Happy Monday, everyone. Here is another post for all of the “Helpers” out there. In our profession it is especially important for us to pay attention to our own state of being. As therapist we are exposed to trauma stories regularly, as well as stories of depression and worry and anything else that has the potential to hinder someone’s regular functioning. Too often we plug along doing this work, all the while ignoring what our own bodies and unconscious mind might be telling us.
I have been focusing on Burnout because I have been a victim of Burnout in the past and I have seen a number of my colleagues fall victim to Burnout. Burnout is a gradual process. The signs and symptoms are subtle initially, however these can worsen as time goes on. Early symptoms are red flags, providing warnings that something needs to be addressed. If you pay attention and act to reduce your stress, you can prevent a major breakdown. If you ignore them, you’ll eventually burn out.
Signs and Symptoms of Burnout
Feeling tired and drained most of the time
Lowered immunity, getting sick a lot
Frequent headaches or muscle pain
Change in appetite or sleep habits
Sense of failure and self-doubt
Feeling helpless, trapped and defeated
Detachment, feeling alone in the world
Loss of motivation
Increasingly cynical and negative outlook
Decreased satisfaction and sence of accomplishment
Withdrawing from responsibilities
Isolating yourself from others
Procrastinating, taking longer to get things done
Using food, drugs or alcohol to cope
Taking out your frustrations on others
Skipping work or coming in late and leaving early
If you are able to identify with any of these signs please consider reaching out for help. The Fabric on OOTify is such a powerful resource for clinicians to both give help and get help. There are clinicians and mentors on OOTify with a diverse set of experiences and expertise that can help.
It would be great if we could create a thread here with ideas and examples of how we all avoid and overcome Burnout. Let's hear your ideas on self preservation. Let's lift each other up so that we can continue to follow our passions and help others.