You care about your job (at least you used to) and you are trying really hard to do your best, but. Your to-do list is growing like crazy. There are just not enough hours in the day to finish all your tasks. Maybe if you forgo that day off, you might be able to catch up on at least your medical notes. Your work is your priority and your family and friends come second. Pretty soon, your social life becomes non-existent. Lack of time makes you gravitate toward fast food or meals from the frozen aisle. Suddenly, your main diet consists of coffee at work and wine at home. You’re making poor health choices, fighting headaches all the time and getting sick more often. When you finally do make it home at night, your work problems follow you. Your phone is part of your body; it’s never turned off and you respond to new emails within seconds. You are always running late or miss meetings completely. Despite spending all day with people, it seems to get harder and harder to have casual conversations. You get frustrated easily and you snap at others. People around you seem incompetent and you are increasingly hard to please; nothing is ever good enough. Your mind races in circles and you can’t focus. You never stop to take a mental break. After putting in so much hard work, you feel under-appreciated, overwhelmed and drowning in self-pity.
Burnout is very common in the veterinary industry.
If after scanning the passage above (focus on bolded words), you see a lot of yourself in there, book a trip, turn off your phone and take at least a week-long vacation. Not next month or next quarter, NOW! Burnout is likely right behind the corner. The results will be immediate. Your productivity level will go up after your return from vacation because your “inner you” will be happy, relaxed and satisfied. You will be excited about helping puppies again.
What is burnout, exactly? Burnout is a state of physical and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and long-lasting stress. If you’re experiencing burnout, you likely have difficulty being positive and may feel demotivated and empty, beyond caring. Every day becomes a bad day and you are exhausted…even on your days off. To avoid burnout, take a break, pick up yoga, ride your bike, laugh with your friends or play board games with family. Take care to avoid becoming burned out before it’s too late!