Take a Water Break... Gets a Whole New Meaning

(First appeared in WRAL TechWire.)

I’m writing to you this week from a little balcony overlooking twin ponds on the sweetest horse farm in Vass, NC. Now, I grew up in small-town America so heading out of the city and in the direction of open fields and Piggly Wigglys feels like going home. 

Honestly, if left to my own devices, I probably wouldn’t have stolen away for these last few days. But luckily one of my team members was savvy enough to look ahead in my calendar and said, “Ya know you could take some time off, right? Your schedule eases up this week.”

“No, actually, I hadn’t noticed this beacon of light in an otherwise full calendar – do I still have time to run off to the Caymans?”

Ha… not quite. What we ultimately decided was while a trip to the Caribbean was tempting, this gifted break was also a perfectly placed opportunity to walk, wander, rest and plan for the next 90 days. So off I went – to a sanctuary in...

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The Brain is a Mysterious Place

(First appeared in WRAL TechWire.)

The brain is a mysterious place… a wild wild west of sorts, and not well adapted for today’s demands. I’m learning this and so much more as I explore the causes and remedies of burnout. Today is part one of two on the neuroscience behind burnout, which means today I’m going to tell you some of the fascinating things I’ve learned from Dr. Amit Sood, author of “Smart” and creator of the Resilient Option program.

Dr. Sood, colloquially known as the “Happiness Doctor” of the Mayo Clinic, talks about how our brains have very specific needs and vulnerabilities, many of which are rooted historically in our fight or flight response when facing predators. Our poorly adapted brains don’t know how to adjust to modern day demands, and as a result, we’re exhausted. Our brains are literally tired, and we don’t know how to give them the type of rest they need.

But here’s the thing:...

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Bosses face perfect storm of worker frustration, exhaustion & burnout. What to do?

Warning: I’m about to say a thing that might hit you wrong…or step on some toes. And in the age of cancel culture, I’m asking that you hang in there with me. It’ll make sense in the end. We good? Okay, let’s go.

So…I asked a client how she was doing last week, and she said, “Honestly Jes, I’m fine. I’m rolling. I know you’re writing about burnout these days, but I’m not burned out. And in full transparency, I think many of my ‘burned out’ colleagues…might not be used to working full days anymore.”

I was struck by her candor. But then she elaborated. “I think some people worked less during COVID, not more. Now that they’re back in the office routine, they’re trying to catch up. Meanwhile, their well-meaning coworkers are filling in the gaps. Those are the folks that are burned out while others…just haven’t regained their footing yet.”

I took a day to sit...

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Burned Out? Try These Secrets to Unlocking the Stress Cycle

(First appeared in WRAL Techwire.)

Greetings from Boca Raton! This week’s blog is inspired by the Florida sunshine and glass of cucumber water. Two weeks ago, I shared that I was taking April off. More specifically, I blocked off any openings that had not already been scheduled and reserved them for me.

What a difference a choice makes! The act of preserving and protecting my time has already paid off in ways I would not have imagined. By deciding to say ‘no’ to new appointments, I built in more margin this month than I have in years. That one decision made it possible to schedule a quick trip to visit my son at Florida Atlantic University and drop in on a dear friend in Pompano Beach. Margin. A gift that I’ve clearly taken for granted.

This down time has brought me back to a book called Burnout – the Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle by Dr. Emily Nagoski and Dr. Amelia Nagoski. I’m rereading it, and like most things, it’s taken...

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Crispy Crunched Burnout! We All Are Feeling It... Now Let's Find Solutions!

burnout recovery Apr 07, 2022

(First appeared in WRAL Techwire.)

I’m taking April off!

Kinda. Nineteen days ago I snatched every block of uncommitted time I had this month and held it for me! I’m treating it like recess, so whatever I feel like doing, I’m gonna do.

My “come to Jesus” happened when a friend called to download her day and I teared up. I didn’t have it in me. The straw. The camel. I didn’t have it in me to care. As awful as that is to admit.

That feeling is called compassion fatigue and it’s one of the first signs of burnout. So, I did what any self-respecting human would do who makes a career out of personal development – I finished crying and bought a slice of salted caramel cake from Nantucket.

When I finally pulled myself together, I realized this was less about her and way more about me, my lack of emotional boundaries and my season of overcommitment.  Fast forward to today and I feel really good. I’m bringing more of the good...

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