I guess looking back on my pre holiday blog things were starting to get to me and probably had been for a while. So I decided to do a bit of reading and research into burnout. We tend to throw this term around quite a bit and I have discovered it can be more severe than our common use for the word when we just use it to describe how we are feeling on a bad day.
The definition of burnout is long term exhaustion and diminished interest. It can have an adverse affect on all aspects of our lives and relationships, not only our work life. Symptoms of burnout can be,
feeling physically drained,
pesermistic outlook and
increased time off work.
If this sounds like you then there are few things you can do.
The first thing is to
recognise your situation, which can be hard to do when you are bogged down in it.
Try to take some time out, away from the situation.
Slow down and take a break, cut back on your commitments and activities.
Give yourself time to rest, reflect and heal.
Get support from your family and friends,
share your feelings and relieve some of your burden.
Re evaluate your goals and priorities, think about your hopes and dreams.
What is important to you?
This could be a time to rediscover what really makes you happy and to set course accordingly. Find the chicken soup for your soul.
I have returned to work with a much improved attitude, a better ability to handle the frustrations that I cannot change and a renewed motivation to have a positive impact on the culture in our department. My advice to anyone feeling a bit negative or unmotivated, do yourselves and your colleagues a favour and book yourself in for some leave. I took three weeks leave and planned it so I would have a week to “myself” (and I use that term loosely, there ‘ain’t no such thing), before the kids were on holidays, I went out for coffee with a different friend every morning that first week. The kids and I then spent a week at the beach and then we had a week at home. In that week we renovated a child’s room and I got to do some spring cleaning. Call me weird but I love the feeling when that’s done. It satisfy’s those borderline OCD tendencies that decreasingly get accommodated due to being too busy.
Looking back over these lists I would have to say that writing my blog provided me with the recognition of the burnout. It has also allowed for some reflection and some of my own self styled therapy, it is very cathartic to get it all out by writing it down. I have written more blogs than I have posted, some will never be posted but they have allowed me to vent. I have taken some time out with my friends and family. The chicken soup for my soul would definitely have to be spending time at the beach with my kids and they are ultimately the priority in my life. So focusing on the positives, nowhere’s perfect but I work in the hospital and the department that I want to be in. I work with some fantastic staff and I really appreciate all the resources and processes of our department when I spend time working in other places.
So, glad I’m feeling like me again, and I’m sure everyone else is too!
If your due for some time off, my advice, book it in, by the time you take it you might just need it.
Do you have a similar story, what did you do? I would love to hear it.
Stay safe, be happy.