Having worked in non-profit agencies for close to 10 years I know the joys and challenges that come with it! Burnout is a serious problem that results in good workers leaving agencies or becoming less effective. Share the following information with your staff and managers to assist them in preventing and recovering from burnout.

People work at non-profit agencies because they want to help people. They are natural caregivers who find joy in helping others. These natural caregivers (a.k.a. Non-Profit staff) are:

• Generous with their time and/or resources
• Empathetic
• Self-sacrificing – they put the needs of others before themselves

These important characteristics also make it possible to experience burnout. On a regular basis you hear stories of trauma, addiction, violence, and homelessness. You are helping people during a very difficult time in their lives, a time of sadness, fear, and hopelessness for some people. As caregivers we are empathetic and can feel the pain of others. When you constantly feel and experience the pain and sadness of others it can become part of your own experience too.

Burnout is a common experience in the non-profit world.

In addition to the pressures and challenges at work you also have a personal life to tend to. No wonder so many people who work in non-profits are overwhelmed, overworked, and overtired! Though burnout is a job hazard for non-profit staff is does not need to be permanent. Use the following strategies to prevent or recover from burnout:

Set realistic goals for yourself. Determine what can reasonably be accomplished within that day, week, and month. Talk to your supervisor for guidance and to help you prioritize your work goals.

When you’re home, be home. It can be hard to shut off the stress of the workday but when you get home allow yourself to be home and enjoy yourself. Spend quality time with your friends, your family, and yourself. Turn off the phone and computer and enjoy a minimum of one hour per day (more if you want!) unplugged.

Get outside and get moving. Research shows that exercise and fresh air can greatly improve our mood. Though it’s getting colder outside, take outdoor short breaks. Take a quick walk around the block and find yourself re-energized for the next part of your day!

Need additional resources and information? Contact us today to schedule a customized training for your staff about the ways to prevent and recover from burnout.