The August Sunrise Session sponsored by Energi was one for the books!

Renowned international wellness expert and former Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), Fleur Heazlewood, shared insights on the impact of burnout and provided valuable lessons on preventing and overcoming it. She also gave us a copy of her award-winning book "Resilience Recipes".

With most of us raising our hands when asked if we had experienced burnout, it became evident that it’s a widespread concern in the marketing industry. Fleur's presentation brought attention to the need to change our perspective on wellbeing and self-care, emphasising their pivotal role in achieving peak performance and quality of life. 

The Fear of Burnout and the Broken View of Wellbeing 

People are scared to say they’re struggling because they’re worried about what others will think. Questions like "Why can everyone else handle it, but not me?" often linger, only enhancing the stress and isolation experienced during burnout. Fleur highlighted the flawed approach to wellbeing, where it is treated as a reward to be earned after achieving specific goals. Instead, she urged us to view wellbeing as a fundamental enabler of performance and success. 

Understanding Willpower and Burnout 

The presentation touched on willpower and its finite nature. Did you know that willpower is strongest in the morning and gradually depletes as the day progresses? I didn’t!  

During burnout, when willpower and self-regulation are low, you must remember to be kind to yourself and focus on your wellbeing. Fleur stressed the significance of work/life balance and setting boundaries to overcome burnout successfully, then took us through five techniques that can help rewire the brain for positive habits and promote wellbeing: 

  1. Mindfulness and Meditation: Practicing mindfulness and meditation can help reduce stress and improve overall mental wellbeing.
  2. Gratitude Ritual: Creating a gratitude ritual can train the brain to focus on positive aspects, leading to a more optimistic outlook on life.
  3. Conscious Acts of Kindness: Performing acts of kindness for others not only benefits them but also boosts your own sense of wellbeing.
  4. Reliving Positive Experiences: Journaling or talking about positive experiences releases dopamine in the brain, promoting feelings of happiness and contentment – This one is my favourite and the one I relate most to. Those of us in the neurodivergent community call this "info-dumping".
  5. Exercise: Regular physical activity is a powerful tool to combat negativity bias and enhance mood. 

Survival Mode and Nurturing Positive Emotions 

The brain's survival mode – fight, flight, or freeze – can hinder non-essential functions during times of stress (another thing I didn’t know!). To counter this, Fleur encouraged us to nurture positive emotions, broadening and building them to interrupt our own negativity bias and survival mode. 

Flipping the Wellbeing Equation: My Key Takeout from Fleur’s presentation

Remember that wellbeing is an enabler of performance, not merely a reward for hard work. By prioritising wellbeing, nurturing positive emotions, and setting boundaries, we can thrive in our personal and professional lives, leading to improved performance and overall quality of life.