Burnout: How to Realign With your Goals
During the pandemic we are seeing more reports of burnout as people with high stress jobs, first responders, healthcare personnel, and stay at home/working parents are feeling depleted. The coping tools used in the past are not as effective.
What is Burnout?
Burnout occurs when the job you’re performing is no longer aligning with your goals or visions of yourself. Burnout can occur to anyone at any given time, and it often can be brought on by feelings of excessive stress, dissatisfaction, or mental exhaustion. It can happen when feeling overwhelmed with the tasks required of you, working too many hours, or performing physically or emotionally draining jobs with very little support or appreciation. It can be a sense of lacking meaning or pleasure in the work you are performing or feeling inadequately compensated.
Why is it Important to Identify Burnout?
Burnout can appear to mimic similar symptoms of mental illness such as depression, anxiety, and other stress related illnesses, which is why it is very important to determine whether your symptoms are influenced by your work or if there are any mental health conditions to address. Speak with your provider to further assess what may be occuring in your specific situation.
Signs of Burnout
- Having little care, compassion for your employees, employers, or clients
- Feeling irritable, angry, or easily flustered
- Headaches, muscle tension
- Heartburn or GI issues
- Higher levels of anxiety
- Difficulty sleeping
- Feeling out of control or powerless
- Lacking motivation or excitement
- Unable to meet requirements
- Poor focus and attention to detail
- Excessive feelings of tiredness or easily overwhelmed
- Feelings of sadness
How to Realign with Your Goals
- FIND PURPOSE
Reflect on your work and ask yourself if your work is aligned with your values. Is your position getting you closer towards achieving your goals? Look deeper at the type of work you’re doing and how it systemically may be bringing about the positive change that you seek for yourself and the world.
- SEEK SUPPORT
Talk with your family, friends, colleagues or supervisors and have them help you identify areas that may be causing stress.
- TAKE TIME OFF
Use your allotted time and give yourself some time to refocus on yourself and your personal goals.
- HEALTH & MIND BALANCE
Focus on your physical and mental wellbeing- get adequate sleep, food, exercise. Practice mindfulness and breathing exercises to decrease stress.
- HEALTHY BOUNDARIES
Take breaks from your work when away from the office. If working from home, create clear boundaries for yourself, a designated work space/set schedule to make sure you know when it is time to disconnect from work.
If you’ve tried the above and it doesn’t seem to be working for you, talk to your support system and together come up with a plan. You will be surprised how much you can uncover about your work needs and desires by simply talking about it.
The information on this blog is not intended to be used to diagnose or treat a medical or psychiatric illness. It is for informational purposes only. Diagnosis and treatment of medical and psychiatric illness can only be done by a licensed clinical professional, and mentalfitnessclinic.com recommends consulting with a qualified healthcare provider for any questions or issues you may have. This blog cannot be used as a substitute for consultation with a qualified medical professional.
Center for Disease Control and Prevention. May 2020. Healthcare Personnel and First Responders: How to Cope with Stress and Build Resilience During the COVID-19 Pandemic