Burnout happens to most people at one time or another in their professional lives. For a period of 5 years I supervised a Children’s Mobile Crisis Team. Looking back, I can definitely see where and when I experienced burnout, but was unable to see it at the time. Burnout is characterized by lack of energy, exhaustion, lack of motivation, depression, and often feelings of ineffectiveness. Sometimes people even get physically ill because they don’t take time to take care of themselves.
So how does burnout creep up on us?
We often get caught up in our daily tasks and to do lists that taking care of our mental health and physical needs go by the wayside. Let me also add, this is easy to do when you are invested in doing your job well. We are not superhuman, although we might sometimes like to think we are. I know that for me, working in crisis, I was always on the go and would often get an adrenaline rush from the intensity and the go-go-go of my job. I would forget to slow down and even take a few breaths sometimes. Now that I have changed jobs, and although most often less stressful, I find that it’s important to remind myself to engage in self-care so I don’t experience the same burnout as before. This is sometimes easier said than done.
3 Helpful Ways You Can Begin To Feel Renewed
- Make sure that you have a list of different types of self-care ideas. Some can take a few minutes, and others might be more in depth. Some of mine are taking a 5-minute walk, grab a cold drink or cup of coffee, taking some time to chat with my colleagues, and getting a massage.
- This will look different for everyone. For some people taking a run works wonders. Other people might like to go to the gym, take a class, do yoga, or take a long brisk walk.
Mindfulness or Meditation
- Again, like exercise, everybody has their own way of engaging in mindfulness or meditation. For me, I often try to take 5 minutes in between clients and sit quietly without any distractions in my office. I try to have a daily meditation practice as well. Some people like using different apps to help them meditate. One of the apps I found useful, and also use with my clients is Calm. I have also used Virtual Hope Box which has some great guided meditations too.
If you would like to explore more ways to engage in self-care or cope with burnout, please feel free to contact me.
Norine Vander Hooven is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker at Engage in Westlake Village, Ca, and has been practicing for 30 years. As each client is different, Norine engages with the client in order to find out how to best meet their needs. Norine specializes in working with clients who are experiencing depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, and trauma. Norine works with children, adolescents, adults and families. Norine can also be found at www.norinevanderhooven.com
*I am in no way associated with Calm or Virtual Hope Box mentioned in this blog. I receive no monetary compensation from them for any clicks or use.