How do you deal with Professional Burnout?


GUEST BLOGGER: Emily A. Zeman, OTD, MS, OTR/L

Now more than ever is the time for us to invest in strategies to combat professional burnout and stress and take care of ourselves.  Healthy living and self-care are popular with not only millennials but also older generations of working health professionals.        

The question is: What are you doing for self-care and what else can you do to remain client-centered and compassionate at the same time?  It’s time to invest in yourself so you can keep doing what you are good at- taking care of others!

Tips

Personal: Self-awareness & Presence

  • Spend time with family & friends
  • Jump on the mindfulness train: Take up yoga, meditation, or prayer (Go with a buddy!) Check out tips on getting started here: Getting started with mindfulness
  • Add more recreation & time-off to your calendar
  • Exercise, especially out in nature! Here’s why!
  • Participate in support groups & engage in health self-talk
  • Laugh

Work: Professional Resilience & Enrichment

  • Maintain professional identity- attend conferences!
  • Ask questions – be curious!
  • Use humor
  • Seek case consultation & dialogue with peers
  • Eat lunch with colleagues or walk outside for breaks during the day (That nature thing again…)
  • Diversify work load & responsibilities
  • Set good boundaries with everyone It’s important!

 Moving Forward

 Questions to ask yourself:

  • How do I restore my energy when away from work?
  • What do I already do in terms of self-care?

There are many ways to incorporate a few strategies to avoid burnout and practice self-care- even one will get you started on the right track!  Try one a week and see which one fits you best.  You and your patients will both benefit.

References:

  1. Lawson, G. & Myers, J.E. (2011). Wellness, professional quality of life, and career-sustaining behaviors: What keeps us well?  Journal of Counseling & Development, 89(2), 163-171.
  2. Wicks, R.J. (2008).The Resilient Clinician. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

 

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