How to recover from burnout



In this episode . . .

Welcome to the Burnout Recovery Podcast.

In this first episode Dr. Jo Braid introduces herself and shares how she got into and recovered from burnout herself.

She then talks about the features of burnout in healthcare and how asking for help is the first step in recovery.

Jo wraps up the episode when she addresses changes her clients made in their lives and how to deal with the overwhelm.

Or enjoy the podcast transcript, below.

Hello, I am Dr Jo Braid!

I help exhausted doctors overcome burnout and get their energy back!

How to recover from burnout podcast transcript

Hi, my name is Dr. Jo Braid and I am the burnout recovery doctor. I help health care professionals overcome burnout and get their energy back. So whether you’re a med student, allied health professional or a doctor who is suffering from feeling overwhelmed and exhausted, you’re in the right place. In this podcast, you will get your energy back through strategies for burnout recovery. This show will give you the practical tips and mindset strategies to help you recover from burnout in healthcare. 

Are you ready? Let’s dive in. 

Well, hello, and welcome to the burnout recovery Podcast. I’m so delighted you’re here. This is our first episode of this of this brand new podcast and my name is Dr. Josephine Braid. I am a rehabilitation physician and burnout recovery coach. Delighted to have you on the show today. I’m both a doctor and a coach and a mom of three wonderful sons and a wife to an amazing husband and a dog mom as well. I live in Orange, New South Wales in Australia, but I originally hail from the UK where I did my medical school training. I have lived in Australia for nearly 20 years now. Most days of the week, I coach mainly health care professionals on overwhelm burnout, how to make the most of this one wonderful life that we are each given. As well as doing brain injury rehabilitation medicine – I do that with a team down the road in Baptist Health Service. I have done that for seven years as a specialist with the team there. And I really love that clinical role, also.

I’ve set up this podcast, the burnout recovery podcast. Because I’m so passionate about sharing how possible burnout recovery is and some of the tools that I commonly use with my clients who receive burnout coaching with me. I’ve been in medicine for over 20 years, I’ve got to coach certifications, and I’ve been a coach for over 10 years. And I’ve actually been through burnout myself. And I know and I use the tools that I share with my clients to stay out of burnout. I’ve learned to manage my mind every day. And that has really been one of the biggest changes I’ve grown into and learnt myself. And it’s not complicated. And I really want to be able to share some of those tools with you. So some of my goals of this podcast are to share with you mindset management to stay well and thrive while working in health care. share with you ways to recover, prevent burnout and drop the stigma around burnout, which can be quite high. And to provide some tips on health care, self care that is manageable, sustainable, and individual. 

You might be curious and wonder what brought me to coaching in the first place? While in 2007 I was preparing for my rehabilitation medicine exams. So I was at the highest training grade, that’s called a registrar and I was going into these exams to show up as a consultant or a specialist level in these simulations of patient interactions, how to look through results and investigations and so forth. So I actually used coaching back in 2007, to develop my mindset to show up as a specialist in the exams. And it works. And I love the coaching that I had then and I think it was a real confidence boost for me and it was tools that I guess I considered somewhat role played and then brought into real life through the work that I did with my coach. I then more recently used a cognitive behavioural therapy derived style of coaching. Using thought work to lose some weight. I had some baby weight that I wanted to shift and doing thought work worked incredibly well. It was is a really different way of losing weight, then do this diet and all your problems will be solved? Well, no. Actually, manage your mind and you’ve got a tool that you can take with you wherever and apply to so many different things in your life. So I love to the results that I got from using this tool. And being the very curious person that I am. I went and found where the training scheme was, and that was at the Life Coach School in America. And I did virtual training during the pandemic with a load of other amazing peer coaches. And in October last year 2021. I was certified with that school, and I’ve been coaching clients ever since then. So that’s my brief intro for you guys. 

Today is our first episode. So I wanted to talk about what is burnout? And how do you recover from it.

Burnout is really originally described as an occupational phenomenon. But we now know that many people can get burnout, not even related to an occupation per se. The historical definitions of burnout include three parts, emotional exhaustion, cynicism, or feeling very cynical about your workplace, and depersonalization. So losing sight of your identity in a role that you may be previously absolutely loved. A different way of thinking about burnout is thinking about the individual who gets burnout. So these people typically have high expectations for themselves, think of a type A personality, they then go and judge themselves, often quite harshly about what they have done and whether they have met their expectations, which might actually be unsaid. And when they have that higher expectation, plus that level of self judgement, they end up getting low satisfaction and low reward for the work that they’re doing. And this cycle, often perpetuates and keeps going on without satisfaction, and essentially feeling good about what you’re doing in your workplace or in a role where you may be caring for others. So burnout happens in lots of different professions, you know, teachers, lawyers, doctors, accountants, dentists, as well as other areas where people are caring for others. You know, in that sort of maybe unpaid role of caring for a family member can also develop burnout.

What might you notice about somebody who’s displaying some features of burnout, because even in healthcare, we were I was certainly not taught about burnout as a phenomenon during my medical training, and it’s not a medically diagnoseable condition. We don’t have that as a condition that we are necessarily looking out for. So what might you see in either yourself or in a colleague, or a loved one who you are concerned may have some burnout? This person might be quite cynical about the workplace. It’s Sunday night, I don’t want to go in it’s Monday the weeks about to start. They may be very disengaged with their teams. They’re either not talking much or not contributing much to the team, or maybe even socially, they were somebody who used to show up and be there with the team and quite dynamic and engaging and maybe they’ve changed somewhat in how they’re engaging with their peers. I find people often lose who they are, they’re on autopilot. They’re going around a revolving door of burnout, and they just have forgotten and lost their identity of who they were when they started in their career. Exhaustion, one of the most common features of burnout, people are so tired. They also perceive that they’re not doing as well as they once were doing so they’re not creating so many results or not being so quick at their work. They feel they’re affecting their efficiency and effectiveness is reduced. And overall, they never really feel good enough about the work that they do. So there’s some different ideas about how burnout might look in yourself or in another individual. Remember those hikes affectations, high self judgement and low reward. 

What about recovery from burnout? I know we hear a lot about burnout in the press. But how are the chances of recovering from burnout? Well, my experience is and through liaising with many other people in this area, I really believe recovery from burnout is 100%. Possible. It’s not a medical condition, it is a completely different occupational phenomenon there. And it’s not sort of got some organic pathology going on in the background there. So what needs to happen for recovery to be possible? Well, the individual involved needs to reach out for help. And the one main reason why recovery may not happen is because somebody is not prepared to ask for help. And sadly, this does somewhat go with the territory of burnout, because people who get burnout are real fixers and doers, and they all keep working harder to fix whatever problem is going on. But with burnout, that may well not happen. So these individuals need to be ready to do something different to get a different result from what they’ve been doing so far. And look, how does recovery take place? So at the individual level, addressing mindset is key. I don’t believe quitting is the answer. I think that still leaves the same brain in the same body, but in a different location. And the burnout may well not have resolved in that time. And there may be high risk of it happening again. Certainly, organisations and systems need to make changes also. But I work with people one on one, and they make their own changes first. So I invite my clients to look at what they can control in their lives and be consistent consistent with this. Things like what does your self care look like? What does your self talk look like? And what does your self concept look like? The clients I work with grow their confidence that they have the skill set to apply the tools I provide. So these are people who are good at picking up things and running with them when they have a why when they know why they want to do that, why they want to make a change? And what are their priorities and what’s really important to them in their lives. 

So as I’m wrapping up the first episode today, I invite you to think about what can you do this week that could help with your overwhelm? Is there one self care change that you could make? If you’re looking for help in this area, I’ve got a free guide with 10 tips to take if you’re nearing burnout, it’s available via my website, and we’ll put a link in the show notes that can get you started. And I will have another episode releasing in a week’s time. This is going to be a weekly episode. If there’s anything you want to talk about, you want to hear me talk about or discuss on this show, please send me an email and look out for some invited guests who will be coming soon.

Thanks for listening. Have a great week. See you! Bye!