MY 100th BLOG POST:
For my 100th post I thought it appropriate to discuss the importance of preventing burnout. Anyone can burn out but it often occurs among animal rights activists.
The concept of burnout is not new to me, as for many years I practiced as a psychotherapist. In my doctorate, I examined the long-term psychological effects of trauma, specifically incest. Incest occurs within a power relationship when a family member treats a child as property to be exploited.
Listening to or seeing horrendous images of relentless traumatic events can cause “secondary trauma”. Simply put, the individual goes into “bad story overload”.
Animal rights activists are exposed to endless stories of suffering and the abuse of helpless creatures. Burnout occurs when you are under prolonged stress. With burnout you lose the strength and motivation to fight for others. You lose perspective and feel disillusioned, helpless and drained of emotional energy. Everything looks bleak and pointless. You feel like nothing you do makes a difference or is appreciated. Your own worth feels doubtful, which can impact on relationships and your health.
How does one prevent burnout?
~ Accept that we all have limitations and that self-preservation is more helpful than self-sacrifice.
~ Keep the balance in your life and don’t feel bad to do things you enjoy on a weekly or daily basis. This can be walking, reading, gardening, watching a movie, listening to music – whatever replenishes you.
~ Appreciate the simple things in life, like a sunset, cute kitty pics and so on.
~ Connecting with Nature can be very healing.
~ I like the principle of rest and recuperation (R&R), as implemented by the United Nations.
Essentially this is time out, but away from the stressful situation. Having time out at home is not always restful.
So once a year I try to get out of Johannesburg.
Last year we went to Zambia to see the magnificent Victoria Falls and Zambezi river.
I know this is not a pretty photo blog but here are some happy snaps from that time.
This photo does not even begin to capture Victoria Falls, which is breathtaking.
Absorbing the tranquility of the sun setting on the Zambezi was food for the soul.
This week I am off to see the great lake of Malawi ❤
Here’s to R&R!