When we were thinking of a name for the project, we wanted it to spark interest and encompass elements of our main ideas.
We are focused on women and we want to demonstrate that despite the pain and turbulence of going through burnout, it can also be an opportunity for change, metamorphosis and growth. After the break in the safety of your cocoon, you can grow wings and fly.
As we delved into the causes and effects of burnout in women, we could see that not only did our personal experience of people around us show that burnout was hitting more women than men, but the statistics backed our observations up.
In the INAMI report of May 2021, it was highlighted that two-thirds of the people suffering from depression and burnout were women.
This is a project set up by four women, in a patriarchal society, in full consciousness of the enormous pressures put on women in all areas of their lives. We are told, and tell ourselves, that we must be perfect women, perfect mothers, perfect colleagues, and the truth is that nobody can be everything all the time for everyone. If we try to achieve the impossible, we crack.
Communities of women share many experiences and communities of women after burnout can understand not only the experience of trying to do it all and burning out, but the experience of trying to rebuild, the importance of acknowledging our need for help and the essential nature of putting your own oxygen mask on first before attending to the people who rely on you.
Burnout is painful and strikes at the heart of your identity. It puts everything into question that you held to be true of yourself – I am capable, I am competent, I can be relied on to spin all of these plates.
Many people who experience burnout once however will go on to burn out a second or third time. At Madame Papillon we believe that in order to break this cycle you need to ask yourself some fundamental questions and make some pretty major changes to the way you live your life.
That is a scary but exciting prospect and with the right people around you, you can find balance and go forward into a better way of living.
We are starting our activities with:
- a collection of resources to help, including links to professional coaches who can guide you through those internal reflections;
- discussion groups with a psychologist, to show women they are not alone in their experiences, and help to identify how they got into their current situation and begin to move forward;
- workshops to increase wellbeing and spark creativity and bring the fun back into life;
- an exchange café, not for the women going through burnout but for their partners, parents, children, and friends who also feel helpless in the face of their loved one going through such an experience.
This is what Madame Papillon aims to do – provide a safe space, resources and support for women to flourish after burnout.