Burnout is a state of emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. It occurs when you feel overwhelmed and unable to meet constant demands. As the stress continues, you begin to lose the interest or motivation that led you to take on a certain role in the first place.
Burnout reduces your productivity and saps your energy, leaving you feeling increasingly helpless, hopeless, cynical, and resentful. Eventually, you may feel like you have nothing more to give.
Most of us have days when we feel bored, overloaded, or unappreciated; when dragging ourselves out of bed requires the determination of Hercules. If you feel like this most of the time, however, you may be flirting with burnout.
You may be on the road to burnout if:
- Every day is a bad day.
- Caring about your work or home life seems like a total waste of energy.
- You’re exhausted all the time.
- The majority of your day is spent on tasks you find overwhelming.
- You feel like nothing you do makes a difference or is appreciated.
Work-related causes of burnout
- Feeling like you have little or no control over your work.
- Lack of recognition or rewards for good work.
- Unclear or overly demanding job expectations.
- Doing work that’s monotonous or unchallenging.
- Working in a chaotic or high-pressure environment.
Lifestyle causes of burnout
- Working too much, without enough time for relaxing and socializing.
- Taking on too many responsibilities, without enough help from others.
- Not getting enough sleep.
- Lack of close, supportive relationships.
Personality traits can contribute to burnout
- Perfectionist tendencies; nothing is ever good enough
- A pessimistic view of yourself and the world
- The need to be in control; reluctance to delegate to others;
- You want to « let go ».
- You know that another and better life exists, better for your inner well-being.
- You want to go back to having a balanced everyday life.
- You want to start doing outside activities.
- You have noticed that your colleague has withdrawn into him/herself..
- You feel exhausted.
- You feel that you are unproductive at your work.
- You feel that your boss does not recognize the worth of your work.
- You take medicine in order to keep going.
- Vous n’avez personne à qui en parler.
- You have no-one to talk to.
- You are ashamed of the fact you are no longer able to cope.
MY PRACTICAL APPROACH
I propose to accompany the person in a secure environment. Before any life-changing steps can be made, a person must recover his or her sense of well-being. What is significant when a person “burns out” is not the fact that he or she is going through a difficult phase, but the fact he or she is not being listened to during this painful time. Behind every burn-out is a feeling of deception that one’s sense of pride in one’s work has not been recognized.
A secure environment is essential if a person is to recover his or her lost resources. We need together to retrace the path that has taken him or her to the present day, and to enhance and show the value of everything he or she has done up until now. We need to unravel the false reality created by the client, in order to build up a new set of values for a better future.