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Burnout affects millions of Americans, yet we often aren't aware of what this condition is and the toll it can take on workers, especially those in caring professions. Since the 1980s, researchers have identified three major dimensions of burnout: exhaustion, cynicism, and a reduced sense of efficacy at work. As someone becomes more exhausted and overwhelmed at work, their performance suffers, and they typically find themselves too depleted to engage in their life outside of work. 

If they don't receive an intervention to help restore their engagement with their job, they may end up needing an extended absence from work to recover, and many simply remain at their job but are less productive over time. Even worse, burnout seems to be "contagious": if one person on a team is suffering from that condition, their cynicism and disengagement can spread to the rest of the team. This workshop will focus on the first dimension of burnout, exhaustion, and give you tools to boost your energy for work and the rest of your life.

Why focus on burnout? I experienced two significant burnout episodes during my doctoral studies, though at the time I didn't know what was happening. Both times, I knew I was getting worn down, but as I tried to keep pushing through and getting my work done, it took less and less to deplete my mental energy until I was only able to work a few hours a day. 

My productivity had plummeted, and even during my "time off," I was thinking about my research – when I wasn't fantasizing about living in a yurt in some remote place where I wouldn't see humans often.  The things that restored my spirits were meditation, exercise, and time spent outdoors, so after I graduated, I took big doses of all of them, and after a couple of months I was ready to start the job that was waiting for me.  I've learned a lot about burnout since then, and I hope my experiences can save you the experience of a full-on burnout state.

Fortunately, researchers' identifying burnout as a problem has led to a greater focus on how to counteract it, and there's work being done now on opposite of burnout: engagement, a state in which workers have high energy, strong involvement with their work, and a sense of their own efficacy at work. 

This workshop focuses more on improving the first dimension of engagement, high energy, because it's the easiest domain for individual workers to enhance, but we'll also discuss ways we as individuals can try to improve our involvement and efficacy, too.
To maintain strong energy at work (and in the rest of life), experts in burnout and engagement recommend strategies from the large body of research on stress management and health.  In this workshop, we'll practice mindfulness to promote relaxation and stress relief at work and at home, and we'll also talk about the importance of exercise, social support, and even spiritual practice. In short, engagement at work depends on a person's whole life becoming more balanced.

During this webinar, we'll do two mindfulness practices and one contemplative movement practice that folks in almost every workplace will be able to fit into their daily routine. Mindfulness, as many studies have confirmed, can help us notice when we're stressed and allow our mind/body system to calm down. We'll discuss how to work short periods of mindfulness cultivation into your work routine so that you're taking frequent micro-breaks during the day.

Even a small amount of mental rest can make a huge difference in our ability to focus the mind and get out of the mental stories that cause so much of the stress we experience. For those who prefer movement to seated meditation, we'll practice a simple movement and breathing exercise that offers many of the same benefits as mindfulness practice.

We'll also discuss the importance of exercise, getting outdoors, and getting mindful of media consumption.  The principles of engagement can enhance all areas of life, so you'll have an opportunity to create your own action plan to burnout-proof your life.

Why you should Attend

Over two-thirds of American workers report symptoms of burnout at work, including cynicism, difficulty focusing on work tasks, irritability, and loss of job satisfaction. 

It's a condition that can take a big toll on an organization and on the people whose lives are disrupted, and many people don't even realize they're heading for a burnout event until it's too late.  But there’s a growing body of knowledge about how to treat and prevent this condition. 

This workshop will give you the tools you need to recognize burnout and cultivate its opposite, engagement, and boost your energy for work and play.

Why do I focus on healthy engagement?  I've experienced burnout twice during graduate school, though I didn't recognize it during those bleak times. 

As part of my recovery process I've developed my own set of "best practices" for actively increasing engagement and minimizing the risk of another burnout episode.  Now I want to help you burnout-proof your relationship to work so you can work hard, set boundaries, and still have the energy for everything else in life.

In this webinar, you'll learn how to recognize symptoms of burnout so that you can notice as quickly as possible if something is going wrong, and you'll get specific "tools" to help you avoid or recover from burnout. 

We'll do an exercise to determine what the burnout risks are in your life, and you'll create your own list of "medications" you've found effective for replenishing your energy in the past. 

You'll learn about the research that's now being conducted on burnout prevention, and we'll practice mindfulness and other contemplative practices that can turn down the volume on your daily stresses. You'll get links to guided meditations and other resources so you can integrate those practices into your work and home life routines.  

 Don't wait until you're in active burnout!  Join this webinar to get the tools you need to increase engagement and live a more energized life today.

Areas Covered in the Session

  • What is burnout?
  • The first dimension of burnout, exhaustion
  • What is its opposite, engagement?
  • Boosting energy at work and play
  • Meditations and movement to burnout-proof your work routine
  • Digital consumption: choosing what feeds our energy
  • Recharging through exercise and time spent outdoors

Who Will Benefit

  • Healthcare Professionals
  • Leaders and Managers
  • Human Resources Managers
  • Human Resources Consultants
  • Project Managers
  • CEOs
  • Supervisors

Speaker Profile

Claire Villarreal , PhD, works to adapt traditional Buddhist teachings for the demands of modern life. She’s made trips to Thailand, India, and Nepal totaling over two years to study and meditate in traditional settings in those countries, with pilgrimage to Tibet. She began meditating daily in 1997 in the Theravada and Vajray?na traditions, and her teachers include Anne Klein, PhD, Harvey Aronson, PhD, Lama Tenzin Samphel, and Kamalo Bhikkhu. She’s spent two and a half months in various degrees of retreat in the Thai forest tradition, four months in group retreats in India and Nepal, and cumulatively over a year of solitary retreat since 2007.

A former Programs Director for Dawn Mountain Center for Tibetan Buddhism and former board member for Compassionate Houston, she earned her doctorate in Religious Studies from Rice University with a dissertation and publications exploring contemplative ways of knowing and how they speak to the contemporary academic study of mysticism. These days she’s a member of the GenX dharma teachers community, and she recently received a grant from the Hemera Foundation to write and podcast about what Tibetan teachings on reincarnation can teach us about living well.