BURNOUT

If you feel as though you cannot take another day of work you are not alone. Approximately 25% of working Canadians report being highly stressed. Reports of feeling "highly stressed" are more likely among those who work in management, professional or clerical services. Feeling stressed at work is related to increased absenteeism. Left unchecked, these symptoms can result in taking medical leave to address associated mental and physical health problems (Crompton, 2011). 

Symptoms of Burnout

Burnout can be described as a state of physical, mental and emotional exhaustion that occurs when people are continually exposed to stressful work situations. Burnout is common in the helping professions (i.e., teachers, nurses, physicians, etc.). It typically occurs slowly over a period of weeks, months or even years. There are 3 key features of burnout:

 

  1. Exhaustion  

    • Feeling tired all the time yet experiencing difficulties with sleep (i.e., insomnia, unrefreshing sleep)

    • Being emotionally drained and unable to cope with any additional stressors

  2. Cynicism

    • Experiencing difficulty connecting with others emotionally

    • Feeling anger towards co-workers

    • Feeling indifferent towards your work

  3. Lack of efficacy 

    • Taking more time to accomplish the same task

    • Finding that your work is not being valued or appreciated

    • Feeling that your efforts do not lead to any meaningful change

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Treatment for Burnout

Treatment for burnout involves learning how to set boundaries between work and home. For many people, this can prove to be quite challenging as those who burn out are often dedicated and hardworking individuals. Effective therapy involves challenging some of the beliefs that are keeping you chained to work. In addition, finding effective ways to manage stress through active relaxation, implementation of scheduled leisure time and learning to mentally disconnect from work can help prevent and/or overcome burnout. These are just some of the many techniques that can be used to help you cope with feelings of burnout. Interested in learning more? Contact me to schedule a consultation.