In the journey to health from burnout, I developed 4 gauges. These help me to grow in self-reflection, thereby building self-awareness, and importantly empower me to self-moderate. They have been integral to my sustained health.
Twice, these gauges have rescued me from slipping back into burnout by clearly showing the powerful link between depleters and buoyancy. These have a negative and positive effect respectively on well-being—on what I call Burnout Symptoms.
The cumulative effect of depleters is seen in an increase of sleepless nights, followed by fatigue and heart palpitations. This is my red zone that shouts, “Danger! Take action now!” That action is to reduce the depleters (where possible) thereby increasing buoyancy.
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What do your gauges show?
These gauges are great well-being tools.
1. Overall Health
In overall health, I chart a number out of 10 (0 being low) for 5 key areas of life :
It is a subjective, quick gut response that remarkably overtime shows trends and is a first step to building self-awareness.
For more on this see:
2. Burnout Symptoms
I looked for empirical, physical measures that could indicate deeper emotional things, and settled on three. All three were constant companions in the valley of burnout. Please do not just self-diagnose. If you become aware that you are regularly experiencing any of these get medical advice as there may be other reasons.
These I chart out of seven for the number of days I have experienced them.
for more on this see:
As I began to rest and the fogginess lifted, I realised that the things my GP, my Psychologist and my Mentor had me doing were accelerating my well-being. These are charted in the number of sessions during the week.
- Professional Help
- 10,000 steps
for more on this see:
The fourth key area is to chart the things that deplete your emotional well-being.
It has taken some time to form this list. You will note that I include things I love doing: preaching, running worship services and developing leaders. These were added because they also significantly deplete me.
- Dilemma — difficult choice or situations you can’t change
- Broken Relationship
- Presentation & Team Leadership — eg Preaching/Chair/Leadership Meetings
- Psychological Stress — eg abuse, loss, grief
- Physically Sick
- Over Worked
- Management Stress
For more on identifying depleters see: