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The Burnout Check-In


I want to offer a burnout check-in I used to do with one of my clinical teams during the pandemic. We used to check in with each other regarding where we were on the burnout spectrum because we knew that as therapists, how susceptible we were to it. For helping professions, burnout is the #1 occupational hazard (if you've been on my list for a while, yes, I'm saying it for the millionth time in hopes that you too, will say it to others a million times).


The check-in is pretty simple. You do a body scan from the top of your head to the bottoms of your feet and notice any sensation, discomfort, tightness or tension, then reflect on how you feel emotionally, especially as it related to the work and our other competing responsibilities. Take a moment to reflect on this while checking in with your body. “On a scale of 0-10, what is your level of burnout?” Write that number down.


The weekly check-in would allow us to take the pulse on our body, energy levels and needs. At the end of our meeting, we’d go around and state a self-care activity or basic wellness skill that we were going to do right after the meeting or for the week. It led us to realize that burnout is on a spectrum and we'd fall somewhere on it all times, whether high or low.


We also learned that some people gravitated toward the same skill or method of taking care of themselves. We weren't surprised at the therapist who was going to "have a late lunch and get some vitamin D outside," the perpetually thirsty child therapist who would be in need of drinking the rest of their water, the intern who was going to "catch up on sleep this weekend," and mine, "go for a walk."

Going for a walk is the #1 activity that welcomes me back to myself and nature. This special walking practice started when I was a new mom and my friend and also a new mom, Hazel would pull me out of the house to walk - without the babies. We walked along the beach, feeling the breeze in the air, talking about all things motherhood, work, absurdities, patriarchy, and being better to ourselves. Ten years later and we've maintained our practice, though the consistency has wavered during high burnout times for both of us. And for us, our burnout check-in and assumption is in the form of a simple text, "Walk tomorrow?"


Hazel and I hanging out at SteelCraft. We never look like this or have make up on when walking. She was taking current pictures of me.


Do the Burnout Check-In with yourself and see where you're at.

If you've been feeling the sting of overworking, mental exhaustion and how a 6-year old would define burnout, "you no longer play with your toys or friends," I'd encourage you to check out my self-paced course on Burnout Recovery below.


Burnout Robs us of our Joy. Find out how to get it back.





Disclaimer: Please note that this information is for educational purposes only. It does not constitute nor should be a replacement for individualized care and treatment with your medical provider.



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