3rd October, 2023

Surprising Ways to Avoid Burnout

With Nick Petrie

Photo of Nick Petrie

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On this episode

Do you give yourself permission to rest? If you’re like many people in caring professions, you worry that taking time out to look after yourself means not spending that time helping others. That thinking may have got you to your position now, but is it serving you, or is it time to update your operating system?

The problem with rest is that we often confuse it with inaction. But rest from work doesn’t have to mean rest from activity. As this week’s guest, Nick Petrie discovered, for high achievers, rest could be going to the gym or Argentinian tango. Nick’s research shows that the way to beat burnout is not to stop doing things altogether, but to find things you love to do, but that are entirely outside of your sphere of work.

Choosing what you do outside of work needs to be done with care, however. If you’re used to working in a fast-paced and competitive environment, a gym where everyone’s visibly pushing themselves to beat their neighbour might not give you the release you need.

But engaging in activities or hobbies that give you a complete break from work and allow you to reconnect with your body and emotions could be instrumental in preventing burnout.

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About the guests

Nick Petrie photo

Reasons to listen

  1. Discover surprising factors that contribute to burnout.
  2. Hear examples from high-performing people about the patterns and correlations of burnout across different fields.
  3. Find out how people successfully manage burnout by finding activities that let them switch off and recharge.

Episode highlights


Correlations of burnout


Opposite worlds


The risk of finding a world not opposite enough


Six types of opposite world


More correlations of burnout


Sharing in others’ experiences


Creating mechanisms for yourself


The burnout curve


Allostatic overload


Three degrees of burn


Catching the warning signs in yourself and others


Nick’s top tips

Episode transcript

[00:00:00] Rachel: We talk a lot on this podcast about burnout and how to avoid it. But when our job means caring for others, it can be very tricky to give ourselves that permission to do the things that we know we need to do. [00:00:12] Rachel: In this episode, I’m chatting with Nick Petrie who’s interviewed hundreds of leaders who’ve experienced burnout, and has some surprising insights about what causes burnout and what protects you from burning out in the first place. [00:00:25] Rachel: Amongst other things, Nick shares his insight on opposite worlds, places where we can go…

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