What is burnout and what can I do?

EEAST Wellbeing Support

As we approach the end of the first, and hopefully final, phase of the Covid-19 pandemic we are hearing a great deal about ‘burnout’ amongst NHS and specifically ambulance staff. 

Recent reports suggest many NHS staff are quitting because they are stressed and burned out from heavy workloads, having too little time and suffering bullying and harassment at work. Add the demands of the recent Covid-19 pandemic to this and none of us will be surprised by where we are. 

There are plans in place to help the overall situation. The NHS People Plan aims to make working lives easier with more flexible hours, the ability to work from home and better mental health support. This will help people feel they have greater choice over working patterns, help them achieve a better work-life balance, and help the NHS remain an attractive career choice.

Feeling physically and emotionally drained with no reserves of energy? Are you acting negatively, responding with cynicism/pessimism and resenting anyone and anything around you? Feeling useless, unproductive, constantly overwhelmed, helpless, disillusioned? The list goes on, but if you dread each day, getting out of bed in the morning, and feel like you have nothing left to give? Basically, you feel you are of no use - either at home, to yourself or at work? 

Sound familiar? Then take note and seek help. These are all signs that recent life has taken its toll, you may be approaching burnout.

Find out more

Burnout is a sign that something in your life is not working.

If you find yourself in this situation give yourself time to take note of the ‘small’ solutions and preventative tools we have suggested here. Take steps to look after yourself as soon as possible; even taking a few days leave if necessary. Know that there is help and support available for you if you reach a level of burnout that it is difficult to reverse: talk to your line manager, the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) on 0808 196 2374 or wellbeing@EEAST.

But also take time to think about the bigger picture - your personal hopes, goals, and dreams. What are you neglecting or missing? Perhaps this is an opportunity for you to give yourself time to slow down, rest, reflect, and heal and rediscover what really makes you happy.

Take care of yourself and others.


Published 13th August 2020

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