People experiencing burnout are tired of not showing up in life in a way that feels good. More times than not, people on the road to burnout start doing just enough - the bare minimum - rather than their best. They lose track of self-care and become isolated from family and friends.
Often times unchecked job burnout leads to professional burnout, which is when a person chooses to leave an entire profession in order to regain psychological wellness and physical well-being. Worse case scenario is when job burnout leads to professional burnout and then to life burnout.
Did you know that being in a formal "caregiver" professional role naturally places you at higher risk of experiencing job fatigue and possible burnout?
Everyone has times when they feel run down, as if nothing is left in their tank. For people in formal professional helping roles, running on empty can become a way of life. Essentially, compassion fatigue is when the needs of those you care for continually take priority over your personal needs and self-care.
As a result, you experience a loss of interest in work, disconnection from others, and possibly physical illness. The ability to manage every day stress reduces, and your mental health is not as strong as before. Left unchecked, compassion fatigue causes your light to dim, or possibly go out, leaving you to feel alone in the dark. Burnout!
Examples of professional helpers:
Psychologists, therapists, counselors
Law enforcement & Fire Fighters
Spiritual & religious leaders
Examples of informal caregiving roles:
Caring for an elderly parent
Caring for an ill relative
Caring for a child or adult with special needs and disabilities
Caring for sick or injured animals
Working in a highly-charged emotional environment
Professional helpers, and others in caregiving roles, can all experience challenges with psychological, emotional and physical health as a result of compassion fatigue and job burnout.
It is very common for difficulties with managing stress and poor coping to be related to early signs of burnout.
If not addressed, job burnout and compassion fatigue can lead to a more serious problem known as professional burnout.
Take a step toward regaining your health and re-engaging with life on your terms by outreaching today!
Dr. McElroy's services are confidential and trustworthy.