Previously in this series, we introduced burnout and outlined symptoms of burnout to look out for.
In this article, we will discuss strategies that can help you prevent and treat burnout, so that you can continue to excel in your graduate program and future career as a behavioral health professional (or if you found this article and you’re not in the behavioral health field, these burnout tips can help you regardless of your field).
Oftentimes there are environmental factors (e.g., too few resources, too many responsibilities, too little time) that contribute to the experience of burnout; however, these factors are often outside of our control. Fortunately, there are things you can be doing to cope with environmental stressors and manage your response to frustrations.
Ideally, these strategies should be implemented early on to prevent burnout from occurring. However, even if symptoms of burnout have already reared their ugly head, these strategies can help break the cycle of behavior and thinking patterns that can produce and perpetuate the symptoms of burnout.
Graduate training programs in psychology prepare students for successful careers in academia, research and clinical practice; however, not all training programs offer the type of non-academic professional development support that can help students stand out and excel in their training and future careers.
After all, each student has their own personal strengths, and who wouldn’t want to highlight those strengths?
As a graduate student or early career psychologist, one may never think of how to professionally advance outside of successfully completing program requirements, getting the right placement/job, and obtaining a license. The six areas of non-academic tips for success offered below make up a model of related factors that can lead to success in these processes and build professional relationships along the way.
Do you ever feel like you are moving through grad school like a busy bee? Completely on autopilot?
Externship. Clients. Supervisors. Emails. Research. Class. Professors. Assignments. Dissertation. Family. Friends.
Sometimes it can all seem like one, big blur.
As graduate students in the mental health field, we are tasked with the challenge of helping others achieve mental wellness. However, in focusing on the wellbeing of others, we often completely forget to take care of our own emotional health.
“Being a graduate student is like becoming all of the Seven Dwarves. In the beginning you’re Dopey and Bashful. In the middle, you are usually sick (Sneezy), tired (Sleepy), and irritable (Grumpy). But at the end, they call you Doc, and then you’re Happy.” –Ronald Azuma
Grad school is not meant to be a walk in the park. The responsibilities associated with being a grad student involve completing coursework, providing treatment, conducting testing/assessment evaluations, working on research projects, teaching courses, fulfilling practicum requirements, preparing for supervision meetings, writing your thesis, dissertation, and clinical documentation, and involvement in professional organizations (just to name a few).
These tasks are doable. They require a lot of work and time management skills, but they are doable.
But what if you have a spouse at home who expects your time and wonderful attentive nature? You won’t be the only one who’s Grumpy. Being a spouse requires an even greater commitment.
Every semester that I teach public speaking, I ask my students one question: how many of you are nervous about taking this class?
I’ve done this long enough now to know what to expect – and I am rarely surprised. Most indicate that they are extremely nervous about giving speeches in front of groups. Why shouldn’t they be?
If I’m going to talk about making a memorable conference presentation, I think it makes sense to first address the fears that often go along with speaking in front of an audience.
Whether it’s writing for your private practice website, starting a new psychotherapy blog, or building exposure by writing guest posts, writing online can be a big boost to your career.
Unfortunately, graduate school doesn’t prepare you for writing for the web. If you write a blog post the same way you write an academic paper, your readers will quickly click away in search of more interesting content.
Fortunately, writing for the web isn’t difficult. Here are a few tips to get you started.
Hurry Up and Read This!
Many of us look back on our week and feel astonished that we made it out in one piece. Client work, case management, consultation, assessment, report writing, faculty meetings, student group meetings. Oh, and also class. And life, I suppose.
As grad students, we are in a bit of a bind. Although we need to practice good self-care and make time for rest, we recognize the importance of this period of development. We have infinite opportunities to learn more, do more, and truly maximize our training.
In the spirit of finding and maintaining a healthy work-life balance, I recommend leaning into some time management and organization techniques. The key is to make your schedule as efficient as possible by prioritizing, streamlining, and eliminating certain activities. But first, you need to take a good look at your schedule.
Self-care. Everyone in our professional and personal lives talks about it, but it’s easier said than done, right?
It seems we all intend on going to the gym, spending valuable time with loved ones and enjoying those extra moments of our favorite television shows, but sometimes things get lost in translation. And we may find ourselves yet again buried underneath a mountain of work with little hope of accessing our original intent.
So, what’s the remedy? There are lots of resources available to us, but perhaps if we set aside some time to build our self-care plan, it is less likely to crumble under stress.
Graduate students and early-career professionals know how challenging, nay, grueling our work can be without a good night’s sleep. With all the demands of practice, coursework, family matters, research, and so forth, how can we hope to squeeze in a solid 8-hour sleep session?
Furthermore, how can we fall asleep when our minds are racing through that seemingly endless list of responsibilities and deadlines? We toss and turn and check our phones, remembering that each waking moment is wasted rest time.
All of us (well, hopefully all of us) try to practice good hygiene by bathing regularly, brushing/flossing teeth, and so forth. Yet, few of us try to practice good sleep hygiene.
LinkedIn has the unfortunate distinction of being the most boring social network. Facebook allows you to stay in touch with friends, Pinterest helps you get inspired, Twitter gives you breaking news as it happens. But LinkedIn? It’s just not that much fun.
But that’s okay. LinkedIn isn’t there to entertain you. It’s there to get you a job. A good LinkedIn profile could mean the difference between landing your dream job or internship, and struggling to find a position.
And the good news is that creating a quality LinkedIn profile doesn’t take long at all. In fact, I’ll show you how to set up a killer profile in about an hour.