June 3, 2022

4 mins read

3 Tips to Avoid Burnout in Teletherapy

Over the last two years, the pandemic has caused great loss, heaviness, and change across the world. Many people have experienced high levels of anxiety, feelings of depression, and loneliness. During these last few years, more people than ever have sought therapy services to cope with the loss and uncertainty.

Pandemic Toll On New Clients and Providers

Just as with so many other industries, the pandemic pushed the healthcare world into the virtual space. As such, therapeutic services became more accessible to different groups of people who may not have received care previously. Because of this, therapists and providers began receiving an influx of clients and their schedules became packed. More people being conscious of their mental health was great to see, but many therapists struggled to keep up with the influx of new clients. They can only service so many clients at once.

Still today, there are practices that are booked months in advance because they just don't have the capacity to service people in a time frame that allows regular appointments scheduling. This influx has led to telehealth providers being overworked, over capacity, working on rushed timelines, and dealing with heavy client loads. Anytime people are overworked or under high stress, there is a higher chance of them burning out. Being overworked can lead to stress, anger, and lack of self-care. Healthcare professionals are not exempt from being burnt out.

What Is Burnout

Burnout is a state of total exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. It can occur when you are feeling overwhelmed, emotionally drained, and unable to meet constant demands. Burnout can occur from feeling unheard, dissatisfied, and overworked from one’s work environment. Without proper care and management of one’s work life balance, it can happen to anyone.

The better therapeutic service providers feel as individuals the better they can provide services to their clients. Having strong boundaries, finding stress relief outside of work, and self-check-ins are three practical techniques that providers can implement to avoid burnout.

Boundaries

Having boundaries in your practice is more important than ever for providers. It can often be easier to encourage a client to set healthy boundaries for themselves than it is to implement and adhere to those boundaries yourself. As the saying goes, Do as I say, not as I do. With more clients to serve and what may feel like less time to serve them, there can be a sense of guilt providers feel for not having the time they want to dedicate individually to clients or being overly invested because the common thing you and your client now share is the global experience of the pandemic. Boundaries protect you from overextending and depleting yourself. They honor the things that you want to say yes to and the things that you want to say no to.

Self check-in

Checking in with yourself is vital. How are you feeling? What are you thinking? Are you happy? What's going on in your life? What's exciting, or important right now? You have to ask yourself how you're doing physically, mentally, and emotionally because the whole person is important. Part of checking in with yourself is determining your needs in order to advocate and care for yourself. So if you know you're feeling a bit drained maybe that means you need some alone time. Self-care is anything that helps you truly tend to your needs. It could be making time to workout, getting a massage, getting your haircut, or cooking for yourself at home.

Stress Relief Outside of Work

Sometimes work can be stressful or overwhelming even if you love what you do. It’s important to find stress relieving activities or solutions outside of work. You have to find activities that are going to boost your endorphins; a hormone that triggers a positive feeling throughout the body. Activities like dancing, traveling, reading, exercise, creating art, or laughing all help release endorphins. It is important to indulge in these activities to help regulate stress levels and create a sustainable work-life balance for yourself.

Stress relief outside of work will also assure you are not allowing negative or heavy emotion to build up and cause you to resent the work you're doing. If you are negative or angry, that will impact the level of care you are able to provide at the time.

Boundaries, self-check ins, and stress relief outside of work are simple tips that will go a long way. They may seem easy but it's rare that people are able to regularly practice and stick by them. Regulating high stress, feelings of depression, or anxiousness that sometimes come from work, especially during this time where there are more people in need of services than there are services to provide, is crucial. The better you feel, the better you will show up as a provider in this space.

Another way to help alleviate work-related stress in this new digital era is to use a platform that was built for remote providers. Markee is exactly that. With privacy and ease being priorities, Markee works to make sure you spend less time worrying and more time doing. Burnout isn't good for you or your clients. Take care of yourself and ensure you are the best provider you can be, on the best platform.