June 6, 2014
One of the concerns for listeners is burnout. Burnout is defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary (merriam-webster.com) as “the condition of someone who has become very physically and emotionally tired after doing a difficult job for a long time.” As burnout continues, you may find yourself in a state of helplessness or hopelessness.
Symptoms of burnout may be physical, emotional, or behavioral. Examples of these symptoms may be pessimism, sleep disturbance, taking on too much without balance in various life areas, being involved in over-demanding situations (listeners may find this to be multiple intense listening chats), lack of recognition for work done, and lack of support. There are several other symptoms that may be seen, but these are some of the most common.
Burnout doesn’t happen overnight, it’s a gradual process.
Some of the ways to prevent burnout are recognizing the early warning signs. Those would be the changes in the physical, emotional or behavioral aspects of our lives. Addressing these as they present themselves can prevent further deterioration.
Some ideas for preventing burnout are as follows:
1) Do something for you each day – at least 15 minutes of relaxation or fun. You might take a hot bubble bath, watch a movie, or take a walk.
2) Eat healthy, get sufficient sleep by keeping regular hours, and exercise at least three times a week for optimal ability to manage.
3) Stop taking chats when you notice you are becoming tired or drained. Go away from the computer for a while or visit the listener chat for some fun and fellowship.
4) Take time to learn and practice stress reduction skills. There are many exercises that can be done as you notice the symptoms of stress, and can help to prevent this from becoming an issue.
5) Find an accountability partner to share concerns and issues with, and to help address balance. Connecting with this partner can provide an opportunity to review how you’re doing and to make any changes necessary at the time.
6) Try not to take chat stresses outside of the chat. Allow yourself to let go of the situation until they come back to chat with you again. Try to separate work from play. What you do at work, stays at work so to speak.
7) Make time for social support. Connecting with friends, family, and fellow listeners can provide distraction and fun that is needed to balance out the stress.
8) Ask another listener to chat to debrief from a very stressful chat, to help reduce the stress that may have been taken on from the chat.
Remember you’re not just a listener. You are a whole person whose personal life needs balance. This includes addressing the needs of physical, emotional, spiritual, social, and other areas of your life.
Step away when you need to. It is okay to say no to requests, or no more chats when you feel tired or stressed.
Tools online for reducing stress:
Coloring Castle – www.coloringcastle.com provides coloring pages to print off and color with.
JigZone – www.jigzone.com provides puzzles to put together online.
Fragrant Heart – www.fragrantheart.com provides free audio meditations to help with relaxation.
Progressive Muscle Relaxation - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HFwCKKa--18 provides a YouTube directed exercise.
Online Kaleidascope – www.zefrank.com/dtoy_vs_byokal provides a tool for artistic creation.
Above all, to prevent burnout, remember you are not alone in being a listener. Others have faced similar issues in listening and can be a great support. Use the listener chat, the forum, or connect with a listener yourself to help prevent burnout.
By 7 Cups Listener,
â€‹Photo Contributed by 7 Cups Listener,