For the next few posts, I will be discussing a concept called "burnout," what leads to it, and ways to deal with it. It is one of the major factors that brings clients to counseling.
We all have periods in our life where we feel exhausted and unable to cope with stress. Often, this is due the American way. We live in a culture where working hard and thriving professionally is the priority. We work late hours, put in overtime, take work home with us, and try to balance our personal lives on top of it all. Sometimes our personal lives take a backseat to our professional lives. When this happens, individuals can begin to feel depressed, anxious, and fatigued. In counseling, we often hear of burnout in terms of feeling like clients have lost a sense of purpose or meaning. Clients discuss feeling like they can no longer perform to the standards they used to and have difficulty concentrating.
This is not to say that burnout is limited to job settings. Burnout can occur in any setting that exhausts one's efforts and becomes emotionally draining. This can happen in schooling as well as at home. Taking care of a family can be all-consuming and leave little time for one's self. In this case, one is always working late hours and putting in overtime. Without the proper tools, burnout can occur in a variety of settings, regardless of whether you are a lawyer, a teacher, or a stay-at-home parent.
It is important to notice when you begin to burn out and to acknowledge why and how it is happening. In the next post, I will focus on some of the major factors that lead to burnout as well as preventitive workplace situations.