Burnout Prevention Program
Have you been working from home while homeschooling your kids? Have you been taking care of the pets, managing the household and doing your own work? Have you been extra cautious and fearful about COVID-19? Add the possibility of losing a paycheck as a result of being furloughed or laid off. You could be reaching the point of exhaustion and possible burnout. Burnout is a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. Burnout can make you feel emotionally drained and unable to function healthfully. Burnout can lower your motivation and cause you to feel helpless, hopeless, and even resentful. It can cause all sorts of physical and mental conditions like high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, a weakened immune system anxiety, insomnia and depression. Over 65% of employees are experiencing burnout symptoms while working from home, according to Monster. Stress and financial anxiety are high, yet workers are not taking enough time off to recharge, fearing they could be the next layoff if they don't work hard and stay focused. This reality of fear and worry are impacting both personal and business productivity and overall individual health. It’s important to periodically close all screens and connect with family, friends, or work colleagues. Working from home and socially distancing does not mean being alone. Remember to smile periodically. A smile sends a message to the brain that all is well. Taking care of yourself is not a luxury but a necessity to healthfully survive these stressful times. The news is scary so limit your time watching the news. Tune into TV shows that that make you laugh or perhaps take a bath. Periodically stop, close your eyes, take a deep breath and let go of thoughts and physical tension. Bring your full awareness into the present moment. Create a schedule to relax or meditate. Watch your thoughts and when thinking thoughts of worry or fear, think about what you are grateful for. By changing your thoughts you will change your brain, which can improve your happiness level.
TEN STEPS TO PREVENTING BURNOUT
The purpose of the 10 steps is to support and empower you toward accomplishing your goal of preventing burnout. What you think about, you bring about. So observe your thoughts, be positive, increase your desire and success will follow. 1. You are not a victim. Take control and be responsible for your anger and thoughts. We can’t always control life situations or others’ actions. Yet we can control ourselves. 2. Think about solutions. Don’t continually complain and feel sorry for yourself. Create a plan. Set goals, take action.
3. Use a personal power word. Think of a word that makes you feel whole. (ex. productive, powerful, peaceful). Think of this word to increase your strength when you feel weak or challenged.
4. Connect with and seek support from friends, coworkers, spiritual teachers or family. Get professional help if needed.
5. Create balance. Take breaks during the day, have fun and use your sense of humor. Don’t take yourself so seriously. Slow down and smile.
6. Find a place to go daily that recharges you and restores your balance and peace. (ex. nature). Create a schedule.
7. Limit overeating, alcohol, sugar, salt, drugs and caffeine. Exercise daily.
8. Express your feelings and let them go. Getting angry or feeling negative emotions is fine. Holding on to these feelings does not serve you.
9. Visualize yourself the way you want to be and create an affirmation. (ex. the more relaxed and focused you are, the more productive you are).
10. Do not think about work when not at work. Forget about it. Take deep breaths frequently, relax and let go. BURNOUT ASSESSMENT
This assessment is a tool which will increase your personal awareness of your current relationship to the stressors in your life and potential burnout. If your score is high, create an action plan and increase your willingness to change. Your success is equal to your desire.
Rate yourself on a scale of 1-5, (1) No or little change – (5) A great deal of change. 1. _____ Do you tire more easily? Feel fatigued rather than energetic? 2. _____ Are people annoying you more often? 3. _____ Are you working harder and harder and accomplishing less and less? 4. _____ Are you increasingly cynical and disenchanted? 5. _____ Are you invaded by sadness? 6. _____ Are you forgetting appointments, deadlines, or personal possessions? 7. _____ Are you increasingly irritable? More short-tempered? More disappointed in the people around you? 8. _____ Are you seeing close friends and family members less frequently? 9. _____ Are you too busy to do even routine things like make phone calls or read reports or send birthday cards? 10. _____ Are you suffering from physical complaints (aches, pains, headaches or lingering cold)? 11. _____ Do you feel disoriented when the activity of the day comes to a halt? 12. _____ Is joy elusive? 13. _____ Are you unable to laugh at a joke about yourself? 14. _____ Does sex seem more trouble than it is worth? 15. _____ Do you have very little to say to people?
************************************************************************ SCORING: 0-25: You are doing fine 26-35: Increase your self-care 36-50: You are a candidate for burnout Over 65: You would benefit from seeking professional help