Journeying Toward Wholeness

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3 Key Facts re: Summer, Burnout Treatment & Nature

July 26th, 2013 · No Comments · burnout, burnout treatment

Burnout isn’t confined to winter: summer encounters with burnout show us a lot about the kind of burnout treatment that we really need, and our relationship to inner and outer nature.

burnout treatment

Burnout and Outer Nature

Summer offers a chance to break with regular routines, and get closer to the natural world.  That closeness can have some profound effects on us.  Very often, when modern people do have the chance to come into contact with nature, there is an incredible feeling of “rightness” to it.  There is something in our psyche that is ready to respond to the natural world, to its rhythms, to acknowledge that we’re part of it. We feel the reality Jung points toward when he writes:

Natural life is the nourishing soil of the soul.  

Anyone who fails to go along with life remains suspended, stiff and rigid in midair.

-C.G. Jung, CW 8

Then when we leave nature, something in us can really feel the break.  For this reason,  for many people, returning to work may feel like a grief reaction, especially if we are confronting the emotional reality of burnout.

This is one way the summer / vacation season can bring us to realize our need for burnout treatment.  Summer can also find us confronting that reality in other ways.

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Can Summer Itself Seduce Us Into Burnout?…

“…Surely not!” is our instant reaction — surely summer brings us the very opposite of burnout, doesn’t it?  Summer is associated with warm, relaxed times in the sun, far from work.  But other realities are also part of summer.

As Sherrie Bourg Carter, Psy. D. has pointed out, 4 very significant factors, listed in the graphic below can drive burnout, and these can take on a formidable potency in summer:

burnout treatment

So, relative to the past, the summer experience of many middle class people have in our society is one of increased pressure.  The workplace demands more, and makes it less easy to take vacation time.  Technology keeps us continually looped in, thwarting escape from work and other demands.  The pressures of consumerism push us to entertain and have fun at ever more expensive levels, which further ups the stress ante.  And perfectionism in business, technology and professional people is continually pressuring us to do more, more, more.

Burnout and Inner Nature

The most fundamental types of burnout involve alienation from our own inner nature — from who we most basically are.  In a manner akin to alienation from outer nature, described above, we can find ourselves in a work role — or in roles of family or other responsibility — that have the character of burnout, and that requires burnout treatment in the broadest sense of the word.

burnout treatment

Burnout happens at any time of the year, occuring more frequently in summer than you might suppose.  Contact with nature in summer may make us aware of just how fundamentally we need to address burnout.  Depth psychotherapy is often important as a form of burnout treatment , as it brings us contact with our fundamental inner nature.

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© 2013 Brian Collinson, 2238 Constance Drive, Oakville, Ontario (near Mississauga)

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