Misha: Hi, and welcome to the GSD Factor podcast. I’m your host Misha Bleymaier Farrish. Today, my guest is Lauren Ruth Martin. She’s a ‘woo girl,’ turned licensed professional counselor speaker, and a host of the podcast, A Novel Life. (Updated to The 9toKind Podcast) Lauren’s primary clinical focuses include maladapted perfectionism, over-control burnout and chronic depression. Along with running her private therapy practice, she creates a content to support perfectionists and people-pleasers in their day-to-day life. She is passionate about helping people unlearn the hustle culture, speak their minds, and create a life driven by their values.

Misha: Lauren, welcome to the GSD Factor podcast. Thanks for being here today. 

Lauren: Hey Misha, how are you? 

Misha: I’m good. I’m good. So, I love your podcast by the way, I listened to it all the time and I really love the different topics that you bring to the floor to allow us to hear and listen, and learn, and really adept and adopt those different things into our lives. 

Misha: Today, though, I really think that our GSD Factor podcasts listeners would really love to hear about your perspective on burnout and what tips and tricks do you have as those listeners are on that journey? 

Lauren: I love talking about burnout because who isn’t burned out? The one  thing like, so if we just get right to the heart of the matter of burnout.  

Lauren: It’s basically… it’s all too much. And so burnout is not just about the negative things in our lives, we can have too much of a good thing. And for most of us and our GSD ness, we’re able to GSD so much that people then rely on us and that’s what leads to burnout. So, it’s too much of a good thing. And that’s also the hardest part about undoing burnout is that we may have to quote, “let people down” or “have boundaries” or “go to bed” or “get our hair done.”

Lauren: It’s unlearning something that got us to the top, but we have to realize that once we’re at the top, we have to be more sustainable. 

Misha: 100% and I can tell you as a recovering workaholic, that is definitely true. So,  what do you see in your practice, but also in your corporate speaking and training as you are out there working with those corporate clients, right?

Misha: A lot of GSD Factor listeners are on the corporate side. So, talk to us about what are you seeing, through both your practice, but also out there as you’re talking to those clients around burnout. 

Lauren: I think the big thing is the working from home and the remote element just exacerbated what everybody was dealing with. You know, work and life, especially with our phones, the internet we can work from anywhere, which is great until it’s 10 o’clock at night. The news is on, you’re ready to go to bed or, you know, at least stop working for the night, but you can just do that one last thing. 

Lauren: So it’s that blurring of the lines. And then, what I see happening a lot with companies is that we’re over-complicating the solutions.  Because burnout is really nuanced and it’s very personal, but we keep wanting to reinvent the wheel when really it’s about going back to the basics and just making sure that our people are taking care of that we have clearer expectations and that people have the right to say“no.”

Misha: I think that’s really important. It’s hard, right? Because work and home have, are such a blurry line now. There are two camps, right? I think there’s employers that say, “Hey, my team can do more now because there’s less commutes or there’s less get ready time.” 

Misha: But then there’s some employers that are really mindful of this. What would you say to our employers listening to this podcast? What can they do to encourage their teams, to make those healthier choices so that they don’t get burned out? 

Lauren: I always say, start developing a scale. I encourage my clients to basically they make a bandwidth scale.

Lauren: So what is enough for me when I’m at 20%? What is enough for me when I’m at 40, 60, 80, a hundred percent? Because there are some days, and as a therapist, it’s hard for me to show up to work at a 40. Because one people are paying for their time and two, we’re talking about complicated things. So, for me, what is good enough for my day at 40% is showing up and being present and giving it all to my clients.

Lauren: I may not get my notes done. I may not do that extra, you know, client coordination call. I may not get my content done. There may be things that go on the back burner. And I think it’s that idea of having clear expectations around what is truly important and giving our employees a range of operation.

Lauren: I think that is something we all struggle from all or nothing thinking. We want to have this belief in ourselves and our employees, like they’re going to show up and give their all every day. Well, sometimes that doesn’t work with schools closed, or you have a cold or, you know what? You just want to “not work,” you know, but that’s not an option.

Lauren: So, how can we do what’s most important at the time and still hold our obligations while also holding flexibility. I’m very much a “both and” kind of girl. 

Misha: I think that’s so important. It’s understanding when is enough enough? And then the times of when do you push beyond that limit to get the job done, to get the shit done or when are those times that you can back off?  A lot of our listeners are in the technology space. So, those times of releases and you know, those different times, that’s a time to push, right. Then you also have the down times when you’re planning or when maybe when you’re designing and that’s that time I think you can scale it back.

Misha: A lot of our listeners are in the insurance space. There’s those enrollment periods. There’s those periods that are set by the regulatory bodies that say this is enrollment time. I think that there’s definitely an ebb and flow. And I think that that is something that, the corporate space has struggled with, especially as we adapt in this COVID world. 

Misha: You know, I’d love to hear your perspective as it relates to PTO time. There’s a big debate going on right now in corporate and on LinkedIn, and Twitter around “do you use the traditional model of you have this many days, or do you do the flex model?” Share your thoughts on that and then how does that relate and tie back into this burnout conversation?

Lauren: Great. So when you say “flex model” are you talking about the idea of “unlimited” PTO? And if you’re listening and not watching, I have it in quotes because like, can I just be honest? I think “unlimited” PTO is total B.S. And the thing is like, PTO is great. We should all have it. I live for it. But the thing is, I am a person.

Lauren: I don’t have PTO when my butt’s not in the chair or when I’m not on a stage, I don’t make money. You know, I’m working on that, but having some passive income, but I don’t have PTO. But, what I can do with that is that, you know, for me personally… I think what people want more it’s flexibility, as opposed to booked time off. You know, it pains me when people don’t have access to things like therapy, because they would have to use their PTO time to go to an appointment when really they could just log in later that day. You know, or maybe they have an emergency come up or as the school closes. Okay. I know I’m going to piss some people off. They don’t need to be at their desks with the camera on, at nine that that’s not the world that we live in. You know, if you want certain amount of hours a day, Great. If you want a certain task done great, but people, time off is great. Please don’t get rid of time off, like we need the traditional PTO model, but I think what we need more is flexibility and adaptability because of the demands that most modern, you know, most households are dual income households.

Lauren: You know, a lot of us don’t live close to family. And so our support systems are a little bit different. We’re not in that traditional working environment. And so our job should adapt to that instead of hinder us living a full life.  

Misha: No, I think that’s spot on. As both working moms, right? With working spouses, that flexibility is so key. Because you have the dentist appointment, you have the therapy appointment, you know, the kid has a special project and you got to run to the school to hear it. Whatever it is. And, I think being able to have flexibility during the day, would just bring about huge dividends back to those employers, right?

Misha: Because having that traditional PTO, I do think is important because some people don’t understand, Hey, I need this or remind themselves, Hey I need to take it, but I think the flexible PTO time, I think is the opposite pendulum swing that everybody went to. And, I think it’s more of that flexible life scale, right?

Misha: It’s Hey, I have a doctor’s appointment. I need to log off for a couple hours and the employer, or even the client being okay with that I think is really important. 

Misha: Take like the last couple minutes here and just kind of summarize and leave some final comments to our listeners as well as how can they get in touch with you? Be it for therapy, be it for the corporate speaking that you’re doing, kind of round us out here Lauren. 

Lauren: Yeah. So everything for me is at Lauren Ruth Martin dot com, same thing with TikTok and Instagram at Lauren Ruth Martin. And again, the podcast, A Novel Life with Lauren Ruth Martin. (Updated to The 9toKind Podcast). 

Lauren: If you just know that name and you Google it, you’ll get all the things. And, I will say that I am focusing more on my corporate work, my speaking work this year. Individual therapy is great, but I really want to be able to speak to more people and help people on that practical level. That’s what I’m mainly focusing on.

Lauren: But, when it comes to like just general takeaways about burnout, I think what we have to realize is that burnout is more so about bandwidth. And the good things in our lives take up our bandwidth just as much as the “not so great things” in our life. And you’re not a weak person.

Lauren: If you’re burned out and thought burnout can be a product of success. And just because we may need help. Does it mean that we’re weak, just because we have to take a break just because we don’t want to do something.  That, that’s my big thing…just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should. I mean, you and I are learning that we’re both learning our journey with having assistants and everything, but it’s all about unlearning things and we’re, we’re in a reckoning with work right now, you know, we’re learning, what does it mean to be an employee?

Lauren: Maybe it’s not about dedicated hours sitting in the office.  I’ve always been a hard worker, but there’ve been some times where I know that there are people that go to the office and just like screw around for a little bit because they have to clock in and clock out. That’s not the life we’re living in.

Lauren: And,  when it comes to working on your burnout, start simple. Like, brush your teeth, wash your face, eat lunch. Can you just eat lunch? That’s my challenge for everybody listening today. I want you to try one week of eating lunch, and if you want to step it up, eating lunch while not working. Watch a show for 30 minutes, like like burnout management is not a big 180.

Lauren: It’s a series of small shifts that redo how you do life. Yeah, no work lunch. I started doing that. That’s where I watch all my Real Housewives is during lunch now. 

Misha: I love that. All right. So GSD Factor listeners, you heard it here. We all have to start taking our lunch and I will be the first to admit that I don’t do that. Or in some cases for those of us that have a global audience or a global client base like I do, it’s not a working dinner, right? So, Lauren, thank you so much. Everybody be sure to go to Lauren Ruth Martin.com and be sure to check her out.  

Misha: You can also reach us@infoatgsdfactor.com. Lauren, thank you so much for your words today. I think it’s really important for our GSD listeners to hear and hopefully, the listeners are going to be the catalyst in our world today of transforming this burnout world that we live in and, bringing their lives to the fullest. 

Lauren: I’m here for it. 

Misha: Awesome. Thank you. 

Lauren: Thank you.

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