Doing work you love is exhilarating, don’t you think? When work is good, I feel an absolute high from things like anticipating fresh challenges, envisioning and acting upon ideas, collaborating with teammates or clients, and creating wins (or learning from losses). Any of these can be compelling reasons to get up each morning.
They can also add up to a perfect storm of burnout.
I’ve experienced my share of times when too many challenges come all at once, or I jump in with both feet, only to find I’ve been — to mix my metaphors — picking up the oars too much for teammates who have already reached exhaustion as we try to pull against shared headwinds. This is what leads to burnout.
But I’ve never worked in an environment where life and death is truly on the line.
Many of the experienced, tested, resilient professionals on our front lines, today, are doing this over and over again. This will take a toll long after the immediate crisis is over.
I’ve been very grateful to the brilliant team at 10% Happier — the meditation app-and-more inspired by Dan Harris’ book of the same name — and their afternoon “sanity breaks” on YouTube each weekday. A 5 minute meditation with an extra 15 minutes or so of helpful perspective on finding equanimity in this perfect storm. Each week they highlight a worthy cause for donations; The Emotional PPE Project is one of them.
Having myself battled burnout and anxiety related to high pressure work environments (albeit of a different, lesser, sort), this fear on behalf of our medical professionals has been bubbling up more and more often.
The recent death of the head of ER at New York Presbyterian Hospital (the place where my daughter was born), brought this to a painful head.
For this reason, while it may not be much, I have donated to The Emotional PPE Project, and will make a $10 donation for each new project we take on in May. I wish it were more, but as a new business we still have a way to go. Hopefully I’ll be able to do more down the road.
If you can help them, I encourage you to check them out and if you’re so inclined, to add your support. If you have thoughts to share with me, please do, whether in the comments area below, or by shooting me an email or touching base on social. I would love to hear from you!
We all have stresses and strains in this life, and I believe that the only way out — so we can all step into our full potential to contribute to a brighter, better world — is by wading through it, together. Be safe, be well. Love to all!