28th May, 2024

The Biggest Mistakes People Make When They are Heading for Burnout

With Rachel Morris

Dr Rachel Morris

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On this episode

We often underestimate severity of burnout, downplay its impact on our bodies, and push it aside as non-urgent. It’s easy to feel like burnout is our own fault, but it’s not. The key to addressing burnout lies in recognising it, accepting it, and taking proactive steps towards self-care.

Stress is not a normal physiological state, even if it’s common. So we need to stop minimising the physiological effects of chronic stress on our bodies. We also need to stop waiting for others to give us permission to take care of ourselves. It’s up to us to accept the reality of our situation and take the necessary steps towards improving it.

Blaming ourselves and feeling shame is only going to hinder our progress. So instead, we need to do the work, change the toxic narratives in our heads, and shift our mindsets to focus on self-care without guilt.

If we ignore the signs of burnout, we can end up with a significant drop in performance, a feeling of bitterness, and a profound sense of fatigue that doesn’t improve with rest. It affects not only our wellbeing but also our relationships and our ability to function effectively at work and at home.

To start addressing burnout, we need to plot ourselves on the stress curve. This curve, which plots performance against pressure, can help us understand the extent of the problem. Once we’ve identified our place on the curve, we can ask ourselves what factors are contributing to our stress and what we can do to move back up the curve.

This isn’t about blaming ourselves, but about taking control, making changes, and prioritising our wellbeing.

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Reasons to listen

  • To learn about the nine mistakes healthcare professionals make when on the path to burnout.
  • To recognise and address burnout symptoms along the stress curve.
  • To understand how to shift your mindset and focus on self-care without the guilt.

Episode highlights


Rachel’s relationship with burnout


The stress curve


The effects of stress on the body


Mark as urgent


If only


Waiting for permission


Blame and shame


Do the work


Time to reset


Break the cycle


The urgency trap

Episode transcript

[00:00:00] Rachel: In this quick tip episode, I’d like to talk about the mistakes that we make when we start to head for burnout. And I’ve seen doctors make these mistakes, I’ve seen lots of other healthcare professionals make mistakes, and I’ve seen these mistakes in myself as well. [00:00:14] Now I need to put a disclaimer in here because when we started putting some stuff on Facebook about the nine mistakes that doctors make, when they’re heading to burnout. It got some really vicious comments. People were very upset that I was saying that doctors make mistakes. And they…

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