How to handle a burnout crisis in the workplace?

Because of its many consequences it’s important to deal with the burnout the right way once you sense any of the symptoms.

Based on what I have seen working as a “first aid” reaction, you may need to consider:

  • Empathize – Acknowledge and connect – don’t deny, ignore, ridicule, or analyse.
  • Bring attention back to sensing what’s going on in the body
  • Lend a listening ear and a helping hand: How can I help mostly right now?
  • Ask for professional help! – a doctor, specialised services at work, a psychologue, a coach are all qualified services that can help in different ways.

One can find good sources of information on-line. However, because there is little energy to process this information when burnout has kicked in, available information is helpful when read proactively, before the burnout sets in, and during the phase of healing – as it facilitates the process of creating conscious awareness. When in the crisis phase the best is to ask for professional help.

The burnout is a state, but it is also a process with its own cycle. Referring to research studies, it always starts with a “honeymoon period” – a period of high performance, profound motivation, enjoyment of work and visible achievements. When “generative maintenance and upgrade strategies” are not fit, it is followed by the on-setting of stress, – a period of balancing act, then by chronic symptoms of stress, and then by burnout – the crisis phase. And when the latter is left unattended by professional support, it is followed by habitual burnout – which then becomes a way of living.

Understating how the burnout unfolds helps us to:

  • Be mindful of the burnout hazards in the work and life environment and one’s own predispositions
  • Rest once you see the initial signs of the stress on-setting
  • Re-configure your life and work style for healthy stress and sustainable high performance.
  • Realize that once in the cycle, the depth of your breakdown, the quality of your healing and the chances of bouncing back will depend on the quality of the support you get and how open you are to it.

Knowing what is putting you out of balance, takes you halfway in finding solutions to reset that balance, and with it to maintain and upgrade your high-performance system and outcomes.