Burnout, Stress and Anxiety: how to protect one's psychological well-being

Every rescue worker knows how critical it is to keep the mind and body in shape to best deal with emergencies

Causes and Symptomatology of Burnout

Burnout, or “job burnout syndrome,” is a condition of chronic work-related stress characterized by a progressive depletion of mental and physical resources, with symptoms that may include:

  • Chronic fatigue and feelings of exhaustion: the typical feeling of “running out of gas,” exhaustion that does not resolve even with rest
  • Cynicism and emotional detachment: a progressive decline in enthusiasm and motivation toward one’s work
  • Reduced efficiency and productivity: difficulty concentrating, decreased work performance and increased errors
  • Sleep and eating disorders: insomnia, nervous hunger or loss of appetite
  • Psychosomatic symptoms: headaches, muscle aches, digestive disorders

Generally, among the main causes of this dangerous syndrome we can find: real or perceived work overload; sense of helplessness and lack of control; lack of adequate recognition, fairness and sense of community belonging in the work environment; and finally conflict between values within the work context.

How to deal with burnout?

The best way to deal with burnout is to change one’s lifestyle and way of living at work: it is necessary to have positive relationships in the workplace, both with colleagues and superiors, to find the right balance between private and professional life, to engage in physical activity or sports, which turn out to be excellent stress management tools, and finally, trivially, to rest and take time for oneself. Even when these things seem to be difficult to achieve, due to scarcity of time or general impossibilities, it is necessary to remember that one’s own health and self-care is just as important as that of the people we take care of, and on top of that a poor state of health also undermines our own ability to help others.

In extreme cases, turn to a specialist

When the symptomatology of burnout is significant and it is almost impossible to solve the problem on one’s own, it is advisable to turn to a professional with expertise in the field. Indeed, professional help can help to better understand the problem and develop useful tools for dealing with it.

Sources and Images


You might also like