Teena Evert M.A., LMFT, CCTC, CCC
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IS YOUR LIFE CAUSING BURNOUT AT WORK?

Is-your-life-causing-burnout

IMPROVE YOUR LIFE AND WORK SATISFACTION

I teach healthcare professionals simple ways to keep the normal stresses of being in the helping profession - from crossing the line into threatening their career, their marriage and even their life.

It’s tempting to blame others for all of our worries. The causes of burnout are complex for all of us and we each have a pattern of stresses that are as unique as our fingerprints. There are however burnout stressors that we all have in common. It’s important that you look at the stress patterns holistically and root out all causes of stress at work and at home.

The first one is our human blind spots, we don’t learn to take care of ourselves in school. What we learn to do is survive by getting passing grades, making friends, staying out of trouble and graduating to the next grade, rank or level of approval. Self-care principles such as nutrition, rest, exercise and relationship skills fall by the wayside in pursuit of reaching out education and or career goals -  even if we are in the health and wellness industry. We don’t learn to care for our physical and energetic needs until after we experience an episode of burnout.  

I teach healthcare professionals simple ways to keep the normal stresses of being in the helping profession - from crossing the line into threatening their career, their marriage and even their life. 

Let’s face it, life itself is stressful and if our stress is not managed properly can lead to burnout. As human beings we only have so much time and energy to give. There is a difference between stress and burnout. Stress is when you are drained, but you are still able to recover. Burnout begins when you are drained and NOT able to recover between your shifts or work life regime. 

The original burnout researcher, Herbert Freudenberger, describes this relentless downward spiral as, “...an erosion of the soul caused by a deterioration of one’s values, dignity, spirit and will.”

Burnout is the development of a negative balance in your energy bank accounts. It’s a syndrome that has physical, psychological and spiritual components. When you cross the line from the “normal” stresses of being in the helping profession into job burnout you will begin to notice one or more of the following symptoms.

These three main symptoms of job burnout are measured by a standardized research survey tool called the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI). They are:

  1. Exhaustion -physical, mental, emotional and spiritual exhaustion.
  2. Depersonalization - usually shows up as Compassion Fatigue, sarcasm, cynicism and blaming your patients or consumers.
  3. Lack of Efficacy - presenting as thoughts of “what’s the use”, doubting that your work makes any difference and/or questioning the quality of your work. 

These scales on the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) each correspond to a negative balance in your Energetic Bank Account and you have three.

Exhaustion is your Professional Bank Account; Sarcasm, Cynicism, Blaming is your Emotional Bank Account; and “What’s the use?” is your Spiritual Bank Account meaning your deeper connection with meaning and purpose in your profession.

Your profession requires you to expend physical, emotional and spiritual energy as you work with your patients/clients/consumers. Once you become aware of the three energetic accounts, your job becomes very clear. You need to keep all three accounts in a positive balance to do your job well, with high work life satisfaction. 

I invite you to check the balance in each of your three accounts, by asking yourself the following questions:

Your Physical Account

  • How is your physical energy? Are you in a positive balance? 

Your Emotional Account

  • How are you feeling emotionally? Are you getting your needs met with regards to your most important relationships?

Your Spiritual Account

  • How connected are you to feeling like your work makes a difference and is a meaningful path for you?

The syndrome of burnout is a dilemma that needs a strategy in order to reach, as well as maintain a healthy energy balance in our work life. There are two methods of maintaining the balance we all seek:

  • Lower the stress and energy drain
  • Increase your ability to recharge

Although it may sound simple, the truth is that preventing and treating job burnout involves a series of simple steps and none of them are easy for a busy professional because they sit in a hug blind spot created by our higher education.

  • You were never taught how to lower your stress levels or create work life balance.
  • There can be shame and guilt around getting your own needs met.
  • You can fall into denial of your need for help, so you don’t ask for support no matter how burned out you might feel, because this would be a sign of weakness. 

There is not a quick fix to job burnout. It’s a series of little steps, done consistently overtime, that collectively produce significant changes in your life. It’s a process that takes some time and will absolutely require you to do things differently. If you follow these steps and apply these strategies you will get back to positive balances without having to quit your current position or change careers.

Here’s how you can get started:

STEP 1: Decrease the Drain to Lower Your Stress 

Think back over the past month or so and ask yourself the following questions:

  • How draining is your day at work? 
  • What are the specific situations, people, activities and things that drain you most?
  • How can you set yourself up to do LESS of the things that drain you most?
  • What are the things you find the most rewarding and enjoyable at work?
  • How can you set yourself up to do MORE of those things?

Decreasing the drain begins when you take a good honest look at what you don’t like about work and begin to accept it for what it is. This will get you into a healthier mindset where you stop blaming, complaining, and making excuses so that you can take action towards making some changes that will eliminate some of your stress.

STEP 2: Increase your Deposits to Increase Your Energy

What are your favorite recharging activities? Let’s look at the three bank accounts, physical, emotional and spiritual. 

Physical

  • What things do you do outside of work that you find the most restful and rejuvenating? 
  • When can you do more of these things?
  • How can you take better care of your body through exercise and eating more healthfully?
  • Which of these things could you begin to incorporate into your work day? 

Emotional

  • What relationships in your life give you the most joy and satisfaction?
  • When was the last time you spent quality time nurturing these relationships?
  • What makes you feel happy, joyful or gives you pleasure in life?

Spiritual

  • What are the things in your life and at work that are most meaningful to you?
  • What is your, “why”? Why did you choose the profession that you are in?

Your goal is to develop new habits that maintain a positive balance in all three of your accounts. This doesn’t happen naturally, it requires self-awareness to become more conscious of how you are using your power and spending your time and energy.

STEP 3: Get Started and Get Support 

As you answer the questions above, pick one area and get started. Notice the difference this change makes in how you feel at then end of your first day of trying it out. If you would like additional support in your healing process towards achieving a healthy balance of energy that leads to less stress overall in your personal and professional life, then I encourage you to schedule some time to talk with me.

I will give you 30-minutes of my time for a consultation. No cost, no obligation, and completely confidential. Here’s a the link to my online calendar >>> SCHEDULE HERE 

Teena Evert, MA, LMFT, LAC, PC is the Founder & CEO of Claim The Lead. Teena is a Professional Transformational Coach and Licensed Therapist, Speaker and Podcast Host. She specializes in helping healthcare professionals and organizations prevent and recover from job burnout.

 

 

 

 

 



About the Author Teena

Teena Evert, MA, LMFT, CCTC, CCC is a Certified Career Counselor, Global Career Development Facilitator, Life Coach and Licensed Mental Health Professional. She helps her clients successfully navigate important transitions in their life and career with intention, clarity and purpose. She can help you get unstuck, identify your barriers, and move forward fearlessly into a bright future of your own design.

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