Hope: Burnout Treatment During Midlife Transition
Burnout treatment is a matter of real importance in our society as a whole, but for those undergoing midlife transition, it often takes on an even deeper significance.
For many people, midlife transition is a time full of issues around career transition, social role, and at an even deeper level, questions of vocation.
Burnout is Incredibly Common During Midlife Transition
By the time of the midlife transition, most people have done a lot of living. Many have quite a bit of experience with the work world, and often with a number of other social “worlds” in which they have been involved. In fact, there may be a great deal of disillusionment and fatigue connected to living in work and other social roles and in meeting their expectations.
Sometimes, as a result of this experience, a profound weariness can descend upon individuals, and a deep inability to find motivation. We call this burnout.
Burnout Treatment and the Death of Hope…
Often, in important ways, burnout treatment must address the death of a certain type of hope in the individual at midlife transition. A way of looking at life, certain hopes and dreams, a certain way of being in the world, have all come to their end. They have no more vitality, and, even though these attitudes may have served us well earlier in life, now they cannot avoid dying.
This may entail deep feelings of loss, genuine grief, a wide range of emotions, and a profound sense of disorientation.
…But Also, the Birth of Hope
This time may also herald the birth of a differing understanding of identity — and a different kind of hope. A move away from hoping that the individual dreams of my youth will be fulfilled, to a hope that I can find meaning, hope and vitality in other places. Another, different understanding of value and meaning in terms of my own truly deepest needs and yearnings, and what is really significant in my life.
Vocation as New and Deeper Identity
As I explore these elements of myself, even thought the process may be incredibly painful, I may be in the process of finding a new and deeper identity. I may be moving beyond people pleasing and outer appearances, to satisfying the deepest yearnings within me, and the deepest movements of my soul. Burnout treatment during midlife transition may mean the liberation of energy into a new kind of readiness and welcome for living.
PHOTO: Some rights reserved by dno1967b