Burnout is an ever-present threat in academics and vocation, but the Calling and Career Office (CCO) student interns have created a workshop to help students combat its effects.
Three guest speakers from various industries, David Neal, Audrey Spear and Hannah Richardson, a pre-art therapy professor at Taylor University, presented their experiences with burnout to students in the garage room on November 15th.
Their insight created a better understanding of what to do when work and life become overwhelming, hopeless and exhausting, all leading to burnout.
“[The workshop] is connecting people to shared experiences of things that may not be as talked about, and how we navigate that and work together,” Kelsey Denison, a senior social work major who works as an intern at the Calling and Career Office, said.
Denison spearheaded the project and planned the event with fellow student interns Sarah Maloney, Jaden Nourse, Emmanuel Joseph and Carson Heath.
Denison’s passion to create a workshop centering on burnout has affected her personally as she has begun to think about her career.
“I'm a social work major,” Denison said. “We always talk about how there's an importance of not only taking care of others but taking care of ourselves.”
Social work majors aren’t the only group on campus who experience burnout, though.
The stress of academics, difficult topics, overwork and lack of rest lead to burnout and the inability to help others or follow vocations.
Burnout appears after prolonged chronic stressors related to interpersonal issues, typically in the workplace or at school. Symptoms of burnout include exhaustion, a cynical mindset, loss of motivation, and a feeling of ineffectiveness or lack of achievement. The CCO workshop gives students the tools to prevent burnout in their own workplaces or in academics.
Prior to the event, Denison commented on her hopes for creating a space for students to engage with self-care and restoration.
“Hopefully, it feels like you could rejuvenate…relax and have a space to really reflect and dive into the content,” Denison said. “It's not just hearing about burnout for an hour but also a mixture of taking care of yourself and doing fun activities.”
The CCO provided snacks, activities and fidget toys for attendees to decompress and relax. Rather than a panel, a workshop allowed the event to be more engaging for attendees.
Junior Sarah Maloney expected the event to be especially exciting due to this interactive element. According to Maloney, including fidget toys allows both herself and others to be more engaged.
“I always have fidget toys in my backpack,” Maloney said.
Maloney led the planning portion of the workshop by creating a schedule and communicating with guest speakers.
The CCO has led many events throughout the school year, including annual gatherings such as Professional Palooza. However, specialized panels and events like the burnout workshop allow the CCO to address relevant topics initiated by their student interns.
For Denison and Maloney, self-care remained at the core of the planning process for the workshop.
“If we don't take care of ourselves, the work that we do will not be as fruitful or productive. And it will just lead to burnout,” Denison said.