The conference was organised by a French coach, Claire Jardin-Menard and included all manner of people who had either been through burnout and used that experience to inform their future career choice (such as marketing director turned author of a novel about a mum burning out; educator turned coach for hypersensitive women and web developer turned nature lover) or worked in a field that supported women through burnout (such as psychologists and psychiatrists).
There are as many ways of burning out as there are individuals if you look at the details, and each speaker took us through their own personal experience. There are however definite patterns within these burnout experiences that provide interesting points of reflection.
- Burnout happens when internal factors such as perfectionism and always saying yes meet external factors such as intense demands and manipulative behaviour in others.
- The need to stop, really stop, for weeks, months or even years before starting to reconstruct yourself is vital. Those who didn’t properly disconnect unfortunately went through a second burnout.
- There are so many ways to support burnout recovery after the batteries have somewhat recharged that it is worth taking time to try different options – what sophrology does for one may be what another finds in forest baths. Yoga might help you reconnect mind and body, or you might only feel whole following a beauty treatment.
It was very interesting to see how established the burnout world seems to be in France, with podcasters and public figures included in the speaker list and quite a lot of media coverage. Belgium was also represented by Anne Everard, author of the “Guide du Burn-Out” a collection of burnout experiences that also informed the creation of Madame Papillon.
One element that I missed, was discussion of the associations that exist in France to support women in burnout. There was mention of Burnettes, but no information about the related association. I have also since discovered LES PEST, Patientes expertes de la souffrance au travail, which is another association supporting those who have been through burnout.
For Madame Papillon this sense of community is an element that is very important in burnout recovery and would be worth highlighting in future events of this nature.
What about you? Did you catch the conference? Would you be interested in something similar in Brussels?