How to deal with burnout

Personal Burnout

We can all endure some of the things that life throws at us, the pressures of work, family, friends and especially relationships.

We are also all very different in the way we cope with these pressures, our upbringing can condition us to either not deal with pressures and fears, or deal with them in a positive way, turning the evil of that emotion on its head into a zone where infinite possibilities lay in wait.

But what about burn-out? Is there such a thing?

Well, I will say yes there is.

There is no one defining element to burnout, or burning the candle at both ends as the expression goes. It’s different for everyone depending where they are in that moment of realisation. I write from personal experience.

Beyond Exhausted

In 2011 my situation was like many others, a good job in a profession I love, 3 children and a wife and although my parents divorced they had both happily remarried and things were good. Being an amuture musician¬†I also played in a brass band and rehearsed once a week. I went to the gym, kept fit and life couldn’t be better. I also started to build my own business, I was so positive.

Then a change at work positioned me in a different team, ripping me from what I had been working on happily for 3 years, but hey, I dealt with it and got on with the job. It didn’t go that smoothly and was in conflict with a manager (in his eyes) who questioned my performance and my way of working. I dealt with it, changed, improved and carried on. Again and again this still wasn’t good enough for this manager so I looked back at my last 8 years performance and it was exemplary and couldn’t understand what was wrong!

in July 2012¬†some other life changes occurred, the death of my Mum to cancer was a blow, My marriage was irretrievably over and I had numerous self doubts about myself. Work was unbearable, my children were emotionally suffering too. Soon, my comfort zone was being eroded away and pushing me into a fear and anxious area. A lot of responsibility to change things fell on me. I said to myself “What have I done? If I don’t make a change, I’m dead.” I was burning out!

Burnout is more than mere tiredness and it goes beyond the ordinary stress of everyday work. Burnout is characterized by chronic exhaustion and strong feelings of frustration and powerlessness. Those suffering from burnout tend to withdraw emotionally, lose motivation and become less productive.

Burnout can also be self-inflicted. In the pursuit of career goals and greater income, some try to fit ever more work into their life.

Because of economic pressures, some employers demand that employees work longer hours, at times for less money (me). Technology now keeps some in constant contact with their job, blurring the lines between work and private life. For some, Job insecurity, lack of control over their work, or feelings of being treated unfairly (me) contributes to burnout.

So, how can we recover?

Granted, changes may seem impossible if you feel trapped in circumstances beyond your control. Nevertheless, consider the following me in four steps for dealing with burnout. You may have more options than you realise but it won’t be easy at first, you have to start making the changes right now before the emotion of burnout turns to health problems.

In my next post I will explain the four steps I learned during counseling sessions I had back in 2012 with Accredited Counsellor Julia Bridgement BACP. These are:

  1. Evaluate your priorities
  2. Simplify your life
  3. Learn when to say no
  4. Renew Yourself

In this short 6 minute video, Best-selling author and “A Place of Hope” founder Dr. Gregg Jantz shares about his journey through burnout and gives tips for recognizing and battling this common struggle.

Please let me know if this has been of any help to you so far. I encourage feedback so I can improve my value to you.

Kelvin