Addressing Burnout in Therapy Professions: Strategies for Self-Care and Resilience

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Addressing Burnout in Therapy Professions: Strategies for Self-Care and Resilience

Burnout in physical therapy professions continues to grow due to copious amounts of stress, long hours, and many other factors. In 2021, The National Library of Medicine found that 58% of physical and occupational therapists reported high levels of burnout. Continue reading to find a few helpful strategies that you can implement to combat symptoms of burnout and prioritize self-care.  

Signs of Burnout  

There are many signs and causes of burnout in therapy professions and being able to identify them can allow you to recognize if you or someone you know is experiencing burnout. A few common signs of burnout include feelings of isolation, reduced feelings of sympathy, physical exhaustion, low motivation, and social withdrawal.  

Strategies for Self-Care and Resilience  

  • Set Boundaries to Maintain Work-Life Balance: A great way to prevent burnout is to set clear boundaries between work and personal life. Sticking to your work boundaries can help you maintain a healthy work-life balance and prevent you from feeling overwhelmed and overworked. Scheduling time for breaks, relaxing, hobbies, and social events can help you have a healthy work-life balance.  

  • Prioritize Basic Self Care: Prioritizing your basic self-care practices like eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep each night can help you maintain your physical and mental health. When you make your health a priority, you’re less likely to experience symptoms of burnout.  

  • Practice Stress Relieving Techniques: As healthcare professionals working in high-stress environments, it’s crucial to practice stress management techniques. Stress management can look different for everyone, a few techniques that you could try are yoga, spending time outside, meditation, breathing exercises, and listening to music.  

  • Talk with Friends and Colleagues: Building a strong support system can be extremely beneficial when trying to combat burnout. Reach out to peers, colleagues, and other healthcare professionals for support and advice. Your peers may be experiencing the same feelings of burnout that you are experiencing, so coming together can help you support each other in managing stress and other symptoms of burnout.  

  • Reach Out to Your Supervisor: If you feel that you’re extremely overwhelmed with your workload and schedule, it can be helpful to communicate this to your supervisor. Together, you can create a plan to prevent you from feeling overworked and help you maintain a healthy work-life balance.  

  • Seek Professional Help If Needed: Reaching out to a mental health professional for support can be extremely helpful in navigating your feelings and concerns in both your work and personal life. Here is a helpful list of mental health resources for physical therapy professionals.  

Addressing burnout and creating a supportive environment within your practice is crucial for the well-being of physical therapy professionals and the quality of care that they can provide to their patients. Recognizing the signs of burnout and knowing these effective strategies can help you prioritize your mental health and offer support and resources to your peers.