Burnout is a serious condition that affects many people, especially funeral directors. You have a high-stress position that requires a substantial amount of time, dedication and emotional maintenance, where you spend your time focusing on caring for others. As much as you love serving others, being a funeral director can be draining and lead to burnout. It’s important to know the signs so you can get support when you need it. Below you will find the top symptoms that mean you're heading for burnout.
What Is Burnout?
Burnout is a state of exhaustion — physical, mental and emotional — caused by overwork or prolonged stress. Being overwhelmed, drained, or unable to meet the demands of your work can lead to this state.
Exhaustion can be physical or emotional and is one of the telltale signs. Some signs that you are exhausted include chronic fatigue and insomnia. Cognitive problems such as forgetfulness and impaired concentration are common as well as some physical symptoms such as chest pain, dizziness, fainting, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, fainting, increased illness, depression, anxiety, loss of appetite, anger or headaches. These symptoms happen at different stages of burnout.
Detachment & Cynicism
You may feel a general load of negative feelings that your work doesn't matter, or that nothing in life does. You can feel detached from the pain of death or feel as if things less than death no longer matter. Other signs include isolation, pessimism, and loss of enjoyment. Interpersonal problems at work and home usually occur. Pulling away from family, friends and coworkers are typical actions.
Lack of Accomplishment and Being Ineffective
Slipping job performance that happens over time and can’t be attributed to an explainable change is a sign of burnout. You might feel there is no point in your work or life (as in detachment and cynicism), leading to a lack of motivation, and you may experience increased irritability. Your mind will be preoccupied with work even when you're away, and yet have a lack of productivity and poor performance because the chronic stress consumes your time.
You may also engage in risky behaviors such as drugs or drinking, and forgo taking care of yourself.
If any of these signs describe you, you could be experiencing burnout or on your way to it. Seeking help and support will help you get through it and return to your life.