An Unsung Antidote to Burnout

Here’s the way I used to do it:

Finish a project. Cross it off my list. Turn to face what’s next.

Pretty standard, right?

But I’ve added one other word to it. Or, I’ll be honest, I’m making an effort to add one other word to it.

Between “Cross it off my list,” and “Turn to face what’s next,” I’ve stuck in, “Celebrate.”

I stuck it in because I was starting to get worn down and hardened by only doing. Without appreciating or putting space between what had been done.

So celebrate. Any way, any how.

I’ve celebrated a finished piece of writing with hot chocolate or a few skyward fist pumps. And I’ve celebrated completing a big project by renting a dirt cheap car and going on a winter road trip to the beach.

Some friends have a glass of red wine. My mother puts her dinner in tupperware and drives to the lighthouse to see the sunset.

It doesn’t matter how it’s done, it only matters that it’s done. Not just for the extraordinary undertakings, either. For ordinary undertakings, too.

Because celebrating is, in its most beautiful form, a pause of appreciation. Which dusts off the human spirit. And revives our will to create and contribute. It is, perhaps, one of the most unsung antidotes to burnout.

So celebrate. Any way, any how, every day. For the work we did. The things we made, built, created. The relationships we nourished. The beauty we noticed. And, if nothing else, or perhaps above all else, the life we are living.

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