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By: Natasha E. Feghali

People who are struggling to cope with workplace stress may place themselves at high risk of burnout. Burnout can leave people feeling exhausted, empty and unable to cope with the demands of life. The Pandemic has heightened this for so many educators. It is not a shameful state at all. It would actually be responsible for us to identify this state and take care of ourselves.

Burnout may be accompanied by a variety of both mental and physical health symptoms. If left unaddressed, burnout can make it difficult for an individual to function well in their daily life.

As educators, we are always working so hard to ensure that our students achieve success and a bright future. However, it’s not uncommon to find ourselves completely burnt out in doing so. Emotions can run high during a time like this, and we can find ourselves completely burnt out. Many educators are waiting for the Holiday break, just so to relax, and yet the truth is that we need to take time for ourselves every day to regroup and recharge.

In a time like no other, the most important factor is our sanity and our ability to adapt as educators and this also takes a toll on us. As an educator myself and working with a large portfolio of schools it can be very challenging at times to take care of myself and my responsibilities at work. Often, educators are so busy charging all other aspects of their lives; from work to families, that they forget about their own sanity and how it would affect their own work. When we reach the point past burnout, we find ourselves making mistakes at work which can be unfortunate to both ourselves and our role.

Whilst burnout isn’t a diagnosable psychological disorder, that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be taken seriously.

Here are some of the most common signs of burnout:

  • Alienation from work-related activities
  • Physical symptoms
  • Emotional exhaustion
  • Reduced performance

Sometimes we don’t know our limitations and go beyond the limits of our own possibilities. Of course, we would like to do it all, yet we can only do so much, and the Pandemic has shown us what is important and what can be done later. It appears we may find ourselves past burnout and yet we continue to keep going. We must let go and stop to see what we can release and what needs our attention. As educators, this is very difficult as we wear many hats, yet some things can be released to focus on matters that will move us and our work forward. By releasing we grow in ourselves and in our work.

Although the term “burnout” suggests it may be a permanent condition, it’s reversible. As educators we may sometimes feel burned out and not ready for the New Year and all the changes to come; some small healthy positive changes can move emotions and thought patterns forward. 

It can also be helpful to develop clear strategies that help you manage your stress. Self-care strategies like; eating a healthy diet, getting plenty of exercise and engaging in healthy sleep habits, may help reduce some of the effects of burnout.