Treatment Professional - Addiction Recovery

5 Ways To Beat Burnout Like A Recovery Pro

5 Ways To Beat Burnout Like A Recovery Pro

Mental health professionals frequently experience burnout. Setting boundaries and taking time for yourself are key to helping clients and yourself..

In any occupation, finding a balance between work life and home life can be a challenge. This is especially true for those in helping professions. Nurses, therapists, doctors, and caregivers experience burnout at higher rates than in other jobs, so it is especially important for those that work in these roles to have tools to help overcome the stressful nature of their work.

If you are a mental health professional, consider some of the following tips to help you ensure that you're taking care of yourself while you do the difficult work of taking care of others.

Maintain Healthy Boundaries

Social scientist and researcher Brené Brown performed a study where she conducted interviews with religious and spiritual leaders, people known for their boundless compassion, and asked them how they were able to give to others so wholeheartedly and be present in their times of need. The answer surprised her. It wasn't because of a deep-rooted sense of faith in a higher power or the collective unconscious; it was because they had firm boundaries.

Firm boundaries are protective in nature. They allow you to give without sacrificing your own mental and emotional wellness. When you know your own well-being isn't at stake, you can give of yourself to those in need and still have some energy left in the tank to make sure your own needs are met. As mental health professionals, we often consider setting limits with clients when we discuss boundaries.

Common boundaries might involve limiting contact with your client to set office hours or refraining from sharing personal information with them about your own life.

However, it is also important to consider boundaries with your employer. Set limits on your caseload and make sure you reserve your time away from work for yourself and your family. By setting and enforcing good boundaries, you will be able to prevent burnout and stay in your role long term.

Give Yourself Time to Recover

Some days in mental health can feel unbearable. Difficult clients or stressful sessions can quickly lead to burnout if you don't give yourself the time and space to recover from them. Set yourself up for success by building in gaps throughout your day to recharge in between clients or groups to budget for those times when you really need it. Make sure you are taking regular breaks throughout your day and making the most of them. Take lunch away from work if possible. Walk outside and enjoy some fresh air. Changing your physical space can give you some much-needed relaxation so that you can tackle the rest of your day with ease.

Be Ready to Ask for Help

It's important to have a plan for how and when to ask for help before you find yourself overwhelmed. By rehearsing who to call and what to say ahead of time, you may find it easier to take action when you really need it. Consider some benchmarks for stress levels in your day-to-day work. If you find yourself unable to sleep because of worry about a client or find that you're sacrificing time away from work to play catch up, these might be good signs to recognize that you need assistance.

It can also be helpful to have a standing meeting with your supervisor on a weekly basis to ensure the lines of communication are open when you really need them to be. Even a quick check-in for 15 minutes can make all the difference when it's crunch time and you have to communicate your needs.

Continuously Learn and Grow

If you're feeling stagnant in your position, it may be helpful to pursue continuing education to reinvigorate your passion for helping others. Attend a seminar through a certifying mental health organization. Start taking classes to help further your education. Identify a mentor and plan time each week to listen to their advice on how to become better at what you do. Maintaining a growth mindset fights boredom and keeps the monotony of work at bay.

Fill Your Own Cup

As the saying goes, “you can't pour from an empty cup.” As a mental health professional, it is vital to have activities away from work that soothes you and give you the energy to move forward. Exercise is always beneficial, as are yoga and meditation. Find a hobby that you're passionate about and set aside time each week to grow your interest in it. Just as you expect your clients to work on themselves, you too should give yourself the grace to engage in self-improvement on a regular basis.

Burnout Isn’t Inevitable

Working as a mental health professional can be exhausting at times, but that doesn't mean burnout is inevitable. To stay in fit mental condition, remember to set appropriate boundaries with your clients and employer and enforce them as necessary. Take the time away from work to recharge and pursue your own interests outside of mental health.

If you're considering referring a client to a treatment facility, The Edge Treatment Center offers effective, evidenced-backed outpatient Your clients will learn to thrive again. Call us today at (800) 778-1772 to learn more about the services we provide.

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Written by

brian-mooreBrian Moore

Content Writer

Reviewed by

jeremy-arztJeremy Arzt

Chief Clinical Officer

Treatment Professional

Addiction Recovery

February 21, 2022