Feeling Burned Out? We Have Thoughts

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Inforum event, burnout discussion, event space filled with people, speaker talking to crowd

“I’m all burned out, but life is great!”


Have you ever said that? I think most of us have. 


Burnout and how to combat it was the theme of our 2024 annual Capstone Dinner, which is the highlight of the Inforum program year in West Michigan. 


This event, which draws 500 people, is always a source of inspiration. Our speakers have included Tarana Burke, founder of the MeToo movement; Sarah Thomas, the NFL’s first woman full-time official; and Kelley L. Carter, of ESPN’s Andscape, as well as many compelling local speakers. My knowledge and awareness have grown through all of them.


This year, our West Michigan Regional Council chose Dr. Dominique Pritchett, a mental health expert who spoke about how we can cultivate hope, purpose and meaning in our professional lives. She was joined on stage by moderator Jan Harrington Davis, senior vice president of talent attraction for Corewell Health, and a member of Inforum’s West Michigan Regional Council. Amway, Meijer, MillerKnoll, Gentex and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan are among the sponsors who made this possible.


As I listened to Dr. Dominique speak and her conversation with Jan afterward, I was reminded that all of us can experience burnout—the byproduct of unsolved or unmanaged stress that can leave us feeling overwhelmed.


Women often carry the burden of others’ expectations and priorities—we are expected to do everything, right? And this can be especially true for Black women, who are the focus of her professional practice. 

As women, we all talk about this, but sometimes we get stuck. Here are some of Dr. Dominique’s insights into what to do about it:


  • Stop wearing burnout so well. A positive attitude is great but acknowledge, at least to yourself, where you really are.
  • Dig deeper. Our circumstances sometimes will be hard, and we won’t always know the outcomes, but, as Dr. Dominique put it, “We are a resilient people, and it is embedded into our DNA to keep going. Use the fire of burnout to break the status quo, but give yourself grace when at times you need to rest.”
  • Are you a doubter, a dreamer, or a doer? Are you ready to do what’s necessary to rise above your circumstances, speak up for yourself, and be an ally for yourself and others? 


In my work at Inforum, I have daily conversations with companies who see and understand this dynamic and strive hard to foster a workplace that allows employees to bring their authentic selves. It’s good for employees, it’s good for retention and it’s good for business. 


Want to know more? Check out this interview with Dr. Dominique on behalf of Inforum that appeared in West Michigan Woman.


Photos Courtesy of Inforum.



Becky Wood is vice president of corporate and membership engagement for Inforum, whose nonprofit mission is to help women lead and succeed in the workplace and companies build their talent pipelines.




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