What is burnout
Burnout is a feeling of complete exhaustion mentally, physically and emotionally. Experiencing burnout makes you no longer care about or enjoy things that you value. It commonly creates a sense of hopelessness and defeat.
What causes burnout
Burnout is caused by too much stress over a long period of time. If you feel overwhelmed by the amount of responsibility you have at work and at home caring for family and friends you may be at risk or experiencing burn out.
Who is most at risk of burnout
- Those who work remotely or far away from their family and friends
- Those who work in jobs that are overly demanding or understaffed
- Those who have too much responsibility in their home and work life
What is compassion fatigue
Compassion fatigue is the physical, emotional and psychological impact of helping others that are often experiencing stress or trauma.
What causes compassion fatigue
Healthcare professionals such as doctors, nurses, social workers, as well as teachers, emergency workers and defence persons who look after patients well-being can sometimes internalise and find it difficult to separate their work of helping others from their own life.
Who is most at risk of it
Professionals that are exposed to the trauma of those they help such as the ones listed above are most at risk of compassion fatigue. Furthermore, those that have moved away from their family and community to work are more likely to experience compassion fatigue.
What are the signs of burnout and compassion fatigue
- Trouble sleeping
- Feeling helpless or lonely
- Feeling like you are failing
- Loss of motivation
- Inability to complete everyday tasks
- Use of substances to cope
Resilience and coping strategies
Look out for the signs of compassion fatigue and burnout in yourself and your family and community. If you recognise or start to feel like you are experiencing it here are some coping strategies.
- Find support in your friends, family and community. Talk about how you feel and reach out for help in delegating your tasks and responsibilities.
- Set a time to finish working at each day, take regular breaks or take a day of rest
- Make sure you are getting enough nutrition in your diet and enough sleep
- Practice meditation or mindfulness using an app when you wake up, on a lunch break or before you go to bed.
- Start a new hobby or spend time doing something creative or that you enjoy
- Engage in physical activity such as a walk on your lunch break or join a social sports team
Here are a list of support services available if you need more support. Big Sky Psychology also has psychologists that can help you manage your work life balance to overcome burnout. Visit your GP to discuss this option or call us on (08) 8986 0666