Dealing With Stress, Burnout, and Compassion Fatigue - Transcribed
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Dealing With Stress, Burnout, and Compassion Fatigue Transcript
[00:00:00] Pete Waggoner: Hello everybody. It’s Time for Good Grief, the podcast from the O’Connell Family Funeral Homes. You can find us here at oconnellfuneralhomes.com and we’ll have Amber Miller with us today. And as we know, April is Stress Awareness Month. Now more than ever, people seem to be more and more stressed. And in today’s podcast, we’ll talk about a number of those topics along with Amber Miller’s take and input which will be valuable to really being aware on Stress Awareness Month.
[00:00:30] Pete Waggoner: We’ll be back with today’s podcast right after this.
[00:00:34] Amber Miller: Hi, it’s Amber Miller from the O’Connell Funeral Home. Have you ever felt like negative emotions were controlling you? Boy, do I feel that way sometimes. We understand that many people who are grieving or just going through the ups and downs of life experience this.
[00:00:48] Amber Miller: That’s why we created a series of positive affirmations with you in mind. Head to our website, oconnellfuneralhomes.com to sign up. You’ll get a series of emails every other week that will [00:01:00] give your day the boost that it needs. If you’d like to change your mood, your state of mind, or manifest the change you desire, get the affirmations now.
[00:01:09] Amber Miller: The best part, the emails are risk free. So if at any point you don’t feel they’re helping you, you can opt out at any time. My gut though, says you’re gonna enjoy them.
[00:01:19] Pete Waggoner: Good morning, Amber. We’re here. We’re here. Let’s go. I mean, interesting thing, you know, stress awareness. You know, I didn’t even know there was a month for it.
[00:01:27] Pete Waggoner: Now, are there multiple things that happen within a month or do they just kind of try to make it one thing across the board, and who’s ‘they’?
[00:01:34] Amber Miller: Who knows who the ‘they’ is. Right. But yeah, I think, you know, there’s probably multiple things that happen in the month of April, but definitely stress awareness is one of those big topics and it impacts all of us.
[00:01:44] Pete Waggoner: Well, there’s like four really key components that we’re going to look at here. And first will be obviously the symptoms of stress, how your stress relates to burnout and compassion fatigue. That’ll be intriguing to me. How our stress relates to grief, which is the [00:02:00] core term of the name of this podcast and then how we, as individuals, can combat that.
[00:02:06] Amber Miller: Absolutely.
[00:02:07] Pete Waggoner: So, stress comes in so many different ways, shapes and forms, right?
[00:02:11] Amber Miller: Yes.
[00:02:11] Pete Waggoner: What is it?
[00:02:13] Amber Miller: Well, it’s important to note that it’s universal, so it impacts all of us, all genders, races, ages. So if that brings any comfort at all to know that we are all experiencing it. But it’s essentially the changes or challenges that we experience every day so they can be little changes that bring about stress or big monumental changes like death, for instance.
[00:02:33] Amber Miller: It’s kind of our body’s way to react to stress. We’re designed to do it. So it produces physical and mental responses, which helps our body to adjust to the situation.
[00:02:43] Pete Waggoner: First of all, there are physical things that occur and sometimes we don’t know what those really are. Right?
[00:02:48] Amber Miller: Mm-hmm.
[00:02:49] Pete Waggoner: Or how damaging they can be.
[00:02:51] Amber Miller: Right.
[00:02:51] Pete Waggoner: What have you observed in that world from what you do?
[00:02:55] Amber Miller: Well, I think from a physical standpoint, we definitely see a lot of [00:03:00] the physical components of grief being like the tightness of chest. And we see that all of the time when we’re meeting with families.
[00:03:05] Amber Miller: The high blood pressure and all of these things, if we really don’t get them in control, while they’re okay in spurts and our bodies meant to combat those and fight them off, if we don’t address them and they’re something that’s consistent and persistent, it can be really damaging, not only physically, but emotionally, behaviorally, all of those things.
[00:03:25] Pete Waggoner: So stress comes from places, right? What are they?
[00:03:30] Amber Miller: Yeah. Well, I think we initially think of stress as being negative, but it can be positive too. So if you think in the positive light, stress keeps us alert and motivated, ready to avoid danger. So, having to do an immediate stop at a stop sign because someone blows through the stop sign or kind of that fight or flight response.
[00:03:49] Pete Waggoner: It’ll be kind of exhilarating.
[00:03:50] Amber Miller: Right?
[00:03:50] Pete Waggoner: In a weird way. If you get through it.
[00:03:51] Amber Miller: Right? Or a big test is coming up, stress helps us work harder, we can stay awake longer to maybe cram for the content, all of those [00:04:00] things. But, on the negative side, weather, of course we live here in Wisconsin, Minnesota, wherever you’re listening, where we’re dealing with rain and snow and cold temperatures and humidity, that can be a huge stressor for people.
[00:04:12] Pete Waggoner: Well, one thing I found too, is you see things, okay? The air quality might not be great today. And there are people that have some issues in that area.
[00:04:19] Amber Miller: Yeah.
[00:04:21] Pete Waggoner: That’s a form of stress. Can I go outside? Can’t I go outside? We were built up with a recent storm here that was gonna be the storm of the century, which didn’t really happen. I mean, it was good, but not that, I mean.
[00:04:30] Pete Waggoner: But I noticed, I drove from one side of the city to the other, which at the normal rush hour time would’ve taken me close to an hour, and it took me 20 minutes because nobody was home. So they all went inside. So if everybody stayed inside and kind of quote locked down, are they stressed when they do that or is that like not stressed because they’re relaxed. I mean, did they stress enough to get there? Yeah. And I thought about that.
[00:04:59] Amber Miller: Right, [00:05:00] right. Well and I think so because the stress of having to reschedule the things that we normally would’ve done in that day, even if it’s small errands to big meetings and important events that we’re having to reschedule because of the weather.
[00:05:11] Amber Miller: So I think the weather is a such a big stressor for people.
[00:05:15] Pete Waggoner: Well then you go into the whole news, politics, and tragedies and things.
[00:05:19] Amber Miller: Well, we’re constantly exposed to frequent tragedy and such over the news on a daily basis. I mean, the minute you turn on the news, you see whether that’s multiple deaths, mass shootings, political strife.
[00:05:31] Amber Miller: Definitely the Covid Pandemic didn’t help that. They say that 76% of people are stressed about the way that our nation is going and of everything that you’re seeing on the news.
[00:05:41] Pete Waggoner: That’s legit. Well, then there’s the everyday things where gas is skyrocketed. The whole poultry, eggs. I mean, seriously, you know? I don’t think people really realize, and we’re not turning this into a political discussion. But this is a real thing where some people have to make serious choices about whether they can afford to stay where they [00:06:00] are, because, you know, are you going to eat and your heat bill is huge.
[00:06:03] Pete Waggoner: And so there’s a lot of downsizing going on. I’m seeing it.
[00:06:06] Amber Miller: Right.
[00:06:07] Pete Waggoner: And that’s stress.
[00:06:08] Amber Miller: Yep. Energy bills and mortgage rates.
[00:06:10] Pete Waggoner: And so when you’re thinking about that, it can be a negative?
[00:06:13] Amber Miller: Yes. Oh, absolutely.
[00:06:14] Pete Waggoner: And that’s where those physical problems can come into play.
[00:06:17] Amber Miller: Mm-hmm. Yep.
[00:06:18] Pete Waggoner: Then obviously the big one is death. Now, can I make an observation real quick?
[00:06:23] Amber Miller: Sure.
[00:06:23] Pete Waggoner: So this is the first time we’ve ever done one here where there’s actually been people here for someone’s death. Right? For service.
[00:06:31] Amber Miller: Mm-hmm.
[00:06:32] Pete Waggoner: And I walked in and this must have been a really fun person because the festive atmosphere is legit and everybody is all happy and smiling and I think about all the things that we talk about over the years of doing this.
[00:06:44] Pete Waggoner: And that couldn’t be more true with the environment that was created there. So like I wasn’t feeling a ton of stress right there. So I don’t know if you guys adapt that or if you try to, or is that just the nature of who the group is, or both?
[00:06:56] Amber Miller: You know, I think it’s really dependent on the death too. Whether if it [00:07:00] was someone that died more naturally or of older age. Or if it was something that was more traumatic and sudden. So I think it’s kind of the nature of the group, and the person, and the family.
[00:07:08] Pete Waggoner: So then you get into all of these things that are the causes of it.
[00:07:12] Pete Waggoner: We know what it is. What are some of the symptoms that come along with that?
[00:07:16] Amber Miller: I think it’s all encompassing, kind of like what we’ve talked about in previous podcasts about grief. It affects physically our body, emotionally, behaviorally. Think of physically like those aches and pains, just waking up in the middle of the night tossing and turning, that chest pain, or feeling like your heart is constantly racing, the exhaustion or even trouble sleeping, that insomnia is a huge one.
[00:07:39] Amber Miller: Headaches or dizziness, high blood pressure, muscle tension, stomach or digestive problems, and just a weakened immune system.
[00:07:47] Amber Miller: I mean, when we’re overly stressed and we’re constantly moving at this stressful rate, we tend to get sick. We tend to just be more susceptible to some of those things.
[00:07:56] Pete Waggoner: You also mentioned muscle tension or jaw clenching. I think [00:08:00] people may equate that to just sleeping, but that’s in waking hours too.
[00:08:05] Amber Miller: Mm-hmm. Oh, absolutely.
[00:08:06] Pete Waggoner: And you probably sometimes don’t even know it.
[00:08:09] Amber Miller: Mm-hmm.
[00:08:10] Pete Waggoner: But then all of this can lead to other things with the whole world of anxiety, depression, panic attacks, and sadness. Right?
[00:08:17] Amber Miller: Right, right. I mean, if you’re constantly at a high stress level for days and weeks and months at a time, it can feel very isolating.
[00:08:26] Amber Miller: It can feel very depressing. Especially if you are around people that maybe aren’t experiencing the same stress that you are. So it can be hard to relate to others in that circle.
[00:08:34] Pete Waggoner: Don’t worry folks, we’re gonna get into how you can combat all of these things toward the end of the program.
[00:08:39] Pete Waggoner: Right now we’re just laying the groundwork for some of the normal things. I think sometimes you don’t even realize with these symptoms that you’re stressed. And that it can actually lead to the depression and lead to the panic attacks and things like that.
[00:08:52] Pete Waggoner: Oftentimes people just think it’s just how I am.
[00:08:55] Amber Miller: Right.
[00:08:55] Pete Waggoner: And unless they talk about it, you’re not gonna know.
[00:08:58] Amber Miller: Right? Absolutely.
[00:08:59] Pete Waggoner: We hear the term [00:09:00] burnout. I think I’m in the midst of that myself right now. But that’s a whole different story. But what is it really and how does that bring on and relate to stress?
[00:09:07] Amber Miller: Well, I think it’s a hot button topic. We hear about it often, especially with Covid Pandemic, but a lot of work environments changed. A lot of people either started working from home or maybe lost their job, or their job status changed a little bit.
[00:09:21] Amber Miller: But when we’re talking about burnout, we also have to talk about compassion fatigue. And so I really think about a good example of compassion fatigue is essentially the stress that relates to the helping or wanting to help someone in need. So think about those ICU nurses in the middle, just right in the hardest time of the Covid pandemic. Or EMTs, or fire professionals, or police, or funeral directors.
[00:09:46] Amber Miller: We suffer high from compassion fatigue. Whereas burnout isn’t necessarily about the empathy overload, but it’s about the stress that’s related to the actual workplace environment.
[00:09:57] Amber Miller: So maybe it’s bad [00:10:00] management, or maybe it’s coworkers or inefficiencies with our process or protocol. All of these things can lead people to have high amounts of stress, either in their workplace or wherever these are occurring and causing them to have stress related to finances.
[00:10:15] Amber Miller: Should I quit my job or move my job? Or, all of these things.
[00:10:19] Pete Waggoner: Am I a prisoner of it?
[00:10:20] Amber Miller: Exactly.
[00:10:21] Pete Waggoner: Just to go to the ICU and the healthcare profession. So when you start to have those feelings, now when it’s been defined, I’m hearing this and I think oh, okay. So then if you have the empathy, burnout or overload, whatever it is, and you can’t do it, you need to take care of yourself.
[00:10:38] Amber Miller: Right.
[00:10:39] Pete Waggoner: And so we’ve seen a lot, I know a lot of people who have left the profession because they were kind of, “I couldn’t do it.” That is intense. And that’s probably the first step toward helping yourself get through this process. But I mean, that’s a great real life experience where these people are going through that.
[00:10:55] Pete Waggoner: So when you’re grieving, oh, imagine this, if you’ve got all these other types of things [00:11:00] happening and then you’re grieving, does that affect stress?
[00:11:04] Amber Miller: Oh, absolutely. It intensifies it, for sure. I think having grief on top of having either compassion fatigue, having a lot of other responsibilities that cause stress just adds to it.
[00:11:15] Amber Miller: So if you’re dealing with financial stresses of some of these gas prices or energy bills, and then you’re grieving on top of it. We’ve talked about in previous podcasts, those secondary losses, it’s huge.
[00:11:25] Pete Waggoner: Right. Well, and then one of the things you’ve mentioned before too is, after death, ‘back to normal’ pressure. Planning a funeral, pre-plan.
[00:11:34] Amber Miller: Yep.
[00:11:35] Pete Waggoner: I mean, I hear you guys say that a lot. That it creates so much stress if you haven’t pre-planned it.
[00:11:40] Amber Miller: Right.
[00:11:40] Pete Waggoner: It’s so important. So can we just go there for a second? How do they do that here?
[00:11:45] Amber Miller: They can give us a call, we can set up an appointment, we can meet at their home, they can come here, wherever is comfortable. But it definitely takes something off their plate and they don’t have to worry about that stress.
[00:11:54] Pete Waggoner: Hopefully one person heard this in the area and said, you know what? I’m gonna do that. Because if one person is [00:12:00] positively impacted by that, to take this part of it away, it’s super huge.
[00:12:03] Amber Miller: Absolutely.
[00:12:05] Pete Waggoner: And then how about, do you wanna get into the commanding stress?
[00:12:07] Amber Miller: Yeah, that’d be great.
[00:12:08] Pete Waggoner: All right, let’s go there.
[00:12:08] Pete Waggoner: So now we’re gonna roll up our sleeves and we’re gonna tell you how you can deal with this individually, and as a family in a group. So how do you do that?
[00:12:16] Amber Miller: Well, there’s many strategies, not one fits all, and there’s maybe sometimes a couple of different strategies that you can use for whatever stress you’re experiencing. So trial and error for sure.
[00:12:26] Amber Miller: We say it often, and I know that it’s hard, especially with us being super busy individuals in general, but exercise. Whether that’s something like getting a gym membership or taking a fitness class, maybe like one of those group classes, or even just a short walk outside.
[00:12:40] Amber Miller: I mean, we’ve said it plenty of times in the past, but the benefits of just 10 minutes outside has scientifically proven effects on your mood.
[00:12:51] Pete Waggoner: And it’s interesting when you combine that with our climate. Everybody is perpetually in so much of a better mood, say April [00:13:00] 15th, 20th than they are December 20th, January 1st, or whatever it is. But it does matter.
[00:13:06] Pete Waggoner: And what I found is, being perpetually busy, is that if I do it at the start of the day, if I just go out for 30 minutes, put my AirPods in, and just go for 30 minutes. It is not only a great way to collect your thoughts for what’s going to come forward in the day, but you’re taking in the whole environment and all of the vitamins that come along with the sun and those types of things.
[00:13:30] Pete Waggoner: And if you just structured into your super busy day where you do it before the day begins, it really helps that busy day. Or if you do it at the end, that’s good too. But, I mean, the sun’s only up so long for four months. But that is like a really important thing to build that time into your space, I think.
[00:13:46] Amber Miller: I think you’re setting yourself up for success doing that.
[00:13:48] Pete Waggoner: And in doing so, you set goals.
[00:13:49] Amber Miller: Yeah. Yep. Setting goals, even little ones, is a good way to combat stress. So this can be for just your day, it can be for the next week. It could be for the next month. Usually for people who have high rates of [00:14:00] stress, I just always recommend doing little tiny goals just for the day. Little accomplishments if you write them down, just makes you feel more in control of the moment and then allows you to kind of make more long-term goals.
[00:14:11] Pete Waggoner: Have you observed or experienced that some people are afraid of the term counseling? Isn’t that interesting? Maybe even this just for my parents. The older generation. “Oh no. Well I got it.”
[00:14:23] Pete Waggoner: But you do see that?
[00:14:24] Amber Miller: Oh, absolutely. The stigma with relating to mental health is unfortunately high, and I wish it wasn’t so because, counseling, therapists, support groups, they’re all, so…
[00:14:35] Amber Miller: I mean, when you’re stressed, what’s the first thing that you wanna do?
[00:14:38] Amber Miller: You wanna call up your friend or your significant other and vent about it. And that’s what they’re paid for. Right?
[00:14:43] Pete Waggoner: But that’s a form of counseling and you’re using it with someone who’s not a professional.
[00:14:46] Amber Miller: Exactly. Yeah.
[00:14:47] Pete Waggoner: You know, I will say is that I think at the youth in high school level with a lot of the projects I do outside of podcasts like this, at events and things, sporting events, there’s been such a concerted effort about counseling and therapy and mental [00:15:00] health in making it okay.
[00:15:01] Pete Waggoner: I think that’s really good with that generation, that it’s really being infused into it. And so now the next ones need to really kind of start looking at it.
[00:15:09] Pete Waggoner: But I think in terms of that, sometimes you’re forcing yourself to look within, and it might be acknowledging some inequities that maybe you’re not comfortable with.
[00:15:16] Amber Miller: Right. Very true. Yep. And I think a counselor or a therapist is the perfect person to be able to have that sort of self-reflection.
[00:15:23] Pete Waggoner: Which was the next point, right? So if you’re able to do that, you should do that.
[00:15:26] Amber Miller: Yes. And even if it’s not as in depth of maybe something you’d go over with a counselor, but just self-reflect on all of the things that you did in a day. So sometimes at the end of the day, we just feel drained and we think we didn’t get enough done.
[00:15:38] Amber Miller: But if we really just write down everything, you’ll be kind of surprised to see how many things you actually accomplished in a day and how successful you were.
[00:15:46] Pete Waggoner: This next one, deep breathing. One of my kids sometimes gets stressed. It was a work environment scenario. And she called and said, “Dad, I’m having a panic attack.”
[00:15:57] Pete Waggoner: When she told me what it was and [00:16:00] why, I mean, you’d look at it, you kind of chuckle like, come on, but I get it, you know? But that impacted her. But she calls me because I immediately get her breathing in order. And it’s deep breathing exercises like you’re talking about right here.
[00:16:13] Amber Miller: Yeah. So sometimes it’s just count to 10, nice and slow. Or it’s the real deep breathing exercises, which typically you’ll see the ‘4, 7, 8 breathing exercise.’ So four count of an inhale. Seven count of a hold, and then an eight count for an exhale.
[00:16:30] Amber Miller: So if you do that even four times or 10 times, it’s again proven to help your sleep, reduce your heart rate, reduce blood pressure, all of the things we talked about.
[00:16:40] Pete Waggoner: You know what’s really interesting is when I was in broadcast school, I’m gonna share it with you, it’s funny. So we had this, her name was Dr. Loreen Seuss, but we call her Dr. Seuss. Why? Why not? But she was like, into interpretation.
[00:16:53] Pete Waggoner: So she’d give us like these really crazy sheets where it would be that, that, that, that, and you’d have to like work your way [00:17:00] through making it sense in its own way through interpretation.
[00:17:03] Pete Waggoner: But she also worked on breathing exercises. And so there’s one that I do whenever I feel anxiety or some form of stress, and it was this, you’d go, ‘mm-hmm, and then you have to breathe out. Just let it all go and then go (inhale). ‘Right.’ You do that five times and you’re good.
[00:17:21] Pete Waggoner: And so you’re not counting, you’re not thinking about what you’re doing, you just go ‘mm-hmm,’ you push out and go deep breath. ‘Right.’ And I’m telling you, it’s like magic.
[00:17:30] Amber Miller: Well, there you go.
[00:17:31] Pete Waggoner: And then we’re Catholic. So I told her to say Hail Mary’s until it goes away. It worked.
[00:17:35] Amber Miller: Wow.
[00:17:36] Pete Waggoner: Yeah. But what that did is it, like, put her mind to something else and calmed down.
[00:17:40] Amber Miller: Right.
[00:17:41] Pete Waggoner: But that’s really important with deep breathing. And breathing is the source of life, right? It’s what we need. I mean, it’s kind of important.
[00:17:48] Pete Waggoner: And then how about the community component?
[00:17:50] Amber Miller: Yeah, we’ve talked about it in the past too, but community is huge, especially for compassion fatigue and burnout.
[00:17:55] Amber Miller: So think about again, those ICU nurses, you know, especially with the Covid pandemic, [00:18:00] that sense of community has gotten really, really large. So a lot of workplaces have placed an emphasis on that.
[00:18:06] Amber Miller: So just with my experience in the hospice setting, they do a lot of debriefing with their nurses. I mean, they do it at least once a week. Because of their nurses are subjected to so much loss.
[00:18:14] Pete Waggoner: How does that look?
[00:18:15] Amber Miller: So getting together, talking about their patients who have passed away.
[00:18:18] Pete Waggoner: It’s digging in. It’s like sharing.
[00:18:20] Amber Miller: Letting them have the opportunity to share and kind of express their own grief too, that they’re facing. There are some nursing homes or care centers in the community here that do a little bedside prayer service, not only for the family, but mostly for the staff that had direct contact with the patient who died.
[00:18:35] Amber Miller: So, grief support groups, we talked about often on kind of like a death and dying spectrum.
[00:18:40] Pete Waggoner: Would it be great as a family if you could sit as a group and do that?
[00:18:43] Amber Miller: Yeah.
[00:18:44] Pete Waggoner: Get into that whole component in the land of grief. I think that would be really helpful.
[00:18:50] Amber Miller: Right. Well, connecting with like-minded people too.
[00:18:53] Amber Miller: Sometimes we’ve talked about our stress can be isolating in that there are people around us that maybe don’t necessarily [00:19:00] understand the stress that we’re under. But if I’m a nurse and I’m connecting with another fellow nurse who knows all the pressures and demands that I’m under and facing, that’s when you walk in the shoes.
[00:19:09] Pete Waggoner: Then in terms of know your limits. I think that’s a big one. I think some of us think we have supernatural powers, and we can take it all on. It’s really helpful to be self-aware in that area.
[00:19:20] Amber Miller: Yeah. Well, in our society we, unfortunately, tend to applaud people who work themselves to death. And we neglect our own self care and those to help others. And we rarely applaud people for taking the day off. So we kind of look at it as selfish. But really, we need to put ourselves as a priority. We need to know how to say no. When our bucket is filled, when our limit is had. And we just need to practice that self-care daily.
[00:19:44] Pete Waggoner: You know, in the workplace. It’s fair to say, if you’re in a small business or it’s entrepreneurial, which is something you’re in. It’s really easy where a lot of it lies on a few people. Right? And it’s a matter of, well, I need to keep the business afloat, right? And I need to [00:20:00] make it work.
[00:20:00] Pete Waggoner: And oddly, I think in society, there’s a belief that if you take a personal mental health day and you call it that, I don’t wanna say you get laughed at, but you do feel as though you’re soft.
[00:20:17] Pete Waggoner: I think it’s important to note, if you’re able to not let that impact your thought process, you’ll be better. If you do that.
[00:20:25] Amber Miller: Oh, yes. Yes.
[00:20:27] Pete Waggoner: How about you mentioned a lot about getting good sleep and eating well.
[00:20:32] Amber Miller: It’s hard especially when we’re grieving or we’re under a lot of stress that, I don’t know about you, but when I’m really stressed, I can fall asleep easy, but then I’m up at between midnight and 3:00 AM with just thoughts spooling in my head.
[00:20:44] Pete Waggoner: And are you watching those commercials on tv?
[00:20:46] Pete Waggoner: So bad. Right? But no, it’s true. When your mind is spooling, it’s really hard to get back to sleep. And then it seems like when you do, it’s too late. It’s like 6:30 AM and now you gotta get up at seven.
[00:20:58] Amber Miller: 20 minutes before you wake up.
[00:20:59] Pete Waggoner: And now you’ve ran into [00:21:00] the Mac Truck. It’s just like, this is so not cool. And then my thing is when I’m stressed, I eat like a horse. So I go with the stress eating.
[00:21:07] Pete Waggoner: Yep. Get me more chocolate. Let’s put on as many pounds as we can.
[00:21:11] Amber Miller: Or I’m too busy to make myself a healthy meal, so I’m just gonna run through the drive thru.
[00:21:16] Pete Waggoner: A hundred percent. And that kind of plays back into the whole work thing too. That’s all part of it too.
[00:21:20] Pete Waggoner: Then there’s the electronics.
[00:21:22] Amber Miller: And it goes hand in hand with the sleep too. Especially before bed, trying our hardest to put our phones away, to disconnect from social media. I mean, I don’t know about you, I feel like social media has caused more of a negative impact than a positive one in general, and it causes too much stress.
[00:21:38] Pete Waggoner: It’s interesting. Because with all of the things that I do with this, I work in and around it. But I only use it as a news aggregator. It’s interesting because social media is penned social, so it takes on the connotation that it’s friendship. And that it’s me communicating with you, with that, you know.
[00:21:56] Pete Waggoner: I never view it that way. I view it as where can I [00:22:00] get some cool, quick, headlines or video clips, highlights? How did the ball club do? Whatever it may be.
[00:22:07] Pete Waggoner: But I think when you get into the realm of it becomes your personality and your friend group, that’s what we’re talking about here.
[00:22:15] Amber Miller: And if you look at the younger generation where they grew up with phones, they’re always on their phone. They have a hard time putting it down. But that generation tends to be a lot more stressed. I mean, if I’m talking to a 10 or a 13 year old, their stress seems to be way more intensified than what I can remember as a 10 or a 13 year old.
[00:22:33] Amber Miller: I was out at the park running around and burning off energy. Whereas they’re at home stewing about anything that they saw on social media.
[00:22:40] Pete Waggoner: Well, it becomes immediate response, right? So there was a young kid running a camera next to me for their team video last night at a game I was doing, and I don’t think he could go three minutes without replying to his phone. So every time there was a whistle he’d get on the phone.
[00:22:59] Pete Waggoner: [00:23:00] And I just thought that looks so miserable. Because you were really torn between two things. You’re supposed to kinda do the job that the team needed you to do, but you were really on the job of your phone. And it’s like a job. And that leads me to the emails.
[00:23:13] Pete Waggoner: I’m one and I think everybody needs to put boundaries on that inbox. And if we’re replying to emails at 10:30 and 11 o’clock at night. I don’t think that’s a good idea. I don’t. You might be a little different with your situation.
[00:23:26] Amber Miller: Well, no, and I think the work from home too really blurred a lot of lines because everyone has direct access to their work computer and maybe their normal nine to five schedule was changed because they now work from home.
[00:23:39] Amber Miller: So there’s been a lot of push in businesses to set more boundaries to say, okay, yes, just because my work computer is here, doesn’t mean I have access to it 24 hours a day.
[00:23:48] Pete Waggoner: Well, and I think a lot of times from the work from home angle, it might be two o’clock in the afternoon, you start roaming about the cabin for about an hour, and then you say, It’s now seven o’clock. I kind of blew off an hour there. I should [00:24:00] answer these. But then what you do is you open up the expectations that you’re gonna reply at two in the morning too. And you just can’t.
[00:24:06] Pete Waggoner: And that’s a good thing to put a boundary on. And the social media to put a boundary on too. And I also think it’s okay to turn off the tv, don’t you?
[00:24:14] Amber Miller: Oh, yeah.
[00:24:14] Pete Waggoner: It’s fun, but.
[00:24:15] Amber Miller: Especially that blue light that causes a lot of headaches. Our eyes aren’t programmed to shut off instantaneously when we turn off the tv, so they always say, at least 20 or 30 minutes before you go to bed, turn off all the devices because that blue light really impacts your ability to sleep.
[00:24:31] Pete Waggoner: That’s good to know. I don’t use it, so.
[00:24:33] Amber Miller: No?
[00:24:33] Pete Waggoner: No, I know, I’ve never, because like I’m the type where I fall asleep and I’d subconsciously hear it.
[00:24:38] Pete Waggoner: And I would never really get into where I need to go, so I just, I don’t even have it in my room. Not a good move for me.
[00:24:45] Amber Miller: No.
[00:24:46] Pete Waggoner: Yeah.
[00:24:46] Amber Miller: And I think they suggest that, but yeah.
[00:24:48] Pete Waggoner: Well I’m one that follows through on that. I’m a little bit of old school.
[00:24:52] Pete Waggoner: Okay. There’s obviously some do’s and don’ts. Right?
[00:24:54] Pete Waggoner: So I mean, we went through some really good things that people can really consider what they need to do [00:25:00] to combat this. And to deal with it. And I think all of ’em are important, but I think there’s one that stands out just in summary on this. That’s the most important to me. And it’s counseling.
[00:25:09] Pete Waggoner: I just think that if you really don’t feel right and you’re not getting through it, it’s really okay to go there.
[00:25:15] Amber Miller: Yeah. Yep. I agree a hundred percent.
[00:25:17] Pete Waggoner: What are the don’ts?
[00:25:19] Amber Miller: Well, substance use, so using drugs or alcohol, you know, they just mask the stress temporarily. Yes, it gets rid of the stress, but it doesn’t solve it or kind of deal with the main stressor to begin with.
[00:25:29] Amber Miller: Not practicing self-care. So not putting yourself as a priority and setting those boundaries and taking care of your exercise, not eating well. And really stress, like I said, is so isolating. So continuing to stay within the isolation and not asking for help and even like, avoiding the stress to begin with and blaming others.
[00:25:48] Amber Miller: I mean, that’s kind of the definition of burnout.
[00:25:52] Pete Waggoner: Burnout, recognizing it, knowing it, and doing something about it. All of that completely matters for sure.
[00:25:58] Pete Waggoner: Stress awareness month [00:26:00] here in April. Make sure you share this with a friend that you think this could be very helpful with, because we do think that’s a really good idea.
[00:26:07] Pete Waggoner: That’s what it’s here for.
[00:26:08] Amber Miller: Just being more mindful about what causes us stress this month and trying our best to combat it and practice good self-care.
[00:26:15] Pete Waggoner: Great stuff Amber Miller. Thank you.
[00:26:16] Amber Miller: Thank you.
[00:26:17] Pete Waggoner: We’re gonna sign off from today’s Good Grief podcast. Don’t forget, check us out online at the oconnellfuneralhomes.com.
[00:26:25] Pete Waggoner: So long everybody.