Thursday, 2 June 2016

6 - Are you burned out?

Burnout can affect anyone - but some professions are particularly at risk. Check out this article from Time magazine about why one profession - doctors - seem to be so much more at risk than others. In fact a study conducted in 2013 found half of GPs are at risk of burnout (heres an article from the telegraph talking about the same study). Heres a personal story from a woman who had to leave her job as a GP due to burnout - and another from an A&E nurse who wonders if that is where she is heading.

As well as people in particular professions, some of us may be at higher risk of burnout just because of who we are and what we are juggling. Many studies find that those struggling with the most stress are those juggling work and family demands - typically though not always women. In fact some have suggested that women - struggling to gain recognition and succeed at work as well as carrying the majority of the responsibility for family and home - are at particular risk of burnout. Or are women just at higher risk anyway, as they fight against real or perceived barriers to progression and promotion at work (heres one example of an article looking at this question)?

Another group who have been recently highlighted as potentially at risk of burnout is teenagers. Heres a report from psychologist Tanya Byron suggesting that teens from high achieving families might be particularly at risk. Do the teens in your family or youth group know how to deal with stress and pressure?

Counting yourself lucky that you have a job that is not at all caring, or hard, or has any chances of promotion for you to push yourself working towards? Bad news then - research also suggests that boring jobs can leave you just at high a risk of burnout!

If any of these things describe you - dont despair. We need to recognise that burnout is not always the end of the road - it can be a new beginning or at least offer a change of direction (check out this article No way out but burnout).

But particularly if you are just starting out in a job that you know carries a high risk of burnout, the key has to be about recognising symptoms early - but also preventing burnout and recognising it early so that you can do something about it before it goes too far. Heres one perspective on how to recognise and prevent burnout in a creative job

Refuel: How to balance work, life, faith and church - without burning out by Kate Middleton is available in paperback, priced £9.99. 

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