How To Move From Burnout To Balance

We get asked all the time how to move from burnout to balance. With our own journey’s through burnout, here’s what we’ve learned so far.

What is balance?


The image conjures different things for different folks. A balance beam. A balance ball. Conversations about work/life balance. 

Some people loathe the word. They think it’s impossible to set as a goal – and we agree. IF, that is, you believe it’s a static goal that serves as a permanent state of being. 

Instead, we believe that balance is an active state. It’s a practice, an intention, a daily aspiration to maintain – and something that’s normal to fail at. 

Let’s return to the balance beam visual for a minute. If you’ve ever watched a clip of an Olympic gymnast, balance is a thing they must constantly maintain while on the beam. It’s not a given, it’s a goal. As they flip and twist and hop, they must constantly manipulate their muscles to maintain balance and stay on the beam. 

Life is a balance beam. As we flip and twist and hop over tasks and stressors and events and obligations, we need our emotional muscles to help us maintain that balance. 

Moving from burnout to balance

Burnout means our emotional muscles are depleted. We don’t have the strength in them to do all that maintenance. It sucks when you need your muscles to do something and they can’t. So what do we do? 

  1. First, we give ourselves the grace to remember that just because our muscles can’t handle that movement today, it doesn’t mean they can’t handle it ever
  2. Second, we make tiny changes in our life to strengthen those muscles. Maybe you decide to take five minutes a day to simply breathe – that will strengthen your balance muscles. Or make sure to spend time with your best friend each week, either in person or on the phone. Or shift your perspective just a little to remember that your kids aren’t just stress balls, they’re also people that you love and bring you joy. 
  3. Finally, we do that work daily. We remember that balance requires work, it can’t just happen because we want it to. Make the tiny changes you need to your routine to strengthen the muscles so that when you fall off that balance beam, you can make like Simone Biles and hop right on back up. 

So when people ask us how to move from burnout to balance, this is what we tell them. It’s not a one time movement. None of us find balance and stay there all the time. It takes work, everyday. Ultimately, we believe that taking these first three steps is a great start.


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