Beating Burnout this year
Whether you have found your career vocation or not, employment burnout is a very real threat to continued recovery. Fulfilling work in a supportive environment can nourish our resolve and promote personal growth. On the other hand, many of us continue to ‘grind’ through jobs that feel unpleasantly stressful. Here are 3 quick tips for beating burnout in 2019.
1. Get Better at STress
Coping with daily stressors–especially in our day job–is essential to continued recovery. However, psychologist Kelly Mcgonigal suggests that stress cannot (and perhaps should not) be avoided altogether. In this TED talk Kelly suggests looking at stress from a different point of view. “When you change your mind about stress, you can change the way your body reacts to stress.”
Responding to stress in healthier ways is key to relapse prevention. Kelly also notes that stressful jobs can still be healthy if we find them meaningful.
2. Don't run from pain. Instead, Chase meaning
Career Coach Bill Fanelli finds this sense of fulfillment by guiding others towards their own passions. According to Bill, working outside of ones’ calling can sometimes contribute to mental health problems.
Bill says that there are essentially two different approaches we tend to take when making career decisions. Some choose to tolerate a job for the paycheck and fund a specific lifestyle. They are searching for a sense of purpose in other areas of life. For those who choose instead to pursue their higher purpose within their careers, Bill recommends finding where our passions overlap with our natural gifts and interests.
3. Assemble an all-star team for support
Bridgette Collins-George is a great example of the latter group Bill mentioned–a passionate leader who has found purpose and meaning in her career as the first Director of Community Corrections in Hendricks County. Bridgette’s role is a stressful yet fulfilling one–we asked her how she has learned to keep morale high while avoiding burnout herself. We asked Bridgette how she manages stress within her team as a leader.
What if you find meaning and purpose in a job that also happens to be stressful?
“Those in the ‘helping’ professions care so much that the weight of the world is on their shoulders–stress affects us mentally, emotionally, and physically. Employers have to take the time to provide a reprieve for dedicated staff. One way is by offering an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) which can provide free, anonymous counseling sessions.
Can you think of a time when you saw that sort of coming-together or gentle intervening among professionals in the field?
“We actually just experienced this in my office last year. A few of us were having a really tough season both personally and business-wise, and we were becoming the proverbial ‘crabs in a bucket. None of us could help the other because we were all spinning in a world of uncertainty with our own issues. So I took it upon myself to use the EAP program first and after realizing how amazing it was I then told my peers about it, who in turn also went and got their own counseling. Fast-forward a year later and we’re all in a better healthier place. If we see a peer starting to spiral back down that path we immediately remind them of the program and its availability.”
Working in the legal field is no different than working anywhere else. You have a core group of people who you liken to be your work family and your job is to take care of each other and take it very seriously. If I’m in a bad place I’m not going to surround myself with people who have no empathy or never seem to have a bad day. I need to be around people who say ‘there’s always tomorrow’.”