What IS Burnout or Compassion Fatigue?
Are high-profile, well-paid, leaders who feel intense pressure to stay tough and produce that causes them to work too late and too hard the only ones who experience burnout?
Any capable, conscientious, caring individual is susceptible. Consider this description. Burnout is a form of stress and emotional weariness and frustration that surfaces when a combination of events in a relationship, ministry, way of life, or job fails to produce an expected result.
Sometimes burnout shows up as "Compassion Fatigue." Read my blog post titled "Are You Burning Out?" to take a short, easy awareness questionnaire to help you determine if you are headed into burnout.
How would you define burnout? After posting this question on Facebook, I received several insightful responses including:
There are no overnight solutions to the burnout dilemma. Yet the initial step to becoming mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically strong again is to accept responsibility for one’s own life and health. Accepting responsibility means making decisions to reverse self-destructive thoughts and actions.
Usually the mere thought of doing something can cause a burnout victim to cringe. Over-doing is what propelled her (or him!) to this predicament.
However the smile-able reality is that this "doing" is not in the name of success, accomplishment, or service.
This "doing" is to regain life. (Yes, this picture of me in a smiley face shirt is a little ridiculous, but I hope it makes you smile and remember that there's life after burnout.)
For help in recognizing where you fit on the burnout-continuum, check out next week's blog post “Stop Living Like You’re on Fire.”