Most people have experienced symptoms of burnout before. Burnout can be defined, according to Maslach, Jackson, and Leiter (1996), as a psychological response often experienced in the human services profession and characterized by three things: 1) emotional exhaustion, cynicism, and a sense of inefficacy.
Burnout may be the result of role conflicts and engagement in activities that exceeds current coping strategies and self-care. Some symptoms of burnout may include: chronic fatigue, insomnia, forgetfulness, increased illness, loss of appetite, anxiety, anger, loss of enjoyment, isolation, increased irritability. Awareness of your personal signs of burnout may help with facilitating change so that you regain balance in your life.
I have recently read an article on “busyness”. The author (Omid Safi) talked about the disease of being busy; according to the author we are in dis-ease when we are not keeping ourselves occupied. Here are a few lines from their post.
How did we end up living like this? Why do we do this to ourselves? Why do we do this to our children? When did we forget that we are human beings, not human doings?… How did we create a world in which we have more and more and more to do with less time for leisure, less time for reflection, less time for community, less time to just… be?
This disease of being “busy” (and let’s call it what it is, the dis-ease of being busy, when we are never at ease) is spiritually destructive to our health and wellbeing. It saps our ability to be fully present with those we love the most in our families, and keeps us from forming the kind of community that we all so desperately crave.
During our workshop on burnout in relationships we also discussed some coping strategies to protect ourselves from burnout within our relationships. We talked about taking stock on what we engage in on a daily basis. Each participant created their own pie chart of activities they do each day and reflected on the items that they enjoyed doing versus those they felt they “should do”. This reflection activity may assist you in recognizing what you want to do more of what you want to do less of. We also talked about setting boundaries and being intentional in what you want to engage in.
Finally we also talked about having hope and noticing the good things that are happening in the present. Celebrate your daily success and rejuvenate yourself.
Safi, O. (2017). The disease of being busy. retrieved from: https://onbeing.org/blog/the-disease-of-being-busy/#.WQNHW_h8Vvk.facebook
Phillip is a Master’s of Counselling student with Athabasca University. He has previously volunteered with The Landing: A Safe Space for Sexual and Gender Diversity, as a Community Education Facilitator and co-facilitate the Queer/Trans Person of Color (Q/T POC) support group. He enjoys working with youth and adults and how everyone can bring forth their personal and community resiliency. Currently he is a co-facilitator at the Queer Space drop in group at Momentum.