What Does T-Pain Have To Do With Burnout?

What Does T-Pain Have To Do With Burnout?
Picture of a woman asleep on a chair in front of a wall covered in paperwork. With the headings 'New on the Blog" and "What Does T-Pain Have To Do With Burnout?"

what does t-pain have to do with burnout?

This question was definitely not on my 2024 Bingo Card, but then I saw this Tweet on my timeline:

Screen shot of a Tweet dated January 17, 2024 by T-Pain. The text of the Tweet is "What's the name of that feeling when you feel completely fine but also if you drop a piece of candy you were just about to eat that's enough to make you ugly cry about all the bad shit from the last four years .... But like all at once?"

My immediate response to his question was: “The name of that feeling is burnout, my dude.”

In our book “The Culture of Burnout” we talk about the stress of a “minor inconvenience,” like dropping a piece of candy, and what it feels like when you’re burned out. We explain this phenomenon as:

“Burnout is a trauma that holds you in a constant, pervasive place of stress. It rewrites your relationship to stressors and rebuilds your baseline state into one of perpetual stress. And, it can be impossibly difficult to escape from this cycle of trauma.” (pg 19)

Sounds like our friend T-Pain, doesn’t it? Does it sound familiar to you?

the stress-o-meter

Stress is a part of everyday life, and we all go through periods of acute stress. In our book, we devised a scale of stress we called the Stress-O-Meter. When your life feels in balance and your stress levels are low, your Stress-O-Meter might look like this:

The first level of the burnout Stress-O-Meter - a rectangular box with only a small portion on the left side filled in and the text "no major stressors."

When something stressful happens in your life, your meter might move further up the scale. For example, when a family member gets sick, your Stress-O-Meter might look like this:

The second level of the burnout Stress-O-Meter, indicating when you have an incident of high stress, such as a family member getting sick and the line is much more filled in on the box.

But, when you are suffering from burnout, and your body rebuilds your baseline state into one of perpetual stress, you enter the Burnout Zone.

The third level of the burnout Stress-O-Meter. When you are in the Burnout Zone, i.e. your normal stress response is so high - the line is 2/3 full and there is a black line indicating your stress level when you are experiencing no major stressors.

If you end up in the Burnout Zone, even when you have no major stressors, your stress level is really high. Burnout means that your already high stress level is put in a state of crisis, even with the smallest stressor. Which is what T-Pain is talking about when he mentions dropping a piece of candy. In our book, we used the example of dropping your keys in a snowbank, but the reality is the same.

The fourth level of the burnout Stress-O-Meter depicts what happens when you drop your keys in a snowbank. If you have a normal stress response, your line is low, if you dropped your keys while stressed, your line is half full. If you dropped your keys while burned out, then you end up past your high stress level baseline and into the burnout zone.

In our book, we described it as such: “When you’re burned out and you drop your keys in a snowbank, it probably feels like the end of the world. The relatively small stressor of a minor inconvenience, such as having to get your hand wet as you dig around for your keys, stacks on top of a base state of being that is characterized by a never-ending stress cycle.” (pg 19)

But we don’t have to live our lives in a never-ending stress cycle. Our culture of burnout affects everyone, even famous musicians. There is something we can do about this highly traumatizing response to stress.

There is another way and we recommend that a great place to start is with our book: https://lnkd.in/ei4ZYK8u

#TheBurnoutLadies #burnoutrecovery #burnoutmitigation


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