This summer I came to grips with the fact that I – a so-called expert on burnout – might myself be burning out, again. I took time to completely slow down, seek professional help and reconnect with myself and with people around me.
Then I realised that many others I talked to felt the same – overwhelm, exhaustion, as well as periods of depression and distress at how hopeless and irresolvable so many problems facing us appear to be.
The pandemic has not gone away, in the UK we are faced with a monumental economic crisis affecting millions of people, we are heading into a very uncertain autumn and winter and polarisation and fragmentation are playing out in a very ugly way in society and on social media.
And yet, still, we are expected to carry on with business as usual at work. As if this is all normal and that we can just keep up our momentum and motivation no matter what life throws at us.
We have to challenge this, because our lives are not normal right now.
In my book I argue that the pandemic, and lockdown, presented us with an opportunity to recognise our own vulnerability, our own need for connection and the vital importance of pausing to reflect on our struggles and the struggles of others.
We need to have the courage to keep reaching out – to ask for help, and to check in with those who may be struggling far more than us. We need to keep having difficult conversations about why our workplaces remain unsafe and toxic for so many people. And to see how we can take action to challenge the working cultures that make us ill.
The Vulnerable Humanitarian Book Circle is one such place where humanitarians, human rights defenders, charity workers and change-makers can show up with wholeness and with vulnerability, and explore what feels alive and difficult.
It is a place where experiences and ideas can be shared in a safe container for reflection and healing.
I firmly believe we all have many creative solutions within us – and all we need is a space in which to explore these, without judgement or shame. The Vulnerable Humanitarian Book Circle is there to support you.
We start at 5pm BST (6pm CEST, 7pm EAT, 12pm EST) on Thursday 13th October and 1pm BST (2pm CEST, 3pm EAT, 8am EST) on Friday 14th October. Pick which day is better for you and join us every three weeks as we discuss a chapter from my book in each session.
For more details, and to book, please visit the EventBrite page. Feel free to tell your friends and colleagues also!
I look forward to seeing some of you there, as we weave our circle of belonging, safety and connection together.