Do you ever feel like there is no end to the grind? Like you cannot seem to get enough rest to recharge for the next day, week, or month? I can say, even counselors feel that way sometimes. It's easy to get stuck in an endless cycle of work, pay bills, catch up on the house on days off, pay bills again, toss and turn, work again, etc. Not to mention trying to fit in time with friends and family, connecting with your community, and finding time for your favorite hobbies and activities. It's a fast track way to stress, anxiety, and depression. I'd even say it's a fast track way towards...BURNOUT!
Burnout is defined by the World Health Organization as a "syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed" (2019). Symptoms include feelings of exhaustion or energy depletion, increased mental distance or cynicism, and reduced efficacy in the workplace. Although this definition focuses on the workplace, it is inevitable that these symptoms transfer over to personal life as well. Burnout can take hold of our entire sense of wellbeing and can even begin to affect our relationships with others.
It can be a challenge finding solutions to burnout. In my experience with clients in my practice, it can take up to 3 months or even a year to recover from burnout! Of course many factors come into play when considering the amount of recovery time someone needs including length of time they have experienced burnout symptoms, level of support in their lives, access and use of counseling, and more.
The first step to burnout recovery is recognizing that you are experiencing it. If you don't know the signs and symptoms, then it will be really difficult to decide what steps you need to take to recover. Next, you may need to assess your level of support. Do you have trusted family and friends who affirm you and rally around you? Do you have access and means for counseling or therapy? Do you have the ability to use vacation time or the means to take some time off (recognizing that this is a privilege that not everybody has in our society. Which is part of the systemic problem contributing to burnout)? Finally, you may also need to take time considering what internalized beliefs and values might be contributing burnout. Awareness of subconscious and internalized messaged from society, lived experiences, childhood, etc. can support you in your burnout recovery.
I am finding that building awareness of subconscious messages, beliefs, and values that clients have gathered throughout their life experience are often the "root" of what is distressing them the most. For example, if I have a client that derives a lot of personal value and worth from being a highly driven and high-performing employee (which often is reinforced in our society is subtle and subconscious ways), then they may find themselves giving most of their energy to performance and tasks that leave them feeling depleted over time. Sometimes this can also lead to feeling unappreciated, which then reinforced negative beliefs that they may hold about themselves.
Recovery is possible! Counseling is an amazing tool to help you explore all aspects that contribute to burnout. Counseling is also an amazing self-care and support for anyone on a burnout recovery journey. If you are from the state of Indiana and would like to begin working on your burnout recovery, you can start by scheduling a FREE consultation to screen for burnout with me at Aura Counseling and Wellness. Click the button below to get started!
*About the author: Brittany Snyder is a licensed mental health counselor in the state of Indiana. She provides telehealth counseling to residents in all of Indiana and provides in-person or telehealth to clients in Brownsburg, IN. Brittany specializes in working with adults recovering from childhood trauma and complex trauma, assisting clients in building conscious awareness of subconscious beliefs, values, and internalized messages, attachment style awareness and recovery, life stressor adjustment, anxiety and depression, and much more.