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Are You Suffering from Burnout?

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Shulanda J. Hastings

Ambassador Shulanda

Ambassador Shulanda

Shulanda J. Hastings is an inspirational writer, Christian counselor and an ambassador to the faith-based community; helping them break mental health barriers. She is the author of the Beauty of My Thorns novel series and of the memoirs, Keeping My Faith While Saving My Mind.

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Those who work extensively with people such as clergy, doctors, teachers, police officers and social workers are often at risk of experiencing burnout.

You don’t have to work in these professions in order to experience burnout.

In fact, you can be retired or assuming the role as primary caregiver for someone and have the symptoms of someone overly stressed and tired.

Burnout is “a stressful state characterized by physical, emotional, mental exhaustion, chronic fatigue and lethargy” (Clinton, 2009, p. 54).

As the academic terms for schools end and hard working people plan their long anticipated vacations, there are still many who do not have plans for an escape from their daily routines.

If you are among this group, you might be thinking that you don’t have the time or money to indulge in a luxury vacation.

Well, first off, although having to travel by plane will make for an exciting getaway it doesn’t require leaving your city to escape your current environment. Something as simple as a day to pamper yourself can make a world of difference to your stress level.

As far as time goes, you must make time to take care of yourself. Even if you are a primary caregiver for someone, you might not be much longer if you do not take care of your health care needs first.

Try seeking the help of a family member to give you a break for at least a day or two. Hours can also make a huge difference. But if a relative is not an option, consider a respite care service or agency.

Do you know another class of people who are near burnout right now?

Students.

Being a student at any grade or collegiate level takes a lot of sacrifice and hard work. Which means being a student can be very stressful. So if you are a student, the parent of a student or the friend of one, pay attention to the signs.

You might be asking, what are they?

Signs of Burnout

  1. Urge to Escape. You know that desire to jump on a plane and go any where? Well, those experiencing burnout very often find themselves wanting to get away from their current environment.
  1. Negative Emotions. A strong desire to want to escape from one’s reality can cause feelings of bitterness, helplessness and resentment. These thoughts and emotions become trapped inside of the mind further affecting the level of stress.
  1. Substance Abuse. When stress is not being released or managed in a healthy way, those experiencing burnout resort to unhealthy avenues. Alcohol and drug usage may become habitual until the person isn’t aware how it is affecting their life.
  1. Depression. Another sign of someone experiencing burnout is depression. Depression can easily sneak up on someone who is overwhelmed by stress. They might find themselves with less energy than normal and stuck in a deep rut.

 

The best way to deal with burnout is to put a plan in place to change your regular routine. Relaxation or a timeout has to be in place. And remember to:

“Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him…do not fret-it only causes harm” (Psalm 37:7-8).

Check out, The Joy of Burnout.


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