By Chandrama Anderson
E-mail Chandrama Anderson
About this blog: About this blog: I am a LMFT specializing in couples counseling and grief and have lived in Silicon Valley since 1969. I'm the president of Connect2 Marriage Counseling. I worked in high-tech at Apple, Stanford University, and in ... (More)
About this blog: About this blog: I am a LMFT specializing in couples counseling and grief and have lived in Silicon Valley since 1969. I'm the president of Connect2 Marriage Counseling. I worked in high-tech at Apple, Stanford University, and in Silicon Valley for 15 years before becoming a therapist. My background in high-tech is helpful in understanding local couples' dynamics and the pressures of living here. I am a wife, mom, sister, friend, author, and lifelong advocate for causes I believe in (such as marriage equality). My parents are both deceased. My son graduated culinary school and is heading toward a degree in Sociology. I enjoy reading, hiking, water fitness, movies, 49ers and Stanford football, Giants baseball, and riding a tandem bike with my husband. I love the beach and mountains; nature is my place of restoration. In my work with couples, and in this blog, I combine knowledge from many fields to bring you my best ideas, tips, tools and skills, plus book and movie reviews, and musings to help you be your genuine self, find your own voice, and have a happy and healthy relationship. Don't be surprised to hear about brain research and business skills, self-soothing techniques from all walks of life, suggestions and experiments, and anything that lights my passion for couples. (Author and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Calif. Lic # MFC 45204.) (Hide)
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Psychologists Herbert Freudenberger & Gail North identified the concept of burnout in the 1970s and assigned it 12 stages of development and experience.
Do you see yourself here? It may not go in linear order. If you don’t recognize yourself on this chart, does your partner identify you on it? Your co-workers? Keep your cool if they do! I’m pretty sure you hide it, possibly even from yourself. I encourage you to actually look for it, and take steps to help yourself (and your family, friends, and co-workers by extension).
The very culture of Silicon Valley is set up for burnout. As I see so many burned out clients, it makes me think about Unions, which were created in 1794 to protect workers. A Stanford research study, The Productivity of Working Hours
by John Pencavel, revealed that working more than 50 hours/week decreases your productivity, and after 55 hours, you may as well not bother.
As my good friend and colleague, Howard Scott Warshaw, author of Atari: Game Over, and The Inspired Therapist says: “Silicon Valley is where the world’s best, brightest and most ambitious people come to be merely average.”
The first thing you can do is recognize your burnout. Next, get help to make changes. The reason I’m recommending getting help is that if you could have prevented this on your own, you would have. At the same time, create a list of self-care to follow. I looked online for self-care lists to share with you. Ironically, I found lists of 50 and 100 things to do for self-care. Which may scare you away (since you don’t have enough time as it is)! Here’s a Psychology Today article with a self-care
As you know, I believe your “primary” relationship actually needs to be primary--meaning it’s your top priority. I realize this may feel or seem that you’re turning your life upside down. And in a way it is.
There are serious health risks associated with burnout. No one but you can decide to change your life. I invite you to be healthier and have a better life.
Let me know how it goes.