by Ray Foxworth, D.C., FICC •
President & Founder, ChiroHealthUSA •
Burnout can make even the simplest tasks feel impossible. Explore the signs and solutions for this widespread problem.
People start burning out when their personal and professional lives are out of synch. A healthy work-life balance is everyone’s right, yet achieving it is harder than ever. Data compiled from a wide variety of sources by Career Cloud highlighted some sobering burnout statistics including:
- 38% of employees rarely or never experience a work-life balance
- 28 million Americans don’t receive any paid vacation time
- 46% of HR leaders state that burnout is responsible for up to half of annual employee turnover
Professionals employed in the medical field often face the highest job demands and most extended hours putting them at elevated risk of burnout. Let’s discuss how those working in chiropractic can recognize burnout when it starts and what can be done to cool things down.
The Many Signs of Burnout
Some degree of stress and fatigue is inevitable from demanding work, especially among chiropractors who devote their lives to the health of others. However, an industrious and self-sacrificial nature might have you accepting or even dismissing burnout signs. Preventing natural responses from these potentially excessive effects depends on honestly assessing yourself physically, emotionally, and psychologically.
The physical signs of burnout can manifest in several ways. You may be experiencing a tired feeling for extended periods even during weekends and longer rest periods. You may lose your appetite or have difficulty sleeping which can lead to fatigue, physical pain, and more frequent illness through reduced immunity. Existing health conditions may be worsened, or new ones could develop.
Burnout has negative psychological and emotional effects such as loss of self-confidence. Once confidence wavers, we can begin to doubt our ability, leading to decreased professional performance that reinforces a negative self-image. Thoughts of somehow avoiding work – or quitting entirely – may occur more often.
Burnout can lead to mood shifts such as increased frustration and anger, anxiety, or depression. You may start to rely on unhealthy coping mechanisms such as smoking, drinking, oversleeping, or overeating just to make work manageable.
We can’t care for others if we don’t care for ourselves. It’s critical for chiropractic professionals to know and act on the signs of burnout before they affect their patients and practice.
Why Beating Burnout is So Important in Chiropractic Settings
From the front desk to hands-on care, every link in the chiropractic chain is connected to patient wellbeing and the functionality of the practice. When staff performance suffers through burnout, the administrative and human costs can be high potentially leading to increased absences and turnover, poor record-keeping and its associated financial penalties, and higher rates of customer dissatisfaction.
The solution to burnout is establishing a healthy work-life balance. This is achieved only when employees and management can be honest with themselves – and with each other – about how their personal lives and professional responsibilities best combine.
Here are some effective ways for chiropractic professionals to maintain a 9 to 5 while feeling alive:
- Meet Your Basic Physical Needs – Be sure to eat, drink, and sleep well. Disengage from technology wherever possible and engage in exercise to promote holistic wellbeing. Avoiding foods that can worsen burnout signs while promoting feel-good nutrition is a great start.
- Nurture Professional and Personal Relationships – Speak openly to loved ones, friends, and colleagues about any problems you may be experiencing and how addressing them can improve your wellbeing and performance inside and outside of work.
- Ask for Help When Necessary – Taking on too much can overwhelm anyone. Be sure your personal and professional responsibilities are fair and shared and confide in those with the power to help such as a life partner, doctor, or manager/supervisor.
- Pursue Personal Projects – Self-expression creates a sense of achievement and fulfillment that doesn’t rest solely on a pay slip. Engage in activities that further your interests or simply let you switch off. The health benefits of hobbies can’t be overstated.
We also recommend registering for our free August 9 webinar presented by Dr. Nona Djavid where she’ll detail how burnout can be transformed into big business.