burned stump prescott national forest
BURNED OUT — The image photographed by Jeremy Marshall shows a burned stump in the Rafael Fire in the Prescott National Forest in Arizona in June 2021. PHOTO COURTESY NATIONAL INTERAGENCY FIRE CENTER

Comfort and joy are more than nice ideas; they’re keys to health


While “burnout” is not a new concept, it is a real phenomenon. As in most conditions, it is best to avoid it rather than recover from it.

Different from tedium, which can also diminish our overall quality of life, burnout can lead to exhaustion, cynicism and despair. All of these states can have significant physiological effects that can lead to disease.

As in all diseases related to lifestyle choices, burnout can be prevented. But, as in most conditions, we do not consider preventing them as much as responding to their onset.

It would be best to adopt a healthy, preventive lifestyle, but at best we can learn to detect issues before they become full-blown diseases.

There are many systems, styles and programs that espouse healthy living habits. The ones I am drawn to and recommend to others are those that encourage balance and emphasize a meaningful life. And, when we strive for one, we facilitate the other.

While we could spend an inordinate amount of time discussing balance as it applies to any and every aspect of our lives, let us focus on what we may define as a meaningful life. As balance is simply that: if you are doing a lot of this, you will be doing less of that. Not everything functions best at “middle of the road” in every moment, but over time some form of equilibrium must be met.

It would be the best definition of hubris to consider that anyone could suggest to anyone else what constitutes a meaningful life. As I coyly avoid the possible retribution for my exaggerated self-confidence in attempting this suggestion, let me just say (and, I am not the first), it is living consciously. It is considering the impact of every thought and action on everyone and everything else you are surrounded by — near and far.

Then, combine that with your personal decision to positively contribute to our world, or at the very least, do no harm (I’m not the first to say that either).

The way we can determine if we are living a healthy lifestyle is by assessing how we feel both physically and emotionally. Comfort and joy are the best indicators. If you are not feeling comfort and experiencing joy, you absolutely need to identify why and find resources to help you achieve it, or at least, move toward it.

It is not at all easy to live in this world and not be challenged at multiple levels, from many directions. Give me the strength to recognize what I can and cannot control (borrowed that one too); once that is identified, get with it. Do what is needed to be done. Learn the coping skills necessary to tolerate that which is beyond your control. The tools most necessary to achieve the above are time management and communication. Master these skills.

Do not look outside of yourself for the reasons you struggle. Some of us are in more difficult situations. All of us can find support.

We attract the beautiful light-filled beings around us by shining our light. If you think you do not possess light, you’re wrong. If you think you are not worthy, you’re wrong. Love, and be loved.

All of this equates to a life worth living; otherwise we burn out.

— Jordan, of DeLand, is the owner, with his wife, Mercedes, of Jordan Health Clinic & Day Spa.


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