BUILDUP CREATES BURNOUT
Just a few weeks ago the World Health Organization identified burnout as a medical condition. And yet several professionals disagree. I have a friend in ministry who experienced this and recovered. And I say that as an encouragement. However, I don’t want any other friends or their congregations to experience it. The costs were avoidable. But what is it really?...What are the symptoms?...What are the causes?...What can we do about it?
While the World Health Organization just identified burnout as a medical condition, several professionals disagree.
Ken Coleman is one who says...Burnout is an emotional symptom of what is going on in life and the workplace...Rather than actually a burnout it is a Buildup on the heart. Burnout is not a disease, but the emotional impacts are real. When Monday is already full of misery (before your week even gets going), that is from buildup not burnout.
To better understand this topic, let’s look at the symptoms and causes.
1) You’re tired all the time...even a long restful weekend, vacation, or sabbatical doesn’t seem to cure the exhaustion.
2) You’re not engaged in the work you’re doing...you feel a lack of motivation & the constant tendency to procrastinate...you can't seem to find separation from work.
3) You are more cynical and bitter about your work and it making a difference...your outlook sours...you can't see how you're making a difference...you see favoritism & fairness problems all around you...you see longtime allies as now working against you or even as enemies.
4) You’re worse at your job...because you lack concentration & energy...you seem less efficient.
5) You keep getting sick....you may be able to push through your emotional exhaustion but your body still seems to keep score.
6) You prefer isolation...you keep withdrawing from relationships or trying to escape.
When work is your passion, you can "power through" and ignore the warning signs but that is like putting duct tape on your dashboard, so you don’t have to see the red warning indicators while you drive.
FIVE COMMON CAUSES
1) There is no longer a connection to the work...you don't love or enjoy your work any longer.
2) Toxicity in leader(s) or coworker(s) around you.
3) Overwhelmed...there is too much on your plate. My experience would say this is THE MOST COMMON.
4) There is no feeling of appreciation by/from others.
5) You're just bored.
Typically, there is a presence of more than one cause. However, multiple causes are not required to experience burnout.
- Clarify your identity...who you are and Whose you are. We cannot live or lead in a healthy way without this foundation.
- Talk to your leader or another leader to work towards changing:
- a) Perspective - Focus on Thankfulness & Gratitude - "I'm grateful for my current role...God is at work around me...this job pays my bills."
- b) Role - Look to modify the current role/responsibilities...OR Look for another role in the organization.
- c) Location - IF there isn't a better/healthier shift in the role/responsibilities, then you may have to find a healthier organization.
Let’s make this a topic we discuss together before we start experiencing it in our district.
Please let me know if it would be helpful to further discuss this matter together or with a colleague who may not yet understand what their symptoms are indicating. Contact me at 704.239.0569 or firstname.lastname@example.org.