vocation. Stay-at-home moms experience burn out too.
- Being overbooked and burnt out can occur at the same time. When you’re overbooked, you’ll feel better once you change the environment. Burnout requires a process of reconnection.
- You can know you’re burnt out if you notice changes on 3 levels – you’re becoming more cynical, you notice weight gain or become more irritable, and you begin asking existential spiritual questions
- 5 intentions of burnout resolution – practice stillness so God can restore your soul. Step into the stillness of presence and connection. Seek connection with God, yourself, and work. Cultivate awareness of who you are, where you are, and where you want to be. Focus on who you are to be, not what you are to do.
- Move past doing to being by being intentional about fully connecting with the moment you’re in instead of focusing on the end goal.
- When you notice a friend experiencing burnout, find a way to serve them. They may not even realize they’re experiencing it, but it’s serious. Give them grace while they navigate their disconnection.
- If you’re experiencing burnout, the first step is acknowledging it. Slow down and understand it’s a crisis, then attend to it.
Let’s Get Real Practical:
Listen to the Talk Therapy Series about burnout
Be present in the moment. Insert the “to be” in your to-do list.