How the FISH! Philosophy Can Help You Cope With Burnout

Published On: April 5, 2023Categories: Blog

Burnout isn’t fun. That’s obvious, but it’s worth saying up-front. Being burnt out is a uniquely different feeling than regular, everyday stress–after all, your average stressors may cause you discomfort in the moment, but once they pass, the feeling dissipates, and we go back to our day-to-day life. But when those stressors are constant, they begin to add up. Slowly but surely, the feeling stops going away and starts becoming constant. Even the smallest stressors cause you to pull your hair out, and it feels like no matter what you do, you’re struggling to keep your head above water. This is burnout.

So what do you do when you’re feeling burnout? Fortunately, the FISH! Philosophy isn’t just great for making a welcoming, productive workplace–you can apply the four pillars of FISH! to help you manage burnout and get yourself back on an even keel.

  1. Be There (for yourself and others)

Showing up for others every day is a fantastic way to build the support network that helps you pull yourself out of burnout. This doesn’t just mean doing your job responsibly, it means acknowledging that everyone around you is a real person with their own emotions, burdens, and struggles. Simply recognizing that others are doing their best, offering a kind ear when they need to share their stress, and thanking them when they help you can build the type of good will that goes a long way when you need a helping hand yourself.

But Being There for yourself is equally important. We can’t pour from an empty glass, and in order to show up for others, we have to be willing to offer ourselves that same grace, kindness, and compassion. It’s not egotistical to occasionally remind yourself of your strengths and skills or to take pride in a job well done, nor is it lazy to be realistic about when we need to set limits or take breaks. The golden rule is to treat others the way you’d like to be treated–and that also means treating yourself with that same respect.

  1. Make Their Day (and make yours better)

Just like how we want to always Be There for others when they’re feeling low or stressed themselves, it’s equally important to create a positive, rewarding work environment even in the good times. Random acts of kindness to coworkers can Make Their Day–whether it be an offer to help with a project, a genuine “thank you” (maybe even consider a hand-written card… after all, who doesn’t love that?!), or a special treat for the office.

This may not immediately alleviate your burnout, but think of it like the old adage “a rising tide lifts all ships.” The more effort we all put into creating an environment where burnout is less likely to set in, the more we all reap the rewards of a less stressful, less chaotic, more caring workplace. And–again like before–we can apply this to ourselves too, not just those around us. Treat yourself to your own random acts of kindness and work hard to make sure that the expectations you’re setting for your own actions are reasonable and manageable. 

  1. Play (both in and out of the office)

We talk a lot about how in the FISH! Philosophy, Play is a mindset, not just an action. It’s about giving yourself space and time to let your mind explore and wander, to come up with outside-the-box ideas, and to experiment and allow yourself to fail, try again, and eventually succeed.

Passion is a great trait to have, but can be a huge contributor to burnout–people in “helping professions” such as healthcare, education, and mission-based non-profit fields are often so passionate about their work that it takes over their minds and their lives, subsuming them until the passion goes away. Taking time to adopt a Play mindset can help you rekindle that passion without letting it overwhelm your life.

And, for once, we’re also going to talk seriously about the more colloquial definition of Play: that is, just having fun! When we’re burnt out, it’s vitally important to make time for hobbies, to allow ourselves a big, genuine belly laugh, and to find moments of joy and excitement outside of our day-to-day work. 

  1. Choose Your Attitude (and feel the results)

Let’s start with a disclaimer: burnout is not a choice, and it’s not a feeling that you can just “choose” to stop having. Burnout is very real and caused by constant stressors stacking on top of each other until we have no space or time for relief, and that’s not something you can simply will away.

However, when you Choose Your Attitude, you can put yourself into a better mindset to combat burnout and more readily practice the skills that will help you bring yourself back to normal. Simply recognizing that you are burnt out and that you need to make a conscious, intentional change to your work and lifestyle is Choosing Your Attitude in a way that puts you on track to improved health and wellness, and this mindfulness can make all the difference.

Similarly, it may sound a bit cheesy, but it’s hugely important to believe in yourself. Yes, self-belief is an attitude you can choose, and when we believe that we are able to bring ourselves out of burnout and find a happy, balanced life, we’re far more likely to actually achieve that goal.

Ideas to Reflect On:

  • Workers, have you built a support network in your office that you feel would have your back if you’re burnt out? Managers, do you feel you’ve built a workplace that encourages employees to speak up when they’re feeling burnt out?
  • Do you still feel as passionate about your job today as you did on day 1? If not, what can you do to rekindle that passion, or to explore your passions outside of work?
  • How do you recognize the signs of burnout, in yourself or in your employees? How can this recognition lead to resolving the issue?

Whether you work in business, education, or healthcare, FISH! offers accessible, intuitive solutions to empower your workers, bring your team together, and avoid the symptoms of impending burnout. We invite you to contact us today at 800.695.4534 or to speak with our cultural specialists, who will help you find the right FISH! Philosophy solutions that will nurture your organizational culture and motivate your team!

Want to Implement FISH! in your organization?

Are you a leader?  Do you train others?  Do you want others to be leaders?

Charthouse Learning, the creator of the world-famous, award-winning, FISH! film is offering an in-person, 2-day workshop, interactive Train-the-Trainer lead by our Senior Trainer this April in Minneapolis, MN.

During our time together you’ll learn how to:

  • Share the motivation and foundation of FISH!
  • Introduce the FISH! film with the four practices.
  • Present the invitation to apply the practices in everyday interaction with others.
  • Build a sustainability and reinforcement program to transform the culture.
  • Pick up tips from other FISH! Philosophers and develop a strategy to embed the practices into the DNA of your culture.
  • Create an energized organization that is the “first choice” for employees, faculty, staff, leaders, and customers.

Plus, you will learn how to create a workplace where people choose to “be and bring” their best self everywhere, every day.

At the FISH! Train the Trainer you will:

  • Dive Deep: Discover The FISH! Philosophy – full of “A-ha!” takeaways and perspective-shifting realizations.
  • Transform: Make the four FISH! practices – Play, Be There, Make Their Day and Choose Your Attitude – an essential part of your professional and personal skill set.
  • Discover: Learn practical ways to apply the FISH! practices to improve teamwork, service, leadership, retention and performance.
  • Develop: Brainstorm strategies to embed The FISH! Philosophy into the DNA of your culture, strengthening your mission, vision and values.
  • Collaborate: Learn and laugh with like-minded folks from across the globe.

Click Here for More FISH! Train the Trainer Information

FISH! Executive Briefing

You have probably heard about the Culture Shift in the news. Organizations are struggling to find talent, employee morale is low, retention is a common goal and customers are dissatisfied with buying experiences.

These are all symptoms of an underlying challenge leadership is faced with every day, regardless of the industry. You can look for temporary relief or an overall, long-term cure.

Join us for a 60-minute webinar on the world-famous, award-winning FISH! practices.

Click Here for More FISH! Executive Briefing Information


Whether you work in business, education, or healthcare, FISH! offers accessible, intuitive solutions to empower your workers, bring your team together, and introduce Play into your organization. We invite you to contact us today at 800.695.4534 or to speak with our cultural specialists, who will help you find the right FISH! Philosophy solutions that will nurture your organizational culture and motivate your team!

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