Those acts of kindness, which before led you to give your all, now seem to overwhelm you to the point of not resisting another minute teaching, caring for and watching over the other. Beware of “burn out” syndrome
Ana Clara has been reluctant to go to work for three months. You feel physically and emotionally drained, and there are times when you feel that you are inefficient and do not find satisfaction in your accomplishments. Lately her mood is acidic and she refuses to meet with her companions at break time. Every day he is more irritable and at night he does not sleep. She has become addicted to muscle relaxants and every pill for headaches. You cannot focus on your tasks and you often want to leave and quit. More often you experience heartbreak and wonder if it is worth living without something that gives your life meaning. When it comes to talking with her co-workers, she feels that no one understands her and the discussions are becoming more frequent. Discouragement eats breakfast with her and goes with her in her lunch box. The triad: guilt, doubt and excessive responsibility are constantly on your work schedule.
When I sat down to talk with Ana Clara, I had no choice but to tell her that her symptoms were associated with “the tiredness of the good guys” as the psychiatrist and speech therapist Roberto Almada calls the Burn Out Syndrome.
Who are affected by this syndrome?
Priests, religious and pastors; religious leaders
Volunteers in civil organizations
Security forces and personnel of the Judicial Branch
This is because every time you bond with someone in a meaningful way, you are personally implicating yourself. There are tasks that lead you to leave your soul in what you do and you know it well. But sometimes exhaustion has affected your whole being and you feel like running away and never coming back.
Suffering is present when you see that child who is struggling and cannot learn, or you look at that old woman with sorrow that no one is going to see him at the time of the visit.
I know that in theory they tell you to distance yourself, to put protective barriers to your emotions, but you well know that taking good care of the other in contexts where human suffering is present is going to be a substantial challenge for you, and sooner or later if not you act, you will suffer and you will feel fatigue.
Those acts of kindness, which before led you to give your all, now seem to overwhelm you to the point of not resisting another minute teaching, caring for and watching over the other. You are burned and the other’s pain has pierced your skin.
What to do if you feel exhausted from doing good
Ask yourself. Why am I doing this? Do I find this to be good and why I like to do it? Do I want to live for what I do? Will I ever want to have lived for this? The meaning of work is beyond a good salary, reaching a social or economic status, or perhaps wanting to demonstrate your gifts or abilities. You find the meaning when you discover that with this task you transform the world you live in, you make it wonderful and you also transform yourself in that process.
Is your life honored? . Do you agree to exchange your personal values for one more economic incentive? Do you find yourself without spaces for the cultivation of your inner being? Perhaps you enter the dynamics of labor consumerism (more than eight hours to earn bonuses, prizes, incentives) that, in reality, masked in apparent stimuli, wastes your life, depriving you of being with your family, of recreation, of living your faith . A job that honors your life allows you to have hours of rest, spaces for recreation, times for dialogue, affection, personal training.
The Burn out Syndrome does not have to burn your life if you propose not to make your hard work a synonym of productivity and profitability. Your work should be that space where your life is dignified and in which you are able to tell yourself: “I was born for this.”