The Causes of Burnout Burnout is caused by caring a great deal and by working very hard without taking time and making space for yourself. You feel strong obligations toward your clients, toward your family or friends, to a cause, and/or to other things. You wear yourself out physically and emotionally and do that chronically.
Activity Describe an incident of burnout in yourself or another person. What caused it?
Dealing with Burnout The first point in dealing with burnout is realizing that you have it. People with it tend to ignore colleagues and friends who tell them about it. We thus urge you to take it seriously.
The next step in dealing with it is to find someone to talk to. As we already have mentioned in previous sections of this course, supervision and/or intervision are essential. As we have said before, if you don’t have it on a regular basis, whether or not you have burnout, you are not acting as a responsible caregiver. If there is no “professional” supervisor around, find a colleague with whom you can speak. If worst comes to worst, contact us.
In mild to moderate burnout, you may have to stop work and give your other obligations to others. In serious burnout, you certainly will have to do this. The period of your getting out will vary between individuals and with circumstances.
It is essential that you do things that you like and that give you satisfaction that do not have to do with your obligations and the activities that caused the burnout in the first place.
Obviously, it is important that you make a plan for preventing burnout in the future.
Activity Describe an incident of burnout that you or another person has had and how you or the other person dealt with it.
Final Remarks Burnout is almost inevitable in people in caring work. It is crucial to have a plan to prevent it and to deal with it when it occurs. Anything less is shortchanging your clients and yourself.