INTERVIEW - DAVINA'S STORY
We regularly interview people who have experienced loss or burnout. Everyone experiences and responds to hardships in different ways, there is no right way or wrong way to grieve or handle stress. We share these stories in hopes that their experiences will support you in your journey – which ever side you are on – working through the process or supporting a loved one. If you are interested in sharing your story, please reach out via our home page.
Name: Davina Hamilton
Tell us a bit about yourself:
I live in San Francisco, but I’m originally from Detroit by way of Sacramento. I’m a Senior Account Executive at a digital ad agency working on PlayStation. For fun, I like to go to brunch, hit the gym, and/or just chill out at home binging the latest TV shows and movies.
Have you experienced a time in your life when you felt burnt out? What do you think led to your feelings of being burnt out?
I experienced burnout at my previous job. My role was embedded in my client’s office in Sacramento and the majority of my team was based in LA. I tend to care very deeply about my work (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing), but carrying the responsibility of being the only account person on site with my clients took a major toll. Since I would witness and experience the majority of client feedback in person, I would hear the good and definitely the bad when something wasn’t going according to our clients’ plans. It’s hard not to take things personally when you’re hearing comments and feedback on your co-workers and the work all the time.
Describe 2-3 things that helped you deal with your feelings of burnout and stress? How were you able to heal from being burnt out?
In order to heal from burnout, I started working out more, meditating, and I took up yoga religiously. It was hard for me to disconnect from work without feeling guilty, so I started carving out the time for myself to let go of work once I left the office. It wasn’t easy, but after a few weeks of dedicating myself to practicing this self-care, it got easier for me to let things go at the end of the day and not carry it around with me.
Thinking about all the things you might have had on your plate during this time, if you had the choice, what would you have changed? What supported you most through dealing with burnout?
I would’ve worked with my manager to create a flexible schedule, after knowing that was an option. My manager was a big support system in helping me to deal with the burnout. She was in the same role that I was in previously, so she was very empathetic to my situation.
What advice would you provide others dealing with burnout?
> Don’t be afraid to say no if you feel uncomfortable with something, and always be sure to carve out time for yourself. You can’t do your best work if you’re not at your best mentally and emotionally.
> Reach out to close friends, family, and/or co-workers to talk about it. A lot of times it can be difficult to talk about how we’re feeling, but it’s essential to ensure that you’re not carrying the extra weight.
> Take up a new hobby and do something that ignites your passion.
> Also, don’t forget to eat. It may seem like an obvious thing to do, but more often than not, we tend to get so busy sometimes that we forget to grab lunch. You have to nourish yourself to keep your energy up.
What advice would you provide those who want to support those dealing with burnout?
Listen. Sometimes your loved one just wants to vent or come up with possible solutions to better their circumstances.