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Signs you may be burned out

Signs you may be burned out

Burnout is generally defined as emotional exhaustion syndrome: it is, in particular, an outcome of a form of interpersonal stress that involves a detachment from the user. Generally it arises from an inner deterioration caused by a set of harmful physical and emotional reactions that occur when work demands are not met or even in cases where care pressures towards a family member are significant (see caregiver burnout). Burnout is a syndrome typical of Socio-Assistential professions where interactions can be characterized by negative emotions such as anxiety, stress, embarrassment, tension.

The triggers of burnout can be traced back to 3 dimensions:

 Emotional exhaustion: it is the dimension that takes into account the critical aspects of the relationship. One feels emptied of available emotional resources and unable to recover. Work has become almost impossible to face. External requests are perceived as too excessive; you do not have enough resources available to satisfy what is asked of you. It feels in continuous tension, and the relationships within the working sphere are getting colder and colder

    Depersonalization: Empathy makes room for coldness: the passion for work is now replaced by a bureaucratic and detached attitude. One feels indifference and rejection towards one's work and towards everything that revolves around it. All this leads to an avoidable guilt with which it is increasingly difficult to live with.

    Reduced professional achievement: involves a sense of inadequacy and incapacity; you no longer feel up to your work. Self-esteem is like gone.

Stress - as it is experienced by veterinarians - has multiple causes: first of all, the profession of veterinarian has little social consideration, and this leads to experiencing a sense of inferiority towards one's own person and the role they have within the society. We feel dissatisfaction with the relationship between commitment and income, anger and concern due to the requests of others, because we do not feel able to provide the help we want. By restricting the emotional sphere and empathy the professional tries to repress his feelings, feeling apathetic, as if he were no longer able to prove anything. The vet feels disappointed by the gap in what his job expectations were and what in reality is everyday life, perceived as unlivable and frustrating. If left untreated in the right ways, this syndrome can compromise personal and interpersonal relationships, reduce customer satisfaction, reduce job quality, and in severe cases, lead to substance abuse or suicide.

Facing work burnout

 In a society where you are completely absorbed with work, avoiding burnout is almost impossible. On the contrary, we can face it. The important thing is to know strategies that allow to face work effectively, avoiding falling into frustration and apathy:

  • Lower expectations on yourself: You are not omnipotent. No one can do everything. The important thing is to have given maximum, even if that maximum was not enough. When there is nothing to do it is useless to take it out on oneself, considering oneself incapable. Very often there are situations that the human being himself cannot face, much less resolve. A good professional can understand when it's time to say "enough".

  •   Abandon ideals of perfection: To err is human. The error allows us to put ourselves in a position to improve in order to guarantee, successively, the success of our work. Being professional does not mean being perfect: you are wrong, but the important thing is to understand your mistakes and start from there, changing our way of seeing things 

  • Abandoning delusions of control: Unfortunately nobody is able to know how it will end. Above all, the ending is not always what one had imagined to see. Anyone who thinks they have it all under control eventually gets lost, no longer knowing what to do. We must therefore have full attention to ourselves while thinking that from one moment to the next things can change, especially when dealing with human beings in the workplace. 

    Through effective methods and functional therapy, burnout can be defeated, returning to that positive motivation that made work a passion, not a source of terror.

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