Burnout is a term that we often hear, but what does it mean? According to an article on Psychology today it is “an imbalance between the psychological resources of an individual and the demands being made on those resources.” When we give more than we get, we burn out. Burnout is something that therapists often encounter. I myself have experienced it.
However, burnout can happen to all people. How do we tune into what our burnout is telling us? Am I giving more than I can get in my job/career? Is my work place environment toxic? Is my boss toxic? Do I have an unbalanced work schedule? Are my boundaries clear? Are my boundaries being respected? These are all questions that we can begin to ask ourselves as we detect that we are moving into the direction of burnout. It is useful to keep track of where you stand with burnout so that we can redirect, adjust and prevent burnout.. I’ve included a questionnaire from an article on Psychology Today that can help us keep track of burnout.
Pick a few times throughout your day to document the following:
- Situation: What was going on when you noticed the feeling set in or get worse? (e.g., before the Monday team meeting).
- Thoughts: What were you thinking at the time? (e.g., “nothing pleases her.”)
- Physical sensations: What do you notice in your body? (e.g., weight, tension, heart beating faster).
- Behaviors: What did you do? (e.g., avoid the task; try to explain yourself when criticized)
- Burnout rating: Give it a 1-10. (e.g., 1 being “Barely any burnout,” 10 being “I am ready to quit right now.”)