It’s a frightening thing to admit that you are coming close to burnout when you spend your time empowering others to stand against it. You’re treading water hoping that tomorrow you will make the change for health, hoping nobody has noticed, wishing someone could take the burden of tomorrow’s demands from you. You want to breathe, you want to be authentic in living the way you believe. However, you do the only thing you know – you keep going, pushing, doing, delivering, moving. The more you do that, you’re not treading water anymore, you feel like you’re drowning. The struggle and the thrashing about does not help. You lose focus. You lose yourself. You worry that you are the only one. You are a helping professional after all. You should know better.
Here are 6 tips to ensure you do not fall into burnout
Take some time to have solitude and personal space. You deal with people and their issues, and you need to take time to clear your own headspace to feel centred.
Feeding your body is important. Eat, sleep, exercise. These are not trivial. You need your body to be at its best to be available not only for your patients, but your loved ones.
Reach out and surround yourself routinely with friends and family who know you well and can reaffirm your identity separate to your work.
If you have stressful times at work find a mentor who can help you work through these issues. An objective and supportive view can help disentangle the issues.
It is important to work on the things that are central to your meaning and passion in your work. Delegate out the tasks that are a drain on you. Work through your structures to get equipped in the areas you feel less sure about, and reach out for peer and supervisory input that can help you feel like you are growing in your role.
Schedule a decent annual holiday, and take frequent pit stops during busy seasons. There is no point pushing through, your productivity, creativity and sense of balance will be restored through rest.
Article by Valerie Ling
With more than 20 years of experience as a Psychologist, Valerie Ling has drawn on her experience in organisational psychology, clinical psychology, forensic psychology, pastoral care and business leadership to create a dynamic and sought-after psychology practice.