Burnout is something that everyone across the working world struggles with at some point. That being said there are few professions that deal with burnout as often or as intensely as BCBA’s. You have probably experienced this phenomenon sometime during your professional career. Maybe you lost that passion you once had for your work, became under-confident and pessimistic, felt alone and isolated, completely detached from your patients and job, or even experienced all of these feelings all at once. Burnout is a pit that is difficult to climb out of, well unless you have the right mindset and a detailed plan of attack.
Here are some Goally tips to prevent burnout and create a healthier work-life
1. Start scheduling in time to do non-work activities that you enjoy. Whether it is working out, going out with friends, or even logging off for the whole weekend and taking a trip away. It’s important to recharge in ways outside of just sleeping at night. You may not know what activities leave you feeling re-energized. That’s ok start trying things and see how you feel, once you find a couple of activities that you leave you feeling good make sure you schedule a time for them.
2. Set a work availability schedule. It is more than ok to leave emails till the morning. You of course want to be there for your clients and anyone else who may need your help, but it is important to set healthy work boundaries. Start by promising yourself not to respond to anything outside 9 am - 5 pm (oh whatever hours you consider yourself on the clock). If you find that to be too hard to do have the computer do it for you. Consider setting your work email to only sync between Monday and Friday from 9:00 am - 5:00 pm.
3. Whenever you feel stressed, upset, and ready to give up, take a deep breath and remind yourself as to why you got into this in the first place. It could be because of a family member, a moment, or a mentor. Try and think back to that moment, it’s important to remind yourself of this from time to time especially when the waters are choppy
4. Ask for help!!! Just because your job is to help others doesn’t mean that you don’t need it as well. Talk to your friends and family about how you are feeling, what is stressing you out, what you’re worried about. It feels good to release all of those emotions and have someone be there for you, even if just to listen. Ask for help from coworkers as well. You don’t have to carry everything on your own shoulders. If you reach out and ask I’m confident you’ll be surprised how willing people are to help.
You got this!!!
Ultimately, burnout should not mean an end to your career, but it may mean you need a mini-vacation. Take time for yourself, regroup, implement some of these tips, and get ready to come back the way you felt when you first passed your exam, like A Board Certified Bad Ass.
Editor's note: This information is not meant to diagnose or treat and should not take the place of personal consultation, as needed, with a qualified healthcare provider and/or BCBA.