Beating Burnout

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As Therapists and Social Workers working towards licensure, it is easy to spread yourself thin. Working to ‘get your hours’ while trying to balance your work and family life can feel like multiple full-time jobs. With routines, paperwork and working with clients, you can reach a point where things begin to feel overwhelming. Use the tips listed below to nip burnout in the bud or help prevent burnout before it starts.

Switch it up. The mind thrives on novelty and new experiences.  If you’re working on a big project for school, take a break to fit in a stress relieving workout and a trip to the grocery store before picking up where you left off.  Burnout puts your mind and body in a weakened state and stifles your creativity.  Give both a break by working in small items off that never-ending to-do list between the larger projects.
Seek activities outside your field. Socializing outside of your classmates and coworkers can provide fresh perspectives, stimulate new ideas and help to reignite passions.
Move, move move. The good news is that almost any form of exercise, from lifting weight to a brisk walk, can act as a natural stress reliever.  Physical activity helps to juice up your endorphins and can allow you to focus on the activity that you’re engaged in, which can help your mind to help shed daily stress. Plus, regular exercise of 30+ minutes has been shown to increase self-confidence and lower symptoms associated with anxiety and depression.
Schedule downtime. Between juggling grad school, working with clients and home and family life, it may feel like you never have a free minute in your calendar.  Take the opportunity to schedule time specifically to relax and recoup.
Unplug from the outside. If you’re one who’s embraced gadgets. The very links technology provides us with — iphones, laptops, e-mail, IMs, Facebook and Twitter — can be huge benefits to our productivity when used correctly but can also blur the ever-thinning boundary between work and life.  Being constantly connected can provide just as much stress as the benefits connection.  With unplugging from your smartphones and e-mails, starting small can make a big difference on your stress levels. Try limiting your connectivity by turning off your phone when you get home at night or not checking work e-mail on weekends.

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