5 Best Ways for Combatting Burnout
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5 Best Ways for Combatting Burnout

June 7, 2024

Updated June 7, 2024

Burnout, compassion fatigue, exhaustion: these are just a few of the areas healthcare professionals struggle with on a daily basis. It likely comes as no surprise, then, that healthcare workers around the world are leaving their positions in record numbers.

Burnout plays a significant role in many professionals’ decisions to leave the field or turn to temporary work. This issue affects almost half of all healthcare workers, leading them to experience mental, emotional, and physical exhaustion that interferes with all aspects of their lives.

Prolink welcomed XueXia Burton to share her perspective on the issue of burnout during Nurses Week 2022, offering the five best ways to combat this pervasive problem. View full Instagram Live interview here.

1. Move your body

Go for a walk, do Pilates, dance in your room. Make sure to schedule time for this, even if it’s just 10 minutes a day! Here are some creative ways to move without hitting the gym.

2. Get social (or not)

The long hours and traumatic experiences within a hospital can leave you feeling depleted. Whether it’s having a weekly Facetime date with a friend or family member or grabbing drinks with a few coworkers on your day off, it’s important to have a community that you can lean on. For our introverts, decompress with some solo activities like reading, journaling, or listening to your favorite podcast.

Being social doesn’t mean that you have to be out with a lot of people, which can present a particular challenge for introverts. Instead, choosing to speak with a loved one you’re comfortable with might be the right choice for you. 

What you do want to avoid, though, is spending a considerable amount of time isolated from others. Isolation can lead to increased stress and anxiety levels, making burnout symptoms worse.

3. Set boundaries

Most people who develop burnout struggle to achieve a sustainable work-life balance. This outcome usually happens when you spend most of your time working. As a result, you become unable to separate that part of your life from your personal, private time. 

The way to begin to strike a balance that works for you is by putting the boundaries in place yourself. Learn how to say “no.” Not every activity, not every overtime shift is going to serve you. If you feel over-extended, it is better to say no to these opportunities and take the time to recuperate and recharge your batteries.

4. Treat yourself

To help you unwind from your job, you want to find activities that allow you to pamper yourself. Get your nails done, visit that expensive restaurant whose Instagram you’ve been stalking since you started your assignment, and plan a day trip. 

You don’t even have to leave your home if you don’t feel like doing so. Have a hot bath or prepare a comfort meal. Why not watch your favorite movie or sit with a book you’ve been meaning to read? All of these activities can help you put yourself first.

5. Schedule rest

This is key. Sleep is a critical component of your mental and physical wellbeing. It restores your body and mind, allowing you to manage stress, process memories, and more. 

Make a concerted effort to go to bed early and get the rest that you need. Avoid using your phone or tablet while in bed; instead, focus on relaxing your body and mind. Try breathing or mindfulness exercises to help you unwind.

Managing burnout

Burnout can make a devastating impact on an individual’s mental, emotional, and physical health. Having a better understanding of your triggers and what can help alleviate the weight of this medical phenomenon can allow you to avoid the worst symptoms. It could even assist in preventing the problem altogether. 

Prolink offers counseling for all employees through our Employee Assistance Program. Our clinicians also receive information at the beginning of each travel assignment with a list of health and wellness opportunities in their area. To learn more about what Prolink is doing to support nurses' mental health, click below and check out our free whitepaper Protecting Nurses' Well-Being: Prolink's Mental Health Blueprint.

Access Our Whitepaper
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