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How are you feeling today? 
Thoughts about burnouts - Part 1

Inna Huttunen

“Work harder. Set your goals high. Aim even higher. Don’t waste your time. Push yourself. Challenge yourself. Challenge your environment. Get out of your comfort zone. Don’t give up. Be kind. Set your boundaries. Know yourself. Lead by example. Give it your all! ”


How about trying this today: give yourself some slack. Let me make a wild guess - there’s a high likelihood that you are doing a good job. Considering that you’re reading this blog, there’s also a big chance that you work in the creative industries, maybe in leading positions - and a very high likelihood that your resources are limited but your visions are BIG. You, my dear reader, are probably doing an amazing job.


I’m writing this because I am tired of burnouts. There are a million reasons leading to it, some that are personal, some that come from the nature of our sector, some from generational issues and so on. I am writing this because I believe we can shift the culture, a little by little.


If you are like me, you do like all the high pace, big visions, ambitious goals and working hard – and it’s sometimes hard to settle for less. This sometimes leads to a vicious cycle in an environment that applauds for sacrifices and values being busy.


A bit of a motivation for us achievers and over-workers to work on our wellbeing - your productivity and the quality of your work increases when you’re not on the edge! As said by a doctor in occupational health, many of us are driving 120 km/h on a highway, but on gear three. It uses a lot more gas and slowly kills the engine. You can do it for a surprisingly long time, it’s just not good for you. So you might not be able to do the next road trip. Maybe stop for a while, and then keep on going with a better gear.


Inna, resting in peace #1



Let’s talk about something that I think could be found from the opposite direction from burnout. Intuition! You might call it the inner voice or the gut feeling and it has a lot of mysticism around it. Simple, for me it’s this shy voice that knows what’s good for me and is often buried under a lot of hustle and bustle, external expectations and this race of deadlines and mountains to cross. 


I was listening to a podcast the other day with Asta Raami, a researcher and professor from Aalto University who did a pHd about intuition. She had this hot tip that stuck to me, partly because of it’s simple format and partly because I really want to believe in this. If stress and for example fear or other big feelings are the enemies of intuition, the three B’s are the signposts.



These are places where it’s a little easier to hear these tiny signals we are sending to ourselves. Bed refers to situations where you’re on the edge of being awake and asleep - for example just when you wake up or go to sleep. Bus refers to transit - be it the train, a car, plane, bike - something where we stay still and we are on our way and the scenery changes around us. And bath refers to taking a bath - or for somebody else a similar relaxing, grounding experience could be for example a walk in the forest, or a sauna! If we want to practice our intuition, we could pay attention to the signals, thoughts and feelings that surface on these situations. I just love this! 


And what does all of this have to do with burnout? I think that Bed, Bus and Bath can also be the weapon to fight the one big B, the burnout. If we are more in touch with ourselves and we listen to our small signals, we can maybe feel better. Or at least have a nice bath.


So, how do we go about keeping away from the big B? I’ve collected some tips and tricks that I think might be useful to consider. All in my next blog! 

Photo: Inna Huttunen

Published on 23.04.2021

NHLP has been made possible with the support of Nordisk Kulturfond and Nordic culture Point, Nordic Council of Ministers, and Lund Municipality


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