Happy Holidays! I hope everyone had a chance to relax and enjoy the holiday break. After a long semester working with students, completing piles of paperwork, and attending numerous meetings, it is understandable when burnout occurs. This can lead to therapists quitting their jobs, frustration and a sense of loss or disenchantment toward the work they did to accomplish their chosen career. On the flip side, it leaves businesses and schools struggling to find someone to fill in the gap.
So what is burnout? Burnout is most often the result of the emotional hazards related to a person’s job situation. Burnout can cause people to dread going to work at a job they once loved. Emotional fatigue, stress, and an inability to separate personal situations from work situations are just some examples of what can cause burnout. Therapists are also more likely to experience burnout as they deal with not just their own issues, but are trying to help others in their struggles, due to their innate desire to help others. And while burnout can strike at any time, the holidays are when many people realize they are experiencing burnout.
All of this combined means numerous therapists will experience burnout at least once in their career. There are, however, steps that can be taken to reduce the likelihood of experiencing burnout. Sometimes, burnout can be cured by simply taking a vacation, whether over the holidays or not. I just returned from a week in Florida and the break was emotionally calming. It is important to remember not to invite work on vacation with you. Work responsibilities will still be there when you get back, so take some time for yourself. Learning to say both yes and no can also prevent burnout. Say no to more work or yes to taking a break or receiving some help. It is also important to remember that, no matter how much you want to put your students first, if you don’t take care of yourself, you could find yourself unable to help your students.
Below are some articles related to the causes of burnout and how to prevent it. Allow yourself to take this holiday season to focus on recharging. Try something you would not normally do or have time for. Leave work behind for a few days and enjoy the time off.