Overcoming Burnout

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By Dr. Sabrina Brandon Ricks, SBR Workplace Leadership Services

According to a recent Gallop poll, burnout has become an epidemic felt most by medical doctors, counselors, teachers, and parents.  Burnout is described by the Mayo Clinic as stress that leads to physical exhaustion due to the demands of home and/or work.  Although there is no scientific diagnosis of burnout, it presents as exhaustion, feelings of emptiness, loss of focus, headaches, stomach aches, and more.  It can lead to depression or other serious health related issues.

The World Health Organization (WHO) describes burnout as an occupational phenomenon where 89% of workers are said to have experienced burnout over the past year with another 45% describing burnout at home with family.  Causes of burnout may range from working long hours (beyond the regular eight-hour day), working more than five days per week, unreasonable workload, pressure to meet quotas, absence of breaks and vacations, lack of sleep, lack of support, miscommunications, and absence or neglect of staying on schedule.  These causes are only a few that lead to burnout.  On a more intense level, the WHO states that 27% of workers feel constant burnout which can certainly lead to dangerous occupational hazards.

When addressing burnout, self-awareness of the issue is necessary. One will have to complete a check-in with oneself, and The Mayo Clinic suggests asking yourself the following questions:

  • Do I you feel valued at work?
  • Have I lost focus?
  • Have I lost patience with colleagues and/or customers?
  • Have my sleep habits changed?
  • Am I experiencing physical symptoms (e.g., headaches)?

Any affirmative response to even one of these above questions means burnout is present in your life.  In order to overcome and address this burnout, there are wellness recommendations by wellness expert Isabella Diaz, that may be life changing.  They include:

  • Starting your day with an affirmation such as “I am worthy” or “I am loved”
  • Journal daily
  • Wake up with an attitude of gratitude
  • End the day with an attitude of gratitude
  • Set a sleep routine
  • Meditate daily
  • Do something you consider fun (e.g., color, watch a TV show, draw, write a poem, go outside, etc.)
  • Exercise 30 minutes at least three days a week
  • Have family time with no electronic devices
  • Declutter your closet and/or your desk at work
  • Spend time with friends
  • Ask for help when you need it

Operating with an attitude that promotes positivity and gratitude that will allow you to reduce worry, to be more pleasant and approachable, and to get a better night’s rest. Journaling will allow your mind to unwind, and it may even help you problem solve on your own as you take an objective perspective at tackling your issues.  In many cases, your problems may seem bigger than they really are but if you step away for a bit and come back to the issue, you find the problem may not be as big as you first imagined.

There are so many ways to look at life.  Try looking at it optimistically even when things seem bleak.  Look for the silver lining and try to find a bright side in all situations.  With this attitude, you can decrease burnout, be happier, be healthier, and enjoy life to the fullest.  That, you deserve!

Contact SBR Workplace Leadership Services for additional training topics related to overcoming burnout, wellness, and attaining life coaching. Also, contact SBR if you need a consultant to design customized sessions for your organization regarding other topics.




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