Burnout / Compassion Fatigue

Posted on September 1, 2017

Burnout / Compassion Fatigue

Did you know if you can’t say no you can end up with burnout, compassion fatigue or (as it was known years ago) a nervous breakdown. So what is burnout or compassion fatigue?

Burnout is a type of psychological stress.  Burnout or compassion fatigue is characterised by exhaustion, lack of enthusiasm and motivation, feelings of ineffectiveness and can also have the aspect of frustration, anger or cynicism and as a result reduced efficacy within the workplace, home life or in social situations.

Burnout is becoming more common as a result as the modern pace of life.   Both economically and psychologically exhausting, the increasingly hostile and demanding environments in which employees have to work are being cited as one cause.  More frequently, economic values are being put above our personal values.  The occurrence is more likely when a difference is present between the nature of the work someone is doing and that of the person doing the work.  This can be seen as an internal values violation, where you have to compromise on something, however this is against your internal value system.  A common reason for this difference is work overload, that of doing too much with too few resources, going beyond the persons ability.  We hear it all the time, multitasking, working smarter not harder.  This can occur when a business has downsized, which often does not reduce a company’s needs, however staff are expected to pick up the slack and do more.

This can also happen at home.  I hear all the time from parents trying to get their kids to multiple after school events, at multiple locations, at different times.  How can we not be burning out being put under this sort of pressure?

So what can we do? Refer to my January 2017 newsletter.  It’s about saying no, where possible, also May 2016’s newsletter – me me me time – it’s about putting ourselves first sometimes.  We teach the world how to treat us by the way we treat ourselves and if we’re always putting everyone else before ourselves, how can others treat us differently.  I know that can be very difficult for some people, however nothing is going to change unless we start to do something different.  So why not give it a go.  Stop putting the kids in every after school activity available, they will be just as happy with 1 or 2 activities a week & you will save yourself money on petrol, wear and tear on the car and on your poor frayed nerves.

What do you think, do you think you can give it a crack?  I say a big fat YES!!