No Time for Burnout for Many

Five steps to mitigate the effects of burnout are offered.

It is April, and we are just starting the second quarter of 2022. Does anyone already feel burned out? Well, if you answered yes, I am with you on that one.

It has been a heck of a couple of years. Between the COVID-19 pandemic now in its third year, and with many of us working from home, that has only added hours to our already busy days. Moreover, with the year-long planning of my daughter’s wedding, stress levels have been at an all time high.

Add to that, high gas and grocery prices, continued political bickering between parties, and continued restrictions on travel, it is hard to figure out how to dig out of a state of burnout. Not only that, work has not slowed down, it has only increased during the pandemic.

Now in saying that, sometimes you have to take a step back, get creative and figure out how to reboot your mind, body and soul. If you don’t at least try, you could find yourself buried beyond repair, and no one wants that. So here are my steps to relief from burnout and how to clear the mind and enjoy spring.

  • Take a 15-minute walk outside. I am in California, so probably easier for me than most, but even if you have some weather, make the effort. The exercise will do you good as well, at least that is what I am told.
  • Find an activity you like doing that has nothing to do with “work”. What are mine? The Master’s Golf Tournament is this weekend, and if the greatest golfer of all time, Tiger Woods, can play and come back from a crushing leg injury in 14 months, he has my attention.
  • I am also an avid reader but sitting down to read a leisure book makes me feel guilty that I should be folding laundry or working. Stop that. Mind vacations are amazing when you can get caught up in a fictional story and the characters.
  • Go dark from electronics on the weekends. Find at least one full day where you actually turn off your phone, your tablet, even your TV if you can. When is the last time you did that? I do not mean put your phone on silent; I mean turn it off completely, let people know  you are not available for 24 hours. They’ll survive, better yet so will you and I. This is harder said than done. I’ve tried it before. It is a challenge, but when you do it, you realize how much you need those go dark days on occasion.
  • Go sit at the beach and just stare at the ocean. The peace it gives you to watch the waves rolling in and out is magic. Even 30 minutes of beach time works miracles. If you don’t have a beach, find a park, a garden or some natural setting and just observe your surroundings.

One clear sign of burnout is that you aren’t coming up for air and this fear of failure is only making you feel like you should be doing more, faster. You may feel like you’re trapped in a permanent fog, and yet you can’t seem to snap out of it; you don’t think, talk or do anything else other than work.

Unfortunately, as outlined in Psychology Today, this compulsion is only further fueling your burnout, and not much else.

So, if you are anything like me, you don’t have time for burnout. But focusing on work can be challenging if you are heading down that path. Find those moments away from work, away from your desk and away from your electronics, and you may just find that reboot of your well-being you’ve been looking for.

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Terry A. Fletcher BS, CPC, CCC, CEMC, CCS, CCS-P, CMC, CMSCS, ACS-CA, SCP-CA, QMGC, QMCRC, QMPM

Terry Fletcher, BS, CPC, CCC, CEMC, CCS, CCS-P, CMC, CMSCS, CMCS, ACS-CA, SCP-CA, QMGC, QMCRC, is a healthcare coding consultant, educator, and auditor with more than 30 years of experience. Terry is a past member of the national advisory board for AAPC, past chair of the AAPCCA, and an AAPC national and regional conference educator. Terry is the author of several coding and reimbursement publications, as well as a practice auditor for multiple specialty practices around the country. Her coding and reimbursement specialties include cardiology, peripheral cardiology, gastroenterology, E&M auditing, orthopedics, general surgery, neurology, interventional radiology, and telehealth/telemedicine. Terry is a member of the ICD10monitor editorial board and a popular panelist on Talk Ten Tuesdays.

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