Diversional & Recreation Therapy Australia News

Published Tuesday, 16 July 2019
Imagine you are driving home from work after a long day and it’s nearly Christmas. Going up a hill your car starts to just miss a beat, then it starts to back fire, the brakes are squealing as you brake for the traffic lights. You are surrounding by people rushing home for Christmas and your car won’t start. Burnout is a road hazard in life and common in the community services industry. Burnout is feeling like you are under constant stress, you feel helpless, disillusioned, exhausted, loss of empathy towards others and feeling incompetent in the workplace. 

You may feel stressed at different times of the year and stress can cause burnout however stress and burnout are different. Stress is having many pressures and demands on you physically and mentally. If you are stressed you may use self-talk, if I can finish this then I will be fine, if I get through my list then it will all be better. Burnout is about feeling empty, mentally exhausted and beyond caring. People who are experiencing burnout don't see any hope for change, they feel like they are drowning. 

If you are feeling under pressure and have a lot of stress in your life you may not notice when burnout happens. The following symptoms is what you need to look out for;
Physical signs and symptoms of burnout
• Feeling tired and drained most of the time
• Change in appetite or sleep habits
• Frequent headaches or muscle pain
• Lowered immunity, getting sick a lot
Emotional signs and symptoms of burnout
• Sense of failure and self-doubt
• Feeling helpless, trapped, and defeated
• Detachment, feeling alone in the world
• Loss of motivation
• Increasingly cynical and negative outlook
• Decreased satisfaction and sense of accomplishment
Behavioral signs and symptoms of burnout
• Withdrawing from responsibilities
• Procrastinating, taking longer to get things done
• Isolating yourself from others
• Using food, drugs, or alcohol to cope
• Taking out your frustrations on others
• Skipping work or coming in late and leaving early

Actively dealing with burnout
Dealing with burnout requires the three R’s
Recognize – watch for the warning signs of burnout
Reverse – Undo the damage by seeking support and managing stress
Resilience – Build your resilience to stress by taking care of your physical and emotional healthy

1. Talk with someone about your feelings
2. Reschedule your work
3. Cut down on your workload
4. Take a holiday
5. Use the Christmas time to recharge your batteries
6. Use relaxation and meditation
7. Use positive self-talk
8. Allow yourself to enjoy life and have a laugh
9. Care for yourself, do something nice
10. Find new fiends and a support network

Finally, find what you are passionate about in life. You may need to redefine your goals or find a balance so you can enjoy life once more. If you require further assistance please contact Lifeline Australia on 131114.
If you would like to learn more about stress and burn out, please contact us at Australis College.