Burnout among Students and Young Professionals. Self-Diagnosis and Psychological Advice

Are you familiar with the term “burned out”? From the point of view of psychology, the term “professional burnout” is a syndrome that appears in a person due to the depletion of psycho-emotional resources under the influence of constant stress and accumulated fatigue associated with work. Thus, the psyche reacts to overload by sending SOS signals to our body. It often happens to students who stress too much about the study; in this case, students may want to take a few days off and pay for research paper online and Qualified Essay Writing.

Self-diagnosis and psychological advice

We are used to living in the rhythm of a furious race, learning more, advancing our careers, and improving material prosperity. The realities of modern life certainly dictate healthy professional ambitions in 24/7 mode, but no one has canceled the need of the human body for a full rest.

Use self-diagnosis. American psychologists have conducted studies that have identified three main signs of burnout. Here’s what they got:

Emotional exhaustion – a person experiences a feeling of chronic fatigue from study or work and unsuccessfully struggles with it. Work is no longer a joy;

Cynicism, violation of self-perception, withdrawal or irritation towards colleagues, clients;

Understating their professional achievements. The feeling that the goals are almost unattainable and all the efforts made are in vain.

A person becomes anxious, his fears worsen, and nervous breakdowns occur. Apathy, lack of physical and moral strength to perform daily official duties, avoidance of responsibility, and loss of motivation and professional interest may occur. On top of everything else, there is a desire to leave work earlier or retire. Often, physiology is connected to bad signs of insomnia, headaches, and even a possible decrease in visual acuity and hearing.

It is generally believed that the most vulnerable to burnout are those who constantly work with people and students. Their professions are associated with increased emotional impact, as well as a high degree of responsibility. First of all, these are teachers and medical workers. However, many studies have shown that representatives of any profession can be affected by this syndrome, for example, in the case of a difficult adaptation to a new place of work or a discrepancy between what is expected from one’s work and the real state of affairs.

So why does” burnout” happen?

The truth is on the surface and very often unwittingly become the initiators of the syndrome. Take a closer look at the main causes of professional burnout:

  • there is always a lot of work and little time for a full rest;
  • a high degree of emotional involvement – in other words, you take everything very close to your heart;
  • a possible personal crisis that changes the outlook on life, priorities and triggers a reassessment of their achievements and the search for a new self;
  • financial dissatisfaction;
  • Ignoring your emotional state and symptoms.

Maria, a public school teacher, shared her personal experience of dealing with professional burnout.

Maria, in your opinion, is it possible to avoid the occurrence of this unpleasant syndrome? Share your feelings during that period.

I think it is extremely difficult to avoid burnout. The thing is that after some time, I think about ten years, some stagnation in the profession inevitably comes. So it was with me. My hands are falling; I don’t feel an emotional response from children and parents, my own emotions disappeared, I didn’t want to do anything.

Such an emotional state brings real discomfort to the natural course of life. How did you manage to get out of the state of professional burnout?

– I managed to do it quite easily. First of all, I arranged a full vacation for myself, freed my thoughts, let go of negative experiences. After that, I accepted new classroom management, new kids and launched, apparently, an internal reboot. There was a desire to go further. I also found a new business, a new vector of movement, and went to study as an expert in language history, gained new experience and knowledge.

Do you think a school can help teachers avoid professional burnout?

Yes, of course, the school administration can support teachers and thereby prevent burnout. In our school, a few years ago, the director invited psychologists to participate in training, where they told us how to prevent professional burnout and what methods to deal with it.

So, what measures do experts recommend to combat burnout? The simplest thing you can do is to prevent the problem from occurring. Prevention of the syndrome is available to everyone. These are regular and high-quality rest, a conscious approach to work and load redistribution, correctly set priorities, avoiding obsession with work with the help of hobbies, communication with loved ones. 

The wasted emotional resource is perfectly replenished by any activities that give pleasure and bring joy.

In addition to prevention, the following tips will help to cope with professional burnout:

  • To realize and accept the existing problem. It will be great if you can admit your negative emotions. For example, I experience confusion, fatigue, irritation, resentment, and so on;
  • Try to understand the causes of what happened and correct the negative factors. It is very important to give up illusions; perhaps it is just time for you to change your place of work or even your field of activity;
  • Use all available relaxation techniques and techniques to get rid of stress;
  • Get enough sleep and eat right, avoiding bad habits;
  • Take a break from work, go on vacation, be alone with yourself.

But what to do if you don’t have the opportunity to change anything now? Christian Romanowsky, a practicing clinical psychologist, recommended a way to get rid of professional burnout syndrome, which is available to everyone without much expense and drastic changes:

It is necessary to analyze your thinking and behavior. What’s going on now? Are there any changes in behavior? – “I give up my usual ways of entertainment because they have ceased to please me (I don’t go to fitness, to the theater, I don’t read my favorite books, I don’t meet friends).” Further, changes in thinking – “for the most part, I think that everything is bad, I’m tired of everything, I have no strength, I don’t see any prospects.” What can be done?

Make a return plan. For example, to think in the morning, what could I do today if I had, as before, the strength and desire?

– Choose the simplest thing from the created list and do it, despite the lack of desire.

– It is mandatory to make such plans every day and fulfill one item. 

All our thoughts and feelings are inseparable from our behavior. If we start to regain the normal rhythm of life, then our previous thoughts, desires, and feelings will return after it. To help yourself get out of the vicious circle of gloomy thoughts, you do not need to try to cheer yourself up with an effort of will. Most likely, it will not work.

You can try to do the opposite with an exercise. Every day at the same time to retire and for 30 minutes trying to think more and more actively about all the bad things that you spontaneously think about during the day. Specifically, create and enhance gloomy thoughts for half an hour, thus reducing anxiety and emotional dependence on them for the rest of the time. It’s like you’re setting aside time for bad thoughts; you only have 30 minutes a day for them.”

Summing up, I would like to note that if you suspect signs of professional burnout and fail to cope with the syndrome yourself, do not be afraid to seek study help from a psychologist.

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