Did you know that 51% of workers in the UK experience burnout? Furthermore, those in -helping professions such as teaching and education are more likely to suffer burnout, with 43% of teachers believing they are suffering burnout. It also doesn’t seem to matter if you teach primary or secondary, tutor in further education or are a senior leader.
However, so many people don’t feel like they are experiencing burnout, as they are highly functioning at work and busier than ever. You think you have an endless amount of energy, and you believe that you’re happy while working ,relentlessly. But a key component of burnout is that you are actually working more, not less? So are you burning out without realising ?
What is Burnout ?
Burnout is the culmination of long term work related stress that leads to mental, physical and emotional exhaustion. Usually burnout occurs as a result of prolonged and unmanageable stress and excessive demands. It creates overload and stain on physical and mental health, preventing your ability to recover and bounce back. The immense stress that has been placed upon you, causes your body to send out warning signals and breakdown.
Types of Burnout
- Neglect burnout- when you perceive yourself as usselss and incompetent. You don’t think you are cut out for the job as you can’t keep up to the demands. You can feel demotivated and passive towards your job.
- Overload burnout- when you wont allow anything to get in the way of your success. Your personal life and health don’t seem as important as your career.
- Underwhelm burnout- when you feel bored, unmotivated and underappreciated. You distance yourself from work and avoid responsibility.
Any of these types of burnout can cause overload in the body, and your mind is unable to see a way out of your current and exhausting situation.
The burnout trap
Burning out can feel like a hamster wheel, where you believe you need to work harder to ‘finish’ your workload, as you can have a break at once it’s done. Alternatively, you might avoid doing anything as you don’t know where to begin.
However, both these traps actually end up giving you more stress. It makes the problem worse. That is because your mind is so overworked, preoccupied and exhausted that you can really do anything properly. This is when errors and oversights begin to happen, and you end up having to do the work twice. Have you noticed yourself being excessively busy, and constantly on the go ?
How to tell when you are burning out ?
Stress and burnout are closely related and often hard to tell apart.
Here are somethings to notice:
- Burnout is when you dread doing anything because you are exhausted.
- With burnout your immune system is weakened and your body can no longer cope, you have frequent colds, infections, stomach issues, and autoimmune issues such as eczema and psoriasis.
- You can’t focus on anything at work or at home, everything seems to take forever to complete .
- Burning can lead to addictions that you feel it is impossible to switch off without drugs, alcohol or social media.
- Insomnia and sleep issues will happen throughout the night.
- Burnout may mean you avoid social situations, cancel plans, ignore messages and get annoyed if people try to make plans with you . This is coupled with feeling lonely.
- Burning out leads to a festering of negative self-talk. You feel inadequate, and imposter, undeserving of your position and on a path to self destruction.
How to recover from burnout
Luckily, burnout can also disappear. It just takes the right interventions and support. However, there are a few things you can do.
- Prioritise sleep and rest with a wind down, no work hour before bed. Put your work stuff out of your sight, either in another room or at least under the sofa where you can’t see it.
- Remember the more hours you work doesn’t make you better at your job.It actually makes you more prone to mistakes.
- Use an app on your phone so you don’t receive any notifications during your rest periods
- Make sure to have some rest time at the weekends and during the holidays block it out in advance
- Minimise unnecessary meetings and stick to an agenda to avoid them overrunning
- Block out at least 3 minutes in your day to ground yourself and check in. Do it on the commute, while the kettle is boiling or even brushing your teeth. This seems like a small step but it’s the best way to begin and make it sustainable.
Why are teachers more vulnerable to burnout ?
There is a high level burden placed on schools, senior leaders and teachers; not only teaching the pupils the knowledge and skills they need for a successful life, but also the big role in modern society without the money,funding and support. Herbert Freudenberger coined the term in the 1970’s, recognising that professions which entailed high morals, dedication and commitment from workers that sacrifice themselves for the good of others were most at risk. It’s no wonder that as accountability pressures,The workload and hours, accountability pressures, behavioural management all increase whilst pay remains low in comparison to other graduate roles indicate why burnout is so high amongst the teaching profession.
Stop burnout before it takes over you
As a hypnotherapist, specialising in supporting teachers and educators, I help clients who are at risk of burning out. Burnout doesn’t mean the end of your career in teaching. If you need support during a burnout or need strategies to prevent burning out, I can help. Let’s talk about your situation in a free consultation, and I’ll create a bespoke plan to prevent and recover you from burnout. Book your free consultation today by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Lets talk soon, Helen Birch – Hypnotherapist.