Beating Burnout

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Recently attending the GPCE in Brisbane I sat in on this talk on Beating Burnout. It’s helpful for GPs to identify this in themselves, their colleagues and their patients, as it is on the rise.

What is Burnout?

A three dimensional syndrome that involves:

• Emotional exhaustion (EE)

  • Chronic tiredness or sleepiness.
  • Headache.
  • Dizziness.
  • Sore or aching muscles.
  • Muscle weakness.
  • Slowed reflexes and responses.
  • Impaired decision-making and judgement.
  • Moodiness, such as irritability.

• Depersonalisation (DP) – self-awareness that results in a feeling of dissociation, or separation, from oneself, one’s surroundings, or both. This can also feel like apathy.

• Nil Personal Accomplishment (PA) – objective/subjective reporting of low accomplishment

Burnout Causes:

  • Workload – high expectations of our employer and ourselves
  • Control – feeling disempowered by our workplace, colleagues or employer
  • Reward – not using all our entitlements such as breaks or feeling as if we are not paid adequately or not acknowledged
  • Community – being in an unsupportive work environment and lacking external support
  • Fairness – workplace not valuing all employees equally, being treated abusively or unjustly
  • Values – expecting too much of ourselves or others/perfectionism. Adhering to alternate values imposed on us that we do not agree with e.g. lying

Tips for managing Burnout:

  • Seek help (GP, counsellor)
  • Take leave
  • Find a support network
  • Seek a third party to help you negotiate with your employer
  • Talk to yourself the way you talk to others.
  • Use your entitlements
  • Regular breaks
  • Avoid task-switching
  • Exercise
  • Good nutrition
  • Go outdoors
  • Develop a career plan

We all go through times when we are feeling under the pump and tired. Let’s make sure that we take care of ourselves so that we remain resilient as well as not ignore work related issues that may be long term contributing factors. At the end of the day, we want to work in an environment that supports us to be the best we can be and in the way that sits right with us.

If you would like help finding that work environment that will beat long-term burnout, please call Michelle 0422 748 356

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Date published: 10/12/2019