Protecting Ourselves from Burnout

There are so many tools, resources, and ideas included in this training that, if you choose to integrate them into your work, will protect you from burnout.

Let’s highlight some key points from a few of the modules:

  • We can increase our tolerance for uncertainty.
  • We can integrate the Core Values into our work and life.
  • We can work on shifting our biases and judgements. This means stepping back from our strongly held beliefs and choosing to look from a different perspective
  • We can remember that we aren’t serving people in order to fix or save them, but instead supporting them to find their own self-determination. This means we don’t take on too much, because that is stealing someone’s self-determination from them.
  • We can be aware of our needs and create clear boundaries that support our well- being. Know what is OK, and what is not OK for you – in all your relationships.
  • Create trauma-informed environments that encourage healing-centered relationships. If everyone works on this, it will support the whole team to stay well! If you have your own trauma, know what you need to do to feel safe.
  • Consider your own personal vision and goals. Have clarity about how you want to feel, and what you are moving towards.

Below, write some of your own thoughts about what you have learned in the other modules that will support you to stay well and avoid burnout.

A Self-Compassionate Approach to Burnout or Compassion Fatigue

In his book The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion, Dr. Christopher Germer talks about how compassion fatigue happens when we are too attached to an outcome:

The result of extending ourselves too much to others is called “compassion fatigue.” The term is actually a misnomer because compassion itself isn’t fatiguing. Compassion fatigue is really “attachment fatigue.” We wear ourselves out when we’re attached to the outcome of our hard work, such as success or recognition. Sure signs of compassion fatigue are (1) believing that you’re indispensable and (2) feeling resentment toward those you’re trying to help. Compassion fatigue feels bad, and it’s not good for anyone. The antidote to compassion fatigue is self-compassion. When your emotional supplies are depleted, take a break and care for yourself in whatever way you can: physically, mentally, emotionally, relationally, or spiritually. (2009)


Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Post-Secondary Peer Support Training Curriculum Copyright © 2022 by Jenn Cusick is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

Share This Book