What happens when excitement trades places with career burnout.
Burnout, a term described as a special type of work-related stress. According to the Mayo Clinic, it involves a state of physical or emotional exhaustion that also involves a sense of reduced accomplishment and loss of personal identity. This is something I’ve experienced personally in the field as a Professional Counselor and have also witnessed my colleagues suffer from it as well. It’s tough going through it yourself and sometimes knowing your co-workers are also burned out is a relief–it validates you as not going crazy! It’s also a warning sign that something’s not right about the organization you’re working for. So what happens when that initial excitement for your career fades?
You might can relate to the anxiety as you drive in to work or enter a meeting. Maybe you spend your lunch breaks crying in your car or dreading that drive to the next client’s home. It can get hard to hold your head up while eating dinner with your spouse when you’re fighting back tears. I get you…I’ve been there and it wasn’t pretty!
So what can you do about it? “I quit!!” are the words that ran through my head often when I was in the field. Some days I meant it and other days it just felt good to let it out and feel like I had some sense of control. Ultimately, there are steps you can take to get a handle on burnout.
Steps to Burnout Freedom:
Step 1: Evaluate your options. Can you choose the type of clients you work with? Do you have flex time? Have you checked out other jobs you might be a good fit for? You don’t have to remain in a work situation that stresses you out to the max. We all have choices.
Step 2: Focus on healing. What would it look like for you to heal from burnout? Write it down. Visualize what the new you looks like. Does she take on less “extra” workload? Maybe she attends more professional development activities to get a break. Does the healed version of you actually take vacation instead of saying to herself “I can’t take off. My clients need me!”
Step 3: Seek support from a qualified professional. Now here’s where you can get creative. You’re a counselor so I imagine you already believe in the benefit of therapy. If you feel that would be the best option, find someone who’s a good fit. Some counselors have a hard time going to therapy because they don’t feel they have a mental illness. If that’s you, getting a coach to help you walk over the burnout bride to healing is also a great idea. (Shameless plug…I’m here for ya when you need me. 😉 You can always incorporate some healing strategies on your own as well. Exercise, better sleep hygiene, mindfulness and relaxing activities such as yoga or meditation can do wonders for you.
These steps aren’t meant to be overwhelming. It’s important that you realize how much control you have and increase your energy so you’re able to take an active role in your healing. If you want a safe place to vent and get support from other professionals who are also healing, visit my Facebook group “Mindset Healing for Counselors” at http://bit.ly/2GpI6mE . Until next time, love.
Marquita-The Counselor’s Mindset Coach