By Stacy M. Menz, PT, DPT, PCS
This month’s issue is about burnout. I have to admit I have been looking forward to this issue. I’m sure I’m not alone as a business owner, a physical therapist, or a person going about my day-to-day life, in that I have experienced periods of burnout.
I remember listening to a session on burnout at a conference a year or so ago. I was eagerly awaiting the tidbits they were going to share because I wanted to apply them to myself and my employees. The talk, while well done, was mainly about employees. One of the factors that they said helped to prevent burnout was for employees to have a best friend at work. My first reaction was to question how this worked for employers because while it’s possible to be friendly with staff we don’t always have the luxury of having a best friend at work. If your business has partners, you have people on your same level, but if you are a sole business owner you may not. For employers, a peer-to-peer business group could be beneficial.
I wanted to read this issue to see what else I could learn that I could apply to myself. I feel that if I am burned out or on the verge of being burned out I am not creating an environment within my company that is conducive to preventing staff burnout. I want to be proactive so that I can continue to grow the team and company to serve the kids and families that depend on us.
There are some great ideas throughout this issue that I know I will be implementing. Some may be things you have already been doing but reading about them here might make you more conscious of them, and others you may have let go by the wayside and will bring them back to the forefront. I know I have to make an effort to make smart and healthy choices for myself so that I can be at my best for those who depend on me.
While I was writing this letter, I just finished listening to the audiobook Emotional Intelligence 2.0 by Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves. While it doesn’t speak directly to burnout, it does touch on areas that may be helpful in preventing it. The four main areas discussed are self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management. I know I will be going through the specific instructions in each area many more times!
What are some of the ways you prevent burnout? We’d love to hear from you either by email or on social media. Share your experiences with the ideas in this issue or your own ideas and how you have found them helpful. Let’s all work to support each other in this profession!