Employee Burnout, how to cope

Now that y’all have heard my rant about employee burn out I am going to put back on my therapist hat and talk to you like I would a client. I practice DBT (dialectical behavioral therapy) and in this therapy we discuss the importance of validating and understanding your emotions. So if you came to me sharing some of the frustrations I mentioned in the previous article, I would make sure you knew that your feelings are understandable given the current demands you are faced with that seem impossible. I would let you vent like I did in my previous article for as long as you needed and make sure you knew it was ok to be frustrated and freaking crispy.

Then, I would move on to the next part of DBT that comes after validation which is teaching you skills to help you cope with a situation. And for this case I have to pull out the toughest skill, a skill referred to as radical acceptance. You can be mad and frustrated and cry about the unfairness. But, then you have to put on your big girl or boy panties and deal with it. The skill radical acceptance is all about learning to cope with and accept things even if we hate them. Even if we are dragging our feet, throwing a tantrum, done and over with it, we have to learn to accept things the way they are. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be calling our state representatives and asking for change and doing our best to change the way things are. We have to also accept and move forward. We have to acknowledge that change may take time and work towards an attitude of acceptance in order to be effective. Which in this case means working through the burn out and focusing on your long term goals. It means learning to reduce judgments about the way things should or should not be and learning to accept things the way they are. Even as I write this article every part of me is screaming but it should not be this way. And that is what we call a dialect. It means that things that appear to be opposites can both be true at the same time. So the dialect here is acceptance vs change. I see an issue that clearly needs to be addressed and changed. I can work to make this change on a macro level but also accept that current expectations probably aren’t going to change so in order to be effective I have to do my best to meet my jobs demands and find strategies to help me find more balance and stay sane. Stay tuned for my next article which will talk about skills for balance and to help you stay sane.

I am a social worker, mom and wife. I love helping others live their best life.