We made it through 2022, woo-hoo!  Given the changes and challenges we’ve all been through, that’s no easy feat. So how do we navigate 2023 and keep our wits about us? 

Those of us in the experiential marketing space know it all too well. We’re tasked with creating remarkable and immersive experiences while managing a frenetic pace, the tightest of turnarounds, demanding stakeholders, and coming up with the latest thing since sliced bread. 

If you look at the cup half empty, it’s burnout.  We, in typical POP | X fashion, look at it as an opportunity to burn in.  

So, what is burnout exactly and what do we mean?   

Herbert Freudenberger, psychiatrist and author defines burnout as “…a state of chronic stress that leads to physical and emotional exhaustion, cynicism, and detachment. It occurs when you feel overwhelmed, emotionally drained, and unable to meet constant demands. As the stress continues, you begin to lose the interest or motivation that led you to take on a certain role in the first place.”  

And yes, you’ve read it before – over and over again. How it manifests (insomnia, headaches, emotional mood swings).  What you can do about it (practice self-care, set boundaries, ask for help, find your white space). And what happens if you don’t reorient yourself (long-term physical and mental issues). 

But what if you turn that all around and simply focus on burning in? One of the definitions of “burn in” is to implant something firmly in the memory; to cause to leave a lasting or permanent impression on someone or something…You can certainly do that without stress, fatigue, and emotions getting in the way, dontcha think? 

We do it by finding joy in everything we touch, being emboldened to let our emotions lead the way (if it doesn’t feel right, we simply don’t do it!), and living in gratitude.  

We don’t negate the reality of burnout; we just look at it differently.  

We counter stress with passion. 

We counter frustration with stepping away for as long as we need to without explanation. 

We counter demands with thoughtful meditation (no, not mediCation!) 

We counter anxiety with something physical (a walk, a workout, a nap…) 

And what results is the ability to lean into all of the good things that happen and let them fuel steady creativity, strategic thinking, and success. 

Simple tips for avoiding burnout and opening up to burning in? 

  • Make self-care a priority 
  • Spend time with positive people 
  • Take time to relax 
  • Begin the day with some positive self-talk 
  • Exercise consistently 
  • Say no now and then 
  • Take a break from social media and the news 
  • Learn new stuff 
  • Don’t sweat the small stuff 

And do it all with POPtimism!  

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