Katie Maycock 00:03
I think a lot of the times when we’re looking at stress and anxiety, we can actually remove all triggers. Otherwise we’re gonna be shell of a human being and it’s not gonna be good for us. So we’ve got to understand. If we can’t remove it, how can we cope with it?
Adam Baruh 00:26
Welcome to The Change where we share stories and inspiration from servant leaders working to normalize the mental health conversation and increase empathy and business. I’m your host, Adam Baruh. Today, our guest is Katie Maycock. She has a double degree in nutrition and advanced physiology. Yet after graduating and pursuing a career in business recruiting, she experienced burnout twice, which left her body and mind in shambles. She could barely walk up and down the stairs and her joints were so inflamed that it left her unable to make a fist with her hand over the next six weeks. Over an 18 month period, she ended up spending over $30,000 trying to figure out what was wrong with her body. What she realized drastically changed her life and having turned herself around. She is dedicated to helping others to get their shit together. Hey, Katie, welcome to The Change.
Katie Maycock 01:12
Thank you so much for having me. What an awesome intro.
Adam Baruh 01:16
Yeah, well, you wrote it. So I just grabbed it. Probably from your, from your website.
Katie Maycock 01:21
This has been in the talks for so long that I actually forgot that I wrote that. So there we go.
Adam Baruh 01:27
Yeah, well, I may have done a little editing on it, but definitely your words. And yeah, I’m excited to figure out how to get my shit together. So first, before we get into that, you know, How’s your summer going? I know it’s been hot, as you know what out there in the UK. So tell us what it’s been like. So far.
Katie Maycock 01:45
It has been warm. It’s been uncharacteristically warm over here at the moment. So we’ve had fires, which is really unheard of, but I’m from Australia. So for me, I’m like, oh, yeah, bushfires are a thing. But not in the UK. They’re not. So it’s been really, really warm. We’ve got a couple of warm days coming up in the next couple of days. So I think the biggest thing is a lot of people don’t understand is that we’re just not made like, we’re just not made for it. So, you know, our trains couldn’t work so people couldn’t get to work on you know, we had 40 degrees Celsius. I don’t know what that is in Fahrenheit, but it was hot over here. So yeah, it was quite warm. And obviously, most houses and apartments don’t have aircon. So, yeah, it’s been crazy.
Adam Baruh 02:28
Well, how’s it now? I mean, is it things kind of settled down, he was kind of back to normal or still so pretty nice. So
Katie Maycock 02:34
warm. It’s not like for me, it’s fine. But then obviously, if you look at, you know, previous years and stuff like that, we’ve actually had an uncharacteristic uncharacteristically warm summer. So like we’ve got it’s 28 degrees today. So it’s not too bad. But then we’ve got some like 32. So the 31 Day is coming up. So it’s not, we normally might have maybe have 130 degree day, but I’ve had quite a few this summer. So
Adam Baruh 03:00
yeah, it’s been kind of weird here in San Diego. You know, normally, by this time here, and we’re recording this on August 8. So by you know, by early August, I mean, we’ve had many 90 degree days probably hit 100 A couple of times Fahrenheit we’re talking about haven’t really had that. I mean, it’s definitely warm now. I mean, driving in it, it was like mid 70s at you know, 830 in the morning here, which is going to make for a great day, but we’ve not really had anything too hot. But you know, we get these what are called Indian summers out here, in Southern California, where come October, November, you’ll get this, you know, week long 98 degree weather and then everybody’s like, you know, wish it because a lot of people don’t have AC here either, especially that people that live along the coast. I have it in my bedroom, which is kind of nice. Because I think it’d be hard to sleep. But you know, in my kids bedrooms, it’ll be super hard. So we just kind of leave all the doors open in the house and hope that that our bedroom AC is gonna get to the rest of the house. But yeah, I mean, so we’re going to talk a little bit about burnout today, which I thought it was apropos given, given the burning heat that you guys are experiencing in the summertime. So what about anything else? Have you done any travels the summer? Or have you gotten out to have some fun?
Katie Maycock 04:25
Yeah, so fun fact, I’m actually going away. This is my final week before I take a month off. So after Gran Canaria and having quite a nice break out there so I’ve kind of left it until the schools go back to schools go back in September of this year, so I was like, wait until September no go away there but I’ve got two weeks here where I’m just going to hang out in the UK a bit and see some friends hanging up some family so yeah,
Adam Baruh 04:49
all right. Well, so you know, a lot of us here in the US like when we go on vacation, we go you know, relatively local places, you know, or, or often stay in the US so you know For my US listeners here, tell us, where are the Grand Canary Islands, I wouldn’t even know where to put that on a map. And I have a degree in geography, which is interesting.
Katie Maycock 05:07
So just think of it as off the coast of Africa, but sort of on the European side. So like, obviously, geography is not my favorite thing, but it’s just sort of down south, sort of on like, it’s off the coast of Africa. So that’s where it is.
Adam Baruh 05:22
Well, that sounds pretty amazing. So yeah, great time out there. Well, let’s get into it here. So I want to, you know, in order for our audience here to kind of relate to your story, and, you know, relate to the work that you’re doing today, why don’t you take us back a bit? And, you know, I know you, I mentioned in the intro, you have a couple of degrees, and you started out in recruiting? So why don’t you take us back there or earlier, wherever you want to start? And, and, you know, get us to kind of the work that you’re doing today, and how you how you arrived? To, you know, to focusing on getting your shit together?
Katie Maycock 06:01
Yeah, so I think I think, you know, if we go back to when I was at university, I was definitely one of those kids at uni, where I wanted to get really high marks, I put a lot of pressure on myself. So obviously, I went and did a double degree while I was doing my university career, I set up, I set up a business. So not only was I going to uni full time, I was working full time as well. So I have no idea how I found the time to do that. After a really difficult period, I ended up losing my business, by seriously just signing it away to somebody. So that was unfortunate, for me a very good lesson to learn in your 20s. So I ended up learning from that experience and decided, you know, what I’m going to, I’m going to do some corporate well being, but to understand the corporate space, I’m going to get a corporate job first. So as most people do, they fall into recruitment. So I fell into recruitment. So this is back in Australia. And I remember when I first walked in, I was one of the only females I was really young. I was one of the youngest people there. I was 2223. But it probably looks like I was 15. And I remember sitting down and hearing people talk to me about the industry and the like, don’t think that you’re going to make a placement in the first you know, six months of working here. You know, everyone had bets on man, how long it was going to last, everyone had bets on me that I wasn’t going to make any placements. And that was just fueling my competitive nature. So they didn’t know about it. But I was like, internalize that. And I was like, I’m gonna prove all of you people wrong. So that’s exactly what I did. So I spent like six months just working my butt off in recruitment. Within my first month, I made two placements second month, and other two or three placements. And then it just progressively went on from that. So I worked in recruitment in that job for about 18 months, won all the awards like rookie of the year. So I was personally recruiter of the year did all of that kind of stuff. And, you know, obviously made a little bit of money because you can make a little bit of money in recruitment. But during that time, I was really working hard, like I was working 12 plus hours, every single day, getting up at four to go to the gym to make sure I could fit in my exercise before I would go to work getting home really late trying to just fit in some healthy eating. And then one year I just decided to take a holiday. And that’s when all the cracks started to show within the first four days of my holidays. I couldn’t get out of bed. I was in Fiji I literally couldn’t enjoy my time there because I was so sick. So the first four days couldn’t get out of bed. And then after that my body just started to to shut down like it was really just having to shut down. So ended up with cold sores all over my face, really bad digestive health issues. I had swelling and all my joints and all of that kind of stuff. And when I got back, so I took seven I took about 17 days off work. When I got back I was
Adam Baruh 08:51
too crazy. I mean, that’s kind of, you know, no, not crazy at all. But
Katie Maycock 08:55
I thought I was taking this time off to recuperate, and I ended up just getting sick. And so my mentality was I must have picked up a bug, I must have had something else going on. And that’s when I started going to doctors naturopaths anyone that would listen to what was going on with me. And it got to the point where nothing I ate was sitting well, my skin was just flaring up. I couldn’t. I literally looked like I had these skinny arms and legs and this really big bloated belly and that’s what I looked like I couldn’t get rid of that and I ended up just getting sicker and sicker. Until one day I just woke up and couldn’t couldn’t get out of bed. And that was when I realized I burnt out for the first time. And that was absolutely horrific. So after that it was the first 18 months working in recruitment must have been like 2425 at the time. And yeah, I ended up having to walk away from work for about 18 months. Yeah, can
Adam Baruh 09:50
I stop you there for a moment because I’m I’m definitely intrigued and and I know and can relate to exactly what you’re talking about. Because I’m kind of like a always been a High Achiever, right? And it’s only when I, when I slow down when things kind of crop up and reveal themselves. So did you have any mindfulness as to like, during when you were just like, you know, working at your peak performance? Like, I mean, have you had any signs or mindfulness to things in your body that, that were the little, you know, kind of like, hey, hey, something’s going on in here. Or really was it? You know, when you finally, you know, had a moment to just decompress where your body’s like, Okay, we’re ready to break down now.
Katie Maycock 10:33
So if I, when I look back now, yes, at the time, I would have said this came out of nowhere, it was like, it was like, I would just smacked him in the face. I don’t know where it came from. Um, but no, there was definitely warning signs. I mean, during my time at university, I had the shingles four times, which is unheard of for, you know, under 21 year old, I had kidney stones, which was from a kidney infection, because I was sick, and couldn’t overcome it. I was getting the flu, like, every summer, I would get sick. And, you know, take me six weeks to get back on my feet. So there was definitely warning signs. And during that time, there was definitely like my body going, Hey, I’m not coping, but I just ignored it. Yeah, I just completely ignored it. I was just like, copyright like, I just need to get, I just kept on making my diet healthier and healthier and healthier. Like, I ended up having the healthiest diet you could possibly imagine. But I wasn’t getting any better. I was just getting sicker and sicker from that. So yeah, I
Adam Baruh 11:31
mean, for me, you know, quite the opposite, not doing more like not doubling down on my health, but like, what I just, you know, I think what was revealing itself was just kind of more and more anxiety, more kind of nervous, Twitch stickiness and stuff like that. And, you know, I was just kind of like, I think I was probably drinking more wine and, you know, doing other things to just kind of like, numb that stuff. Um, so, you know, it’s just your journey with it is interesting. So now you’re, you’re, I think you said you’re 24, you hit the burnout? Yeah. What sort of information did that present to you? I mean, we’re, you know, some people kind of experienced that. They just move on other people. It’s like, Okay, I gotta change my life. Like, I cannot go on living like this. So where, where did you go with that?
Katie Maycock 12:20
I went with, oh, I just need a break. So I took eight months out of work. I physically take eight months out of work, I just actually put in work. But then I hadn’t learned my lesson. So I didn’t really think I had to change my life, I didn’t really think I had to do anything. So instead, what I did was I went back into recruitment, but got a promotion and moved into stage for that promotion. And so I went right back into the same job with more responsibilities, more pressure. And let me tell you, I tried again, the second time within six months, and then that was about a good 12 to 18 months before I was really back on my feet. And that’s when I started going. I think something, there’s something more going on here. I don’t think it’s just I’m allergic to everything from eating, which I genuinely thought I was allergic to everything I was eating. And I sort of kind of like focused on that got tunnel vision on that. And I think that probably caused more anxiety. But during this stage, I was having really bad anxiety, I was having panic attacks. And I just was like, Yeah, I’m having panic attacks because I don’t feel well not because of anything else. It wasn’t because of work because I was doing really well at work. So it couldn’t possibly be from work, or the pressure that I was putting on myself. So yeah.
Adam Baruh 13:36
Now, let me ask on on the anxiety, had you ever had panic attacks or anxiety issues before? Like, can you even if you look back into childhood, like Can you trace it back to, you know, back? Yeah. Yeah. So
Katie Maycock 13:49
I’ve always, you know, my parents always said I was a bit of a neurotic child. So I’ve always suffered from stress and anxiety, even as a kid. I mean, when I was 15, I suffered from an eating disorder, which was all linked to anxiety. But it was one of those things that I didn’t really pay attention to. Because if you live with anxiety your whole life, you just think it’s normal until you realize, Oh, this isn’t normal. Yes. And I was quite a Quiet quiet kid. So no one knew I was suffering from stress or anxiety, my app, my body, you know, betrayed me. Like, I wouldn’t ever let anyone know that I wasn’t coping because in my head, I was fine.
Adam Baruh 14:24
Yeah, I mean, i i Looking back, I think I’ve always had a various level of probably heightened anxiety, just, you know, it would be really high at times, and I developed this nervous tic thing. And then, and, and, yeah, to your point, like, I think I just had developed a belief system that I’m just a nervous person, or I’m just like, anxious and you know, or something’s wrong with me. And it really wasn’t until, I mean, in the last year and a half or two years where, like, you know, I can now trace it back to where it all comes from. And, you know, there’s nothing wrong with me. It’s You know, many of us deal with anxiety for various reasons, and it absolutely sucks. And I think we’ve just kind of privately suffered with it and, you know, perhaps built belief systems that, you know, it must be us. It can’t be, you know, because everybody else seems fine. You know, we don’t know what people are going through, because, you know, nobody really shares, you know, publicly everything that goes on privately. But you know, there’s a perception where, you know, if you’re suffering from something, that’s, those are the moments where you look around, and everybody seems to be doing great. But do you ever kind of deal with anything like that?
Katie Maycock 15:36
We all compare ourselves to other people. So we’ll take a snippet of someone else’s life and then compare ourselves, which feels like you know, how house, our house is burning down. And we’re comparing it to what we’re perceiving as someone’s perfect life and like, how do they not struggle? I remember when I was young, my brother doesn’t suffer from stress or anxiety and chilled out like how, like, what, what’s wrong with me and why you so chilled out. So, you know, we always compare ourselves to when everyone else what we perceive is doing really, really well. And we feel like how our whole life is on fire.
Adam Baruh 16:08
Yeah, and I, you know, I think a lot of it is probably the result of social media too, because we we see these Instagram, perfect lives and people living Van Van life and having a great little van with their dog and, you know, on some mountain somewhere, and, and we kind of idealized those such, like, we think, Oh, well, their, their life must be wrapped up to this Instagram story like that. That must be how every day is for them. Right? But, you know, I mean, that’s kind of why I do what I do here on the change is just to kind of talk about these more and just kind of bring out more stories. I think, I think we all I think everybody, especially with the pandemic, I mean, we all deal with a lot of stress and anxiety. You know, some people are able to, like, it sounds like you and me for so long, just kind of like ignore it, or, you know, kind of be blind to it. Versus other people like you like my wife is very mindful to this stuff. She’s always been I always give her like, you know, kudos whenever I’m like, man, like, it took me a long time to kind of get to that place where Yeah, but you just like, right away, you knew you weren’t feeling well, you immediately traced it to what was going on? Oh, yeah, we got this big RV trip next week. And so there’s a lot of planning that goes into that. So, but everybody’s different. And that’s kind of the point I wanted to make. Because like we don’t all need to compare ourselves like with where we’re at, in our journey, some people may be more mindful and recognize when things need to change other people just, you know, there’s a little bit more to unravel. But yes, that’s the beauty. I mean, those everybody’s got these, you know, really unique, authentic and sophisticated lives that that you bring, you know, to share with others around you. And that’s probably the point is, you know, we’re all going through different journeys, but we’re all kind of experiencing a lot of the same sets of emotions and things. And you know, how we share that and relate to each other is really, I think, where a lot of the healing can be. So let’s go there. So let’s, let’s kind of fast forward to, you know, the healing part of your journey where you, you know, now are suffering your second burnout, you’re recognizing you kind of put yourself back back on the hamster wheel. And so how did you finally decide to do something that was going to take you on a path of healing?
Katie Maycock 18:24
So what was really interesting at this time as well, so when I was a nutritionist, actually, so I’m a nutritionist by trade. So for everyone out there. When I was in nutritionists, I actually specialized in gut health. And when you specialize in gut health, you start seeing a trend when you submit people, and more often than not, these people are quite stressed out. People are quite anxious. They’ve got quite hectic lifestyles. And so once I found out the second time, and a lot of my health issues was gut health issues. So I had allergies and tolerances. I had IBS, inflammatory bowel disease, like, you know, it’s ticking all the boxes here. And so when I, when I finally burnt out the second time, I mean, it was absolutely horrific. It was 10 times worse than the first time around. And I just remember sitting there thinking to myself, because I was going to the doctors, I was going to all these GPS and I was going to all these naturopaths was tried everything. And they all said, oh you’re mismanaging stress, but they said it in a really nonchalant way. I was just, well, you don’t seem to be too fussed about it. Why should I be too fazed about it? But that was like playing in the back of my mind. And I remember thinking to myself, hang on a second, you’ve done a double degree, why don’t you go back and actually look at the impact that stress has on your physical health. And so that’s what I did. I went back and started researching and looking at what does stress actually do to our physical health and then I spent months if not years, compiling all this information and really understanding Hang on a second stress is really horrific for our physical health and making that more tangible for people. So once I made it more tangible for myself, I ended up creating what is now now known as getting shit together literally and figuratively. We talk about the impact that stress has on our physical health, our mindset, and therefore performance as well. So that’s essentially what I did. But I ended up having to really understand that. Yes, even though my diet was really healthy, and I was eating all the anti inflammatory foods, and I was taking care of myself, I was exercising and I was meditating relative during it. Overall, I was focusing on those things that were meant to be good for me. But I’d put so much pressure on myself to make them perfect and be perfect was actually adding to my stress. Yeah, so I actually had to start really digging down and understanding stress and understanding what my triggers why where was it coming from a lot of it was from from perfectionism, and feeling like I had to be perfect. And I always felt like I was running marathons, I go sprinting, a marathon is what I call it. So a lot of it was really understanding my stress my triggers, and really understanding what tools do I need to actually support me through that. And I really had to sort of look at my anxiety, and really getting to know myself a little bit better, rather than on the professional, I’m motivated, I’m driven. And this is who I am, which I presented to the world and who I believed I was.
Adam Baruh 21:06
So you know, I’m intrigued, because you brought up about triggers. And I’m about to kind of post a little short episode just talking about triggers, because there’s kind of two mindsets on them. triggers that you want to run away from, and you don’t want to have like, you want to avoid people or experiences or things that are triggering, versus embracing the triggers, learning from the triggers, putting yourself in a situation where you’re going to be triggered, because that’s, you know, those are the experiences that are going to help you, like take hold of your and own your triggers, right? Because they can be informative, and they can give you lessons. Well, I mean, where’s your mind on triggers? Like, do you you know, do you think they should be avoided? Or do you think we should embrace them?
Katie Maycock 21:56
I think it depends on the trigger, right? So let’s say you are in an abusive relationship, whether it’s with a friend, a partner, or you’ve got a parent or anything like that, and you’ve done everything, you’ve put all your boundaries in place, and it doesn’t matter what you do, they still going to trigger your anxiety, it’s still not going to be a healthy relationship, it’s really quite toxic, shall remove that. Why would you keep something hidden? Where there’s nothing to learn from this? There’s, there has to be reciprocal approach to that, right? Sure. But then there has to be an element of understanding what if that is triggering your stress and anxiety? What can we do to look at it in a different way? And I think a lot of the times when we’re looking at stress and anxiety, we can actually remove all triggers, otherwise, we’re going to be shell of a human being, and it’s not gonna be good for us. So we’ve got to understand, if we can’t remove it, how can we cope with it? What can we do to put ourselves in situations to see it maybe a little bit differently, reframe it, look at it, like lean into that discomfort, understand it and own it a little bit. And I think that that’s really important. So I think it really depends on the trigger and what it is. So for instance, I had to stop putting so much pressure on myself to be perfect, I’m kind of come back down to a baseline, which was manageable, and sustainable. I’m putting systems and processes in place to keep me in check to make sure that I wasn’t trying to be wasn’t putting too much pressure on myself to be the best version of myself all the time. Because that’s unrealistic. And that was what I had to do. But that’s not to say, because to be fair, like, when I sort of get your shit together, I don’t, I don’t miss a heartbeat when I’m, if I’m for me to do a project, we do it wholeheartedly. Like I’m moved to the UK, I had 10 Aussie dollars in my bank account. And that’s all I had, and I had to make a shit together work overnight. Obviously, that was pressure. Obviously, that was stress. That was fine. For me. I was cool with that. But then what I had to make sure I managed was how you’re going to make mistakes, and that’s okay. And that’s fine, you’re gonna have hurdles to jump over. And that’s also okay. Instead of actually not doing that. I was like, going into it knowing that you’re not going to be perfect knowing like, I do public speaking. I love it. I do workshops, I do events, I do all these things. Do you know what I have bombed a few talks and that and at the end of the day, I haven’t not done those talks, I’ve gone and lent into them. And I didn’t beat myself up about it. And that’s what I had to do. So I think it’s definitely understanding who you are, if you’re a type A perfectionist, that actually might be removing some of those pressures from you and actually getting a bit more of a realistic sustainable approach to life rather than when you don’t want to avoid everything right. It’s being a bit kinder to yourself. Does that make sense?
Adam Baruh 24:30
It makes 100% like total sense to me and I’m I’m an advocate for Tara Brock’s rain method that you can find online read more about it, but it’s like recognize, allow investigate and nurture.
Katie Maycock 24:42
I’ve got something similar I call it the four step process which is acknowledge breathe understand action.
Adam Baruh 24:48
Yeah, and I think what you’ve been touching on and it sounds like where your a lot of your healing has been is in that nurturing aspect of of this rain acronym and you know, I I was there too. I mean, in looking at my anxiety and stress and buildings belief system that something was wrong with me. I mean, I was really doing myself a disservice. And the number one area of healing for me has been nurturing, like, recognizing all the great qualities that I have recognizing that I’m, you know, I’ve been doing my best to build a great life for myself and my family. And, you know, and I think there’s so much, it’s such an easy kind of, you know, I guess, it’s an easy way to conceptualize like, where the healing needs to go, Okay, I need to be more nurturing to myself, like, it is a little hard to get there. You know, I think journaling and doing things to put yourself in a situation where you can reflect, and then offer those nurturing words writing them down, I think, you know, when you kind of just get into the habit of doing that, it very quickly becomes part of your thought process, we just get stuck in these mindsets that you can undo. It sounds like you were able to find that as well for yourself. Yeah, so
Katie Maycock 26:12
I think for me, it was, you know, I could do, like, I could do 99 things, right. And one thing wrong, and I would just so focus on that one thing, and that one thing, and then not be able to break past that. And that’s still a habit, I’ve got to get out of that habit, but I have to be able to acknowledge, I have to have the self awareness enough to recognize what I’m doing. And sometimes it’s like, well, this isn’t my headset, like, I’m not gonna feed it, I’m not gonna buy it. I’m not gonna like live in it for too long. But that’s where my head’s at right now. But I’m not gonna pay it mine, like, I’m gonna go do something that’s positive, like, go for a walk or something like that. And I think, something that I used to try and do, because I used to, when I used to meditate, it was like trying to control my thoughts, which is, if you’ve ever tried to control your thoughts, it’s absolutely impossible. I don’t care what anyone says, it’s being able to be what if meditation was was allowing the thoughts to come in, but not latching on to them. So allowing the thoughts to sort of cruise through and then like, shift my focus to breathing or something like that. But I remember I would be, of course, I’m a perfectionist. So when I was meditating was like, I have to do it for 30 minutes. And I can’t think so if I’d thought about something. I’d failed. And so therefore I lived, I was constantly stressed out, trying to meditate. And I made it a competition. Of course I did. But yeah, so I think it’s like recognizing or recognizing that and I think negative mindsets are really common. I mean, we’re primed to be on the lookout for negative things. It’s just what we’re primed.
Adam Baruh 27:42
To your point, you just may i It’s so weird that we do that, like we’ve done 99 Great things that we could pat ourselves on the back. And then the one thing we kind of tripped over our own feet, and we just focus on that one thing. Is it really interesting that we kind of as as a species, that we do that, yeah,
Katie Maycock 27:58
we’re trying to make sense of what what’s gonna cause us danger. So we’ll create a narrative around why that will cause us danger. Like, I can walk away from a smashing review of a workshop or a webinar or a talk and I’ll walk away with like, Yeah, but I stumbled my words there or I didn’t mean to say that or that didn’t learn so well. Like even though everyone’s like 10 out of 10 Great. wouldn’t matter to me.
Adam Baruh 28:25
Yeah, I guess you know, for people that are always trying to improve it’s like it you always you’re always kind of analyzing right and trying to figure out where to improve and where to get better. Probably a lot of that is just related to you know, just our general makeup as animals with fight or flight and trauma responses and stuff like that. But I want to I want to talk about so you so we’ve spoken about Get your shit together. And now you have Omnia. So tell us about Omnia and you know, the work that you do there and kind of how that complements the Get your shit together. Work.
Katie Maycock 28:58
Yeah, so when I stopped Get your shit together, it was sort of figuring out who I could help. So when I first started, get your shit together, it was meant to be there to support women in their 20s, early 30s with managing stress and preventing burnout. And I ended up actually not being that I ended up attracting more middle aged men who are CEOs managing directors who just couldn’t manage what was going on with stress, and anxiety. So I was getting a lot of leaders coming into me asking for support. So I created a sheet together based around that. And then after the last few years, like I’ve done so much done a lot of webinars, I’ve done a lot of workshops, but I’ve recognized I wasn’t having the impact of the companies and the people that I really wanted to unless I was doing one on one coaching. So what I wanted to do was evolve, get your shit together into something that was actually going to be more affordable and accessible for people that work in high performance industries. Busy roles at startups and things like that and make it accessible for the employees as well as the leaders So the idea is to actually support businesses from the top down helping them manage stress at a found like functional level within their organization, as well as from the bottom up helping their employees support their own stress and preventing burnout. Because obviously, stress isn’t just from the workplace, it comes from multiple different areas. So if you can give all these people they can give the leaders, people, managers, all the tools that they need to be the best leader for themselves. So to manage their stress and prevent their burnout. Because if you’ve got a stressed burnt out leader, the likelihood of that filtering down into the organization is quite high. So if we can help them manage their stress, prevent their burnout, but then also give them the skills to spot stress and burnout within their teams. And then what to do, how to overcome that, or actually how to prevent burnout within their teams. That’s what we’re doing with the leaders. And then obviously, with the teams and the employees, what we’re doing is helping them manage their stress and prevent their burnout on an organizational level. So really trying to nurture that an organizational change change of culture, and making that more making companies more sustainable, making people more sustainable, rather than all that pressure.
Adam Baruh 31:12
Yeah, and you just kind of set me up perfectly. So I pulled a, it was a testimonial. From Jay Lovegrove on, I believe it was on your LinkedIn and just wanted to read this quote, I just thought it was amazing. It’s about spotting burnout and team members, which is what you’re just touching on. Meeting, Katie may have saved our business. After the pandemic, we much like all businesses, had all worked far too many hours. For far too many months, I attended a webinar that Katie hosted around spotting burnout in your employees. This short, our webinar continues to pay dividends, I’ve helped at least three people spot their own signs of burnout. And we’ve been able to implement processes, again taught by Katie to assist these people in reducing their stress levels to avoid full burnout. So, you know, tell us what you spoke about. I mean, how, you know, people listening to this, this episode here? How can how can we spot burnout, you know, in ourselves and our team members? And what can we do about that?
Katie Maycock 32:17
Yeah, so I think the first thing that I always talk about is that burnout to the destination, there’s a journey that precedes it, right? So it’s not, if you get to the end of burnout, or if you’ve got someone in your team that’s at burnout level, the likelihood of that person either resigning is significantly high, we’re like talking about 92% likely to resign and not come back. So you’re looking at losing a team member. So what you actually need to be able to do is look at all the warning signs, and you’ve got to look at it from three, you’ve got to look at three separate modules, right. So you’ve got to look at it from their physical health. Now they’re going to be once their physical health goes, we’re looking at stage four burnout at that. So that actually is quite dangerous to wait for somebody to be at stage four burnout, they’re actually hop, skip and jump to full burnout at that stage. Whereas what you want to actually start paying attention to as behavioral changes, the little subtle changes that you started noticing about people. And I think one of the biggest things that you’ve got to understand is that most burnout can not most but some burnout can come from an actual positive thing. So for instance, you start a new role, you start a new job, you get promoted, whatever it is, you can end up being really excited. And what can end up happening is, is that you start changing habits. So you started go to that gym as much, you’re not sleeping as much and not having a healthy diet as much. And all these little things that don’t seem significant at the time will add can add up. So I’ll put pause here. So when I burned out, I sacrifice my sleep significantly. Like I was getting four to six hours a night thinking I was completely fine. There was no dramas with that. And a lot of people will say, Yeah, I function fine enough, like four to six hours of sleep, which is the science says completely the opposite.
Adam Baruh 33:55
I was there too. I told that story. And I know Yeah, where are you going with this?
Katie Maycock 34:00
Yeah, yeah. So so many. So at the end of the day, a lot of people don’t realize we need seven to nine hours of sleep every night. And your people will tell me leaders in particular, all business owners, or startup founders will tell me until they’re blue in the face. No, no, no, I’m one of those like, point 1% of the people that don’t need seven to nine hours of sleep. I’m like, Nope, that’s not true. The likelihood of you being that person is so minimal, that is probably not true. So that’s something that a lot of people tell themselves. Yeah, so that’s just something to pay attention to within yourself as well as people that are around you. If you’ve seen somebody start stop going to the gym as much, you recognize that they might not be sleep, they may be saying like I didn’t get a good night’s sleep last night or I only got four hours of sleep last night and maybe actually talking about it like it’s a badge of honor to those things right. Like a lot of us will say that because it’s like I worked so hard. I stayed up until midnight I was back up for like, they want to pat in the back and you’ll find that people will start working longer hours as well. What you got to be really careful if you’re a man John is actually positive reinforcing that. So it’s really easy to see somebody working really hard, working long hours, go, Oh my gosh, you’re so passionate about your job, thank you so much well done. Because what you’re actually doing is you’re actually telling that person, that’s what they need to do, especially if they’re getting good results, right? That’s something else to pay attention to, then you got to start thinking about other behavioral changes that can happen within yourself or somebody that you’ve worked with. So the other things to pay attention to might be personality changes, or, like I said, behavioral changes. So if someone’s gone from being cool, calm and collected to being quiet, what one of my leaders said to me the other day is shouting and angry. You know, that’s something to pay attention to, if it’s out of character, or if it’s happening more frequently than you think it should, you know, that’s something else to pay attention to. The other side of the other flipside of that is maybe someone’s been really outgoing, really energetic, and then they’ve actually become a little bit more withdrawn. They’re not offering as much information that you know, they’re not getting engaged in conversations at work and things like that. That’s another pretty big warning sign that they’re midway through to getting to burnout as well. So that’s some some of the things there. And one of the last things that you really want to make sure that someone if a pretty big sign that someone’s sort of quite close to burnout is the apathy phase. And then the apathy phase, that’s when leaders typically put more pressure on, they don’t actually recruit, they don’t ask questions like, why aren’t you doing your work, and all those kinds of things, and that can be quite can be quite dangerous, or someone’s, it’s not that they don’t care, they just don’t have the capacity to kick because they’re so overwhelmed. But I think the other thing is, as well, if you’re a leader of an organization, and someone’s performance randomly drops, and it’s consistent, it’s gone from being really, really good. And then all of a sudden, they’ve got been progressively getting worse. That’s a conversation. That’s a hey, what’s going on? Yeah, I’ve noticed you’ve made some mistakes high, you don’t seem to be performing at what you used to be doing? Is everything. All right? A lot of leaders at that stage, what do they do? They put more pressure on Yeah, and that could actually be causing more damage than good.
Adam Baruh 37:01
So I interviewed a guy named Jason Lauritsen, on the previous episode, or the one before that, and his his advice that he gives to leaders and managers is, you know, always be doing a check in. And instead of just having kind of like an open ended, like, how are you doing? Like, and he did it with me, it was actually quite interesting. Like, so, you know, scale of one to 10. Today, how are you doing? I, you know, when he interviewed me, I’m like, Well, yeah, kind of maybe, like a six. And that kind of opens the door a little bit to kind of maybe unravel that, see how willing that person is to go there with you. And, you know, based on the safety that you create in that conversation, like, yeah, you know, you can you can really help somebody. But you got to be doing those frequently. You got to you got to do it, you know, during normal times, but also, you know, in the times where somebody may be showing signs of burnout, like you say, Yeah,
Katie Maycock 37:54
I do that, I do that with all my leaders, I get all my leaders to do the I do a zero to 10. And what I say to the latest, if you’ve got somebody that out of five, and they’ve consistently, you don’t ever want to go, Well, why are you a five? Because that’s too, that that might be too they may not want to open up
Adam Baruh 38:13
about it. Yeah, exactly.
Katie Maycock 38:14
Right. Yeah. So they might want to be vulnerable. Right? So one of the best questions you can do as a follow up question, it’s like, okay, you’re at a five, what will help you get closer to a 10? That what will get you to a six, what and what can I do to support you to be able to do that, and then you actually have an idea of what’s going on and might actually not be work, it might actually be home life. And it might actually be odd. You know why I didn’t sleep last night, my kids were really loud, or like, hit me up all night, or whatever it was, and then you actually know, okay, cool. Like, what, what can I do today, to support you to sort of take a little bit of pressure off you Yeah. And that just gives you an open. One thing is, you’re also getting that person to focus forward, not backwards, which is really important. But you’re also creating a safe space for that person to open up. If they feel like it, you don’t ever pressure them. But you’re also giving them the opportunity to let them know what they need from you. And what you also can do with the scaling system is actually just keep note of what people have said. So if someone says there are five and you know what we get them closer to a six would be like, I didn’t sleep very well last night, and there’s been a five kids every time you’ve spoken to them and you can actually go, Hey, look, you know, really come how you’ve been five for a little bit. This is something I can help you with, you know, you’ve not we’re not getting you to that six, like what, what can I do? Right? So you’re actually helping that person understand that you’re actually paying attention when you’re caring about
Adam Baruh 39:33
that person? Yeah, totally. Um, I wanted to ask, like, you know, I know it’s been a couple years here, like, what two and a half years or so since the pandemic started, like what, you know, what have you noticed in your conversations with, you know, business leaders or otherwise, you know, in terms of how people are dealing with burnout related to the pandemic, the working from home and, you know, a lot of people still are working from home offices and haven’t reopened. So, you know, I guess share with us a little bit about you know how the pandemic has been affecting burnout.
Katie Maycock 40:03
So I think one of the biggest things I know the stats in the UK might be able to pull some us stuff from from my memory bank. But before the pandemic, I think what organizations have to know is that there was an observer that went around. And it was saying that 79% of employees were already feeling stressed and close to burnout, pre pandemic, pre pandemic, during the pandemic, that exponentially increased, you know, we saw companies like Bumble, Nike was at Microsoft as well giving their teams a week off to combat burnout. I think that was back was it last year or 2020? At something I probably last year, I would say. And that’s something that we’ve we’ve all recognized that burnout was a big thing. So you’ve got two camps? Well, from what I’ve seen, is you’ve got the people that are like, Oh, my gosh, the pandemic shone a light on something that was already really bad, which burnout was already really bad pre pandemic. So you’ve also got to remember the World Health Organization only made it a diagnosable syndrome in 2019. So we before that, it was like a really vague thing, we used it, but it wasn’t really conflict, you know, we might have called it something else. So something else to keep in the back of our minds, but the pandemic has significant significantly increased the number of people that are struggling with stress and burnout at really high levels. But you’ve also got the camp of people that are going, Oh, my gosh, what are we going to do about this, but then you have the other counterparts like, well, the pandemic is over, obviously, it was a pandemic issue. So let’s just get on with it. And you’ve got the people on the first camp that are looking actively for what they can do, bringing in external help looking at how they can train their managers looking at their culture, all that kind of stuff. But then you’ve got the other people that’s quite difficult to talk to, because they’re like, why is my turnover increased by like, 10? Or 20%? Why are my profits down? You know, and we can look at I mean, obviously, the recession, the upcoming risk, potential recession could be a thing, but it’s also looking at, well, if you’ve got high turnover, we’ve got the big resume rinks resignation, that also happened across the globe, open up would have been a significant problem from that. And here’s the thing, those people that left those jobs because they were burnt down, they entered new jobs, they’re still burnt out. They just are in a new job feeling. So good. It’s paying attention to that as well.
Adam Baruh 42:25
I guess one last question I’ll have for you is I mean, do you think, you know, these conversations around burnout, the changes in business? I mean, you know, now the pandemic is kind of like subsiding? Are we? Are we going to go back? Or are we going to make progress? And are we going to go forward with with a lot of these new ways that businesses are going to get done?
Katie Maycock 42:48
I’m an ever optimistic. So I will say it’s going to every, there’s going to be some really good positive changes. I think at the end of the day, they might not be as extreme as we need them to be. But I don’t think they should be extreme. We need to figure out what’s working and what’s not working. And I think one of the mistakes a lot of organizations do when they go, we want to prevent burnout, we want to overcome it. We don’t want any of our staff to staff to feel burnout, instead of actually getting a pulse check of understanding how stress is your team. What’s actually the cause of burnout within your organization, you see these companies that are like implementing these, oh, extra time off, or four day work weeks, or whatever it is, they’re all good things, if it’s actually solving the actual the pain point in your organization. So I think we’re gonna see some good changes, and we’re gonna see some trials of new ideas that may or may not work might work for one organization for another organization. But I think we are, the conversation hasn’t died down, we’re still talking about burnout, we’re still moving in the right direction. So I think that we’re going to get there. I think we’re gonna get there.
Adam Baruh 43:54
Well, this has been a very enjoyable conversation. Thank you for sharing your experiences with burnout. And like I said, I could supremely relate to them as I think the same contributing factors led to you know, times when I burned out, so thanks for sharing your story. Thanks for sharing what you do. It’s been a pleasure to speak to you today.
Katie Maycock 44:16
Yeah, right back at you.
Adam Baruh 44:19
Katie Maycock is passionate about ending burnout. It’s a big goal, but it’s something that needs to happen. She’s been working with leaders and companies helping them design their well being strategies to ensure that their teams and they themselves are performing at their best sustainably. She originally set up Get Your Shit Together to support CEOs, MDs, and leaders manage their stress and burnout and support their team with physical health mindset and business structure. And that’s evolved now to Omnia. Omnia is all about crafting bespoke wellbeing strategies for fast paced organizations. You can read more about Katie on our website, eiqmediallc.com/thechange. Our theme song and sound engineering was provided by Shane Suffriti. If you can listen to more of Shane’s music at www.shanesuffriti.com. If you have a story to share about making a difference in the lives of people you lead, or if you want to tell us what you think about our podcast, send me an email at email@example.com. Thank you all for listening. We’ll see you next time on The Change.
EIQ Media, LLC 45:24
The Change is produced and distributed by EIQ media LLC. Elevate your emotional IQ with podcasts and content focused on leadership, mental health, entrepreneurship in more.