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Learn the key ideas of the book by Rob Bogue , Terri Bogue

Extinguish Burnout

How to avoid burnout and manage stress

There can be many causes of burnout, and its consequences can have negative, even serious effects on a person’s health and on their life as a whole. The term burnout indicates a situation of exhaustion and loss of stimuli, and is often connected to the working environment. Burnout can be avoided and we can actually come back from it, but how? In Extinguish Burnout: A Practical Guide to Prevention and Recovery, authors Rob and Terri Bogue set out a path to help us understand what burnout is, to recognise its symptoms and to develop the resources we need to prevent or come out of this condition. 

Extinguish Burnout
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Burnout leaves a person empty and impotent, as though a fire has ravaged their insides and left behind an empty shell

Burnout syndrome, (to literally feel burned out) refers to a state of exhaustion, cynicism and loss of motivation, often linked to our work. In defining it, some researchers have placed emphasis on the connection between the arising of burnout and the misalignment between what an employer expects compared to what an employee is willing to give. In reality, the concept is much more complex and is not only limited to the work arena. Anyone who experiences burnout literally feels like they have been consumed by fire, and all that is left of them is an empty shell. From the outside, it might not even be noticeable, but inside, the person feels extremely drained, without fully understanding how they ended up in this predicament.

There can be many causes of burnout, and they are not confined to only one aspect of our lives. And this is how it manifests: we might end up ruminating over work problems even once we have left the office, and these worries begin to gnaw away at private lives. Just like a vortex, burnout drains more and more of our energy, leaving us feeling impotent and isolated.

There is a condition linked to burnout, which is both cause and consequence, which American Psychologist Martin Seligman called “learned helplessness”, or the conviction that there is nothing we can do to change our current state, so we feel as though there is no point in even trying to change the situation in which we find ourselves. Burnout isolates people and pushes them to lose their social connection with others, catapulting them into a spiral of loneliness from which it is extremely difficult to escape. Addiction and depression are two of the most serious consequences of burnout.


The key ideas of "Extinguish Burnout"

Burnout leaves a person empty and impotent, as though a fire has ravaged their insides and left behind an empty shell
The bathtub model to help us take back our “personal agency”
Correctly evaluating your results and receiving support from others are key steps to avoid burnout
Self-care is essential to prevent and recover from burnout and it is the only one of the three sources that can replenish our agency, and over which we can have full control
Setting boundaries on requests and demands from others is essential to reduce the risk of burnout
Having a clear image of oneself allows us to break down our inner barriers
Resilience is an excellent antidote to burnout and it can be trained, even through failure
Having clearly defined objectives strengthens our resistance to burnout. Finding our life’s purpose allows us to increase our motivation
A healthy dose of stress allows humans to deal with imminent danger. Long periods of stress, however, consume our resources
Take-home message

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