‘Battling burnout’ focus of upcoming workshop in MaumeeWritten by Sarah Ottney | Editor in Chief | firstname.lastname@example.org
It started innocently enough: skipping a few morning gym sessions to catch up at work. But soon Toledoan Deb Olejownik was regularly clocking in two hours early. Still falling behind, she started staying late on nights she didn’t have class all while juggling her family’s schedule as well.
“I don’t think we intentionally neglect ourselves,” Olejownik said. “It’s just something that happens because we’re pulled in so many different directions,” she said. “We have a tendency to put ourselves on the back burner because we’re taking care of everything else.
“Burnout is very pervasive. It affects every aspect of your life, personal and professional. It’s caused from too many pressures and not enough support.”
At the time, she’d never heard the term burnout, but when she did, “I couldn’t read enough about it,” she said.
Now she and a business partner, Cindy Patterson, help others “battle burnout” through their company DJC Core Consulting.
“I didn’t want to have them go through what I went through,” she said. “It doesn’t matter if you’ve suffered from burnout for five weeks, five months or five years — never underestimate the power of burnout, ever.”
After a 32-year career with Toledo Public Schools, Olejownik now works as a stress management trainer at Washtenaw Community College in Ann Arbor and Lourdes University. Patterson is a global real estate analyst for Owens Corning with a background in nonprofits.
The two clicked immediately after being assigned to work on a project together on the first day of their master’s program at Lourdes University. After graduation, they decided to go into business together.
“We are the only consultants in the area who battle burnout,” she said.
The symptoms of burnout manifest differently in each person, often in physical symptoms that can seem unrelated, Olejownik said. But the most universal symptom is emotional exhaustion.
“They feel like they’re unplugged and they don’t know what to do about it,” Olejownik said. “We teach them to assess where their energy leak may be coming from, what’s causing it and how to put a stop to it.”
A quarter of all drugs prescribed in the U.S. are for stress management, Olejownik said.
“That’s shocking,” she said. “That tells me this is really becoming an epidemic.”
An eight-week Bouncing Back from Burnout workshop runs 8:30-10 a.m. Thursdays Oct. 2 through Nov. 20, at ITT Technical Institute, 1656 Henthorne Drive, in Maumee. Topics will include identifying core values, the truths of stress and burnout, balance, regaining person power, transforming your thinking, improving your communication IQ and leaving the ashes behind.
“We’ve taught each of these courses in this program independently and now for the first time we’re bringing them all together,” Olejownik said. “It’s our most sought-after program.”
Emphasis will be on practical skills, which encourage the attendees to develop individual plans for dealing with burnout, Patterson said in an email to Toledo Free Press.
“What we hope the attendees learn from the preview is that they are not victims of stress or burnout, but rather have the ability to reclaim their lives and re-establish that balance,” Patterson said. “[As Abraham Lincoln said] ‘Folks are usually about as happy as they make up their minds to be.’ You have to decide to take back control of the situation and determine you will make a change. It’s not enough to desire a life of balance; you need to take concrete steps to get there.”
A free 90-minute preview to introduce the course is set for 9-10:30 a.m. Aug. 20, also at ITT Technical Institute. Refreshments will be provided.
Olejownik said she wants to give people hope and help them realize they are not alone.
“That’s what I felt like,” Olejownik said. “I felt like I couldn’t talk to anyone. I thought no one would understand. You’re not alone. We can help.”
For more information or to register, visit djccoreconsulting.com or contact Olejownik at (419) 392-7737 or email@example.com.