Burnout wipes out all your energy. It makes you question if you can even do your job anymore. But it doesn’t just affect your work. It also affects your everyday life. You can’t seem to enjoy anything and your irritability is threatening your relationships. Nothing seems right anymore. You just want your life to be normal again. Learn how to fix burnout with resilience.
What is Resilience?
Everyone faces challenges at different points in their lives. Resilience is what helps them get through those points. It’s the ability to adapt to the traumas you face and make some sense of your life afterwards. In a sense, resilience is like the stretch of a rubber band. A rubber band stretches to adapt to the stresses being placed on it. Likewise, when you are resilient, you are able to stretch to handle the stresses being placed on you.
While resilience is about handling stresses, it isn’t all sunshine and roses. Instead, there will be times that even the most resilient person struggles. Just like a rubber band, you might feel like you’re going to break. But when the pressure releases, you bounce back and recover.
How to Fix Burnout with Resilience
There are multiple different factors that affect your resilience. Keep these five tips in mind when you’re learning how to fix burnout with resilience.
Use Your Support System
Your support system is one of your biggest assets when it comes to fighting burnout. Friends, family, coworkers, clergy, and other community members can all be valuable parts of your support system. While your family and friends might not 100% understand the demands of the job, they love and care about you. These are the people that are there for you regardless of your job.
Some people find it helpful to have clergy as part of their support system. Clergy help feed your spiritual needs as you’re serving in a demanding position. If you are not religious, you may consider others who help fill your spiritual needs, such as yoga teachers, meditation guides, or others who guide your spiritual path.
Your peers are another key aspect of your support system. Talking to other people in your position validates the things you’re experiencing and helps you work through them. Peer support can increase hope and help you cope with your distress. Some careers, such as first responders, have found peer support so instrumental in helping that they’ve formalized the training to ensure the best possible outcomes from this support.
It also helps to empower one or more people in your support system to point out when you are not doing well. Talk to them ahead of time about their role. Some things to consider may be signs that you’re suffering from burnout, how you’d like to be told, and how they can best support you in getting help. Keep in mind though, that it is up to you to listen to this person. They cannot force you to change, and if they point things out and you choose to ignore it, it has the potential to sour your relationship.
Change Your Thinking
When you’re burnt out, it’s easy to get lost in the negative thinking. Challenge yourself to shift your thinking to be more positive. It doesn’t have to be all sunshine and roses, but everything isn’t storm clouds either. Go into work expecting the best. You can still acknowledge the negative times, but you don’t have to anticipate it.
In addition to thinking more positively overall, you can also shift your thinking in some specific areas. For example, consider the matter of choice. Often, you feel like you have to go to work. You have to deal with the difficult patient or work mandatory overtime. Realistically though, all of these are choices that you have. It might not be a great choice, but you could choose to leave rather than do any of those things you don’t want to do.
Learn to Manage Your Every Day Emotions
It’s normal to have a variety of emotions throughout the day. A guy cuts you off on the way to work, making you feel angry. Your teenage daughter screams at you that she hates you leaving you feeling sad. Without adequately coping with these everyday things, these emotions add up. And adding the emotions your work creates can be too much.
Imagine this. Your emotions all go in a bucket. When you deal with them, you can take something out of the bucket. Otherwise, they just pile up in the bucket. Eventually, the bucket will start to overflow even with relatively minor things adding to the bucket.
There isn’t one right way to cope with your emotions. Instead, find the things that work for you. For example, you might find that when you’re feeling angry, hitting a punching bag is a great outlet. You might find that journaling offers an easy way to pour your emotions onto a page. Talk to your support system to see what works for them, and then just experiment.
It can be hard to find balance between work and your personal life. This is especially true when staff shortages require additional hours. Even so, make an effort to balance your time and turn down overtime if you’re able to. It is tempting to work all the extra hours you can, but that also adds to your burnout.
Additionally, create some kind of transition so that you can leave work at work. You might have a particular routine that signifies the end of your work day. For example, you might listen to a particular song in your car before you go into your house at night. You go into the house and shower from the day. Then you write in a journal. Only after you’ve completed this transitional routine are you ready to be home and interact with your family.Talk with your family about what your specific routine might look like and how they will know that you’re ready for them to be present with you. And keep in mind, you might find it helpful to involve your family in your transitional routine! Find what works for you.
Resilience dominates the conversation when it comes to learning how to fix burnout. Emotional regulation, adequate support, positive thinking, and balancing work and home life are 4 aspects of resilience which can’t be skipped. And if you find yourself still struggling with burnout, therapy might be the next step for you. You don’t have to fight burnout alone.