According to helpguide.org, "Burnout is a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress." Sometimes also referred to as "compassion fatigue," burnout can happen to anyone, but compassionate, hard-working, dedicated personal and professional caregivers may be particularly vulnerable due to the complex interaction between personal traits, workplace factors, and belief systems.
Burnout is insidious and can happen to even the most seasoned and skilled healthcare professionals over a long period of prolonged stress. Symptoms may be subtle at first, but can worsen over time, affect every aspect of life, and result in decreased work performance and satisfaction, disrupted professional and personal relationships, unhealthy stress behaviors, and even physical and emotional illness if left unchecked.
The good news is, there's been growing attention to the causes, warning signs, and symptoms of burnout within the healthcare industry. Providers are increasingly addressing burnout prevention and remediation in Corporate Wellness and Employee Assistance Programs. However, these interventions may not be enough. The challenges and stresses of our troubled healthcare system aren't likely to go away soon and because burnout and compassion fatigue are complex, play out differently for different individuals, and are still associated with workplace stigma, interventions must be individualized as well.
Life Coaching is increasingly being recognized as the next generation of burnout prevention and remediation because it's an individualized, intensive, forward-thinking strategy that focuses on the WHOLE PERSON, not just workplace or personal stressors. A skilled coach digs deeply into the client's current challenges and desires, draws out client strengths, and "shines a light" on sabotaging, limiting thoughts and beliefs that present barriers to effective stress management and goal achievement. Because it focuses on the unique PERSON within the CONTEXT of burnout, life coaching empowers clients not only to develop better work/life balance, but to become more authentic, purposeful, and resilient in ALL aspects of their lives.