3 Tips for Overcoming Burnout from Your Physiotherapy Program

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Burnout is something we have all experienced. It makes following through with a task much more difficult and can lower your quality of life, sometimes greatly. HelpGuide described burnout as “a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. It occurs when you feel overwhelmed, emotionally drained, and unable to meet constant demands.”

What Makes a Person Experience Burnout?

There are many causes of burnout, and the primary cause of burnout varies individually. However, people often experience burnout when they have been driving themselves too hard to reach a goal, to the point where they neglect their personal needs. Over time, this has negative effects, one of which is burnout. When a person reaches this stage, they are often ready to throw in the towel. 

3 Ways to Deal with Burnout Related to Your Physiotherapy Program

Just like anyone, physiotherapy patients can experience burnout. This is especially true of individuals who have sustained a serious injury or had a major surgery and are required to participate in a physiotherapy program for a long period of time. 

While physiotherapists are careful to not overwhelm their patients with an intense treatment program, becoming bored, frustrated, or just plain burned out on a home program sometimes happens. Here are some steps that you can take to prevent and manage burnout from your physiotherapy program:

Spend time with your friends and family — Recovering from an accident or surgery can feel like a full-time job. Spending sufficient time with family and friends will give you the strength to persist in your physiotherapy program. Not only will it ensure you always have someone to vent to, but it will also help you have more fun in your daily life, which is critical to managing burnout. 

Ask for help when you need it — When you are used to having full mobility and/or feeling totally independent and pain-free, suddenly needing help can be emotionally destabilizing and intensify your feelings of burnout. To prevent and manage burnout related to your physiotherapy program, be sure to ask for help when you need it. For example, if you need rides to and from your physiotherapy treatment appointments, ask for help. The same goes for asking for help with daily chores and household duties, such as cooking and cleaning. 

Tell your physiotherapist how you are feeling — If you are feeling overwhelmed by your physiotherapy treatment program, tell your physiotherapist. That is information they need to have. Knowing how you feel will help them modify your program or just talk things through with you to help you persist. And physiotherapists are generally excellent at providing emotional support and helping their patients successfully complete their physiotherapy treatment program. 

What to Do When Burnout is Severe 

If you have experienced a major life interruption, such as a serious accident, illness, or injury, and are receiving physiotherapy treatment, you may be experiencing burnout. If the burnout is severe or causing depression, consider receiving counseling throughout your recovery process. The stressors related to the event that led to your seeking physiotherapy treatment may be exacerbating your burnout. A therapist can help you process these challenging feelings so that you can move more easily through your physiotherapy program. 

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