burnout - Dr Bob Rich

OVERLOAD without
Bob Rich
Overload: More than what you believe you can do.
Herbert Freudenberger, (1974) Burnout: The
High Cost of High Achievement.
Maslach Burnout Inventory:
SARBC Search and Rescue Society of British Columbia
Burnout Quiz (from H. Freudenberger and G. Richelson)
Have you noticed changes in yourself over the past 6
months? Assign a number from 1 ( for no or little
change) to 5 (for a great deal of change) for each of the
following 15 questions.
Burnout Quiz
1. Do you tire more easily? Feel fatigued rather than
2. Are people annoying you by telling you, “You don't look so
good lately?”
3. Are you working harder and harder and accomplishing less
and less?
4. Are you increasingly cynical and disenchanted?
5. Are you often invaded by a sadness you can't explain?
6. Are you “forgetting” (appointments, deadlines, personal
7. Are you increasingly irritable? More short-tempered? More
disappointed in the people around you?
8. Are you seeing close friends and family members less
Burnout Quiz 2
9. Are you too busy to do even routine things like make phone
calls or read reports or send out Christmas cards?
10. Are you suffering from physical complaints? (aches, pains,
headaches, a lingering cold)?
11. Do you feel disoriented when the activity of the day comes to
a halt?
12. Is joy elusive?
13. Are you unable to laugh at a joke about yourself?
14. Does sex seem like more trouble than it's worth?
15. Do you have very little to say to people?
Burnout Quiz scoring
Don't let a high total alarm you, but pay attention to it.
Burnout is reversible, no matter how far along it is. The
sooner you start being kinder to yourself, the better.
< 25 fine
26 - 35 there are things you should be watching
36 - 50 you're a candidate
51 - 65 you are burning out
> 65 you're in a dangerous situation, threatening to your
physical and mental well-being.
About Burnout
“Skills and knowledge remain intact, but the
will to perform, the spirit within, is gone.”
Beverley Potter
Jennifer Senior:
In summary,
My definition
when you need a vacation to get away from
what used to be your vocation,
when money is the only reason you need to
keep going,
when you reach for your favourite tipple to
drown out the blank within you,
when you try harder and feel you are achieving
you are in a state of burnout.
Adaptation level
Overload: More than what you believe you can do.
Your expectation always comes true.
Change the belief.
(All the same as
exposure therapy for phobias.)
A paradoxical attitude
1. ACCEPTANCE: I know I’ve got cancer. It’s life
threatening. It may well kill me, and if so, I accept
2. BLOODY MINDEDNESS: I am going to fight this. I
know I can survive. I know I can win.
Feel the fear and do it anyway.
Professional distance
It’s not your pain. You are not there to share
it, but to relieve it.
My problem is how to empower the client so
she can solve her problem.
When it fails:
Refer on.
Displace emotion.
Debrief with supervisor or colleague.
Yerkes-Dodson law
You can’t care for others unless you care for
the carer first.
1firstaid.rtf on the web page
Adequate sleep
‘Adequate sleep’ is not something that can be
objectively defined. It is the amount that allows
you to function well while feeling rested much of
the time. It varies from person to person, time to
time, and situation to situation.
Too much sleep
Decide on a time to get up. Do so 7/7.
Shower, dress, breakfast etc.
Then you may go back to bed if you wish.
David Morawetz
When I lie here, eyes closed, fully relaxed, breathing
softly, it is just as restful as if I was asleep.
Sleep mantra: “Just as restful... Just as restful...”
Thought stopping:
http://mudsmith.net/bobbing2-6.html - thoughtstop
Make an appointment with the worry, and keep it.
Any other time, send it away.
A few minutes of exercise is guaranteed to lift the
1. Thorough checkup.
2. Have program designed for you.
Healthy nutrition
You are what you put into your body.
What you breathe, drink, eat and put on your skin
contains toxic chemicals.
These interact in complex ways.
Any substance that affects your mind can do you harm.
Life is too short to be treated with the seriousness it
Siegfried Gutbrod: Laughter is the best analgesic.
“If you don't have a sense of humor, get one.”
Cancer survivor, 12 years after she should have been
dead according to the doctors.
A very shy bloke goes into a pub and sees a beautiful
woman sitting at the bar. After an hour of gathering up his
courage, he finally goes over to her and asks, tentatively,
“Um, would you mind if I chatted with you for a while?”
She responds by yelling, at the top of her lungs, “NO! I
won't sleep with you tonight!” Everyone in the bar is now
staring at them. Naturally, the guy is hopelessly and
completely embarrassed and slinks back to his table.
After a few minutes, the woman walks over to him and
apologises. She smiles at him and says, “I'm sorry if I
embarrassed you. You see, I'm a graduate student in
psychology, and I'm studying how people respond to
embarrassing situations.”
To which he responds, at the top of his lungs, “What do you
mean, $200?!”
You can do ANYTHING creatively. It’s not
what you do, but how you do it.
Creativity is a rejuvenator. It makes
everything fresh. If you do everything in a
creative way, you live in a bright world.
I know the thought is quite absurd
but it’d be fun to be a bird:
to soar above the treetops high
and fly under a pale blue sky.
Birds are people of little brain.
That’s a great plus: let me explain.
Troubles and sorrows do not last,
but soon become the distant past.
The joys of NOW fill all the world -it’s quite clever, being a bird.
Come to think, you don’t need wings
to get such a good view on things.
Depression, PTSD and many other problems: being
imprisoned in your past.
We face a thousand dangers every day. One or two
may actually come true.
The Past is history. The Future is a mystery. I give
you a Present.
Social connectedness
At least three (possibly overlapping) social groups needed.
Animals qualify!
A social connection is when you as a unique person are
important in the life of another person who is important in
your life.
Mitzvah: a secret good deed a day.
Gratitude list: all the good things I encountered today.
“He who has a WHY of living will endure
almost any HOW.”
The more you give,
the more you get.
Life is lessons: a journey not a destination.
A few random quotes...
Reality is nothing but a free choice of one of many doors that are open
at all times.
Hermann Hesse
The only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have
sought and found how to serve.
Albert Schweitzer
One is hurt not by people and events, but by the internal interpretations
given to them.
Diana Elton.
Changing attitude doesn’t guarantee a remission. Neither does
chemotherapy... the former has no physical side effects.
Rubin Buttino
You cannot find happiness. It will ensue from what you do.
Viktor Frankl
Fake it till you make it.
Jamie Blyth
Seem the man you wish to be.