When Your Happy Dreams Are About Dying

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Here's the rough abstract for the conference program:

When Your Happy Dreams Are About Dying

Navigating Burnout for FLOSS Contributors and Knowledge Workers

Are you burning out? Is someone you care about on the edge? Do you want to be more resilient to overwork, heart-breaking change, and creeping existential dread? Please come to this session. It's a mix of practical advice, real-life stories, and hard-won wisdom collected from the FLOSS, startup, and non-profit worlds. And it's all reviewed by mental healthcare professionals and supported with a free-as-in-freedom resource kit.


... and here's the background for the committee:

While participation in open source projects is incredibly rewarding, it often comes with a personal cost - especially when combined with high-stakes jobs and a strong sense of personal ethics. As the stress mounts, people's well-being suffers across most facets of their lives - from their physical and mental health to their social connections and intimate relationships. And when the stress gets too high, they burn out.

20 years of being engaged with free software and open source communities has led me both to burn out and to supporting people going through burn out. A few months ago, someone suggested that I contribute a chapter to an upcoming open source book on this topic and it got me thinking.

As a community, we purpose-build languages, frameworks, and organisations to solve the challenges we face together. We should do the same with the absolutely critical skills of self care.

To this end, I've lined up a mental healthcare professional to co-author and review the content, and have started collecting stories, resources, and best practices.

p.s. The title is a reference to something a few different people have told me: that they've had a dream that they died and that it was one of the happiest dreams that they had just before their life fell apart.


Objective of the presentation: 
To help knowledge workers avoid, mitigate, and recover from burnout.
Attendee pre-requisites - If none, enter "N/A": 

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