• Need help to recover from job burnout or mom burnout? We can help

    Whether you felt it before a pandemic hit the world or not, chances are you’re feeling it now. Burnout. That always overwhelmed, on edge, fatigued, frustrated, spent, sometimes resentful place that perhaps started at work but now pervades every aspect of your life.

    Job burnout can leave you feeling overworked, stressed, hostile, low in self-efficacy, and feeling pretty taken for granted.

    Mom burnout can make you feel irritable, disconnected from your kids/family, and as if you’re “always behind” on something – laundry, dishes, homework help, you name it.

    Suffering from mom burnout or job burnout can then bleed from one thing into the next. Tell me the last time you were actually able to leave work at work and home at home!

    Recovering from burnout means defining it first

    Though this has LONG been a felt experience in women’s lives, the World Health Organization (WHO) recently decided to add “burnout syndrome” as an experience that is largely related to work or to your career, and it is NOT characterized as a medical condition, like anxiety or depression would be.

    However, this therapist would say that, in wellness, all things are related and separating your home and work emotional conditions would be like achieving the dream of work/life balance – ha! Relegating one “condition” to one aspect only of a person’s life seems like a compartmentalized approach that just doesn’t fit.

    You tell me. Are you automatically not suffering from burnout the moment you come home from work? Nope, didn’t think so. Whether it’s job burnout or mom burnout, this syndrome presents itself similarly at work and at home.

    The WHO cites burnout as being:

    “… a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed. It is characterized by three dimensions:

    • feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion;
    • increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job; and
    • reduced professional efficacy.”

    Mom burnout or job burnout? Symptoms of burnout

    The three major symptoms of burnout include:

    feeling extremely depleted or exhausted by your work – just plain out of energy

    becoming cynical, distanced, and (likely) very snarky about your work and the demands placed on you

    you’re not as efficient or good at your work, and you really don’t care to be (dialing it in)

    In your life, these symptoms of burnout can look like:

    You’re too burnt out to socialize, even though your heart needs it.

    You’re too burnt out to consider making adjustments to your work, even though you know it’s time.

    You’re too burnt out to be a present, engaged parent, even though you know what’s best for your kids.

    Chances are, if you were on the verge of burnout prior to the start of COVID-19, you’re up close and personal with it now. Because the lines that separate work and home (then throw in school or being your child’s homeschool teacher!) have become nonexistent, you might find yourself feeling disconnected, frazzled, and less efficient than ever in darn near every aspect of your life.

    Can counseling help me recover from burnout?

    Women sometimes think that burnout is just part of being a woman, a caregiver or being a working mom. I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to live this way, slogging through until you’re pushed to the absolute edge.

    Getting help with burnout can look like the following:

    • Educate you on what burnout is and suggest ways to cope with burnout
    • Explore the differences between burnout and trauma
    • Understand how anxiety contributes to burnout
    • Learn to set boundaries with work commitments
    • Delegate home responsibilities and ask for help from others
    • Know when and how to identify and outsource

    Counseling to cope with burnout can help you identify and manage burnout so that each day is not one long exercise in not throwing yourself down on the couch and napping until the next morning.

    How do I know when to seek counseling to recover from job burnout or mom burnout?

    Burnout can look a lot like trauma, anxiety, or depression, or it can be some combination of any or all three things. It might be worth seeking help to recover from burnout if you:

    • Have felt the way you’re feeling for more than a month or two
    • Have noticed changes in your body – stomach issues, shortness of breath, not sleeping or sleeping too much, headaches
    • Find yourself feeling irritable or anxious beyond what has been your “norm”
    • Feel overwhelming despair at having to work each day or even managing daily tasks now takes a Herculean effort
    • Find yourself getting sick more often with colds, sinus issues, etc.

    Resources to help with recovering from burnout

    Books:

    Burnout: Unlocking the Stress Cycle, by Emily and Amelia Nagoski

    Podcast:

    The Superwoman Code, Dr. Ashley Margeson – all about burnout and your hormones and how to care for your mind and body

    FSP 2020 – The Feminist Survival Project

    Instagram:

    @FairPlayLife – Eve Rodksy

    @MotherHonestly