7 Healthy Ways To Deal With Newsroom Burn Out
7 Healthy Ways
To Deal With
Newsroom Burn Out
Written by Soul Witness
🕒 February 12, 2019
Burn out. It’s not “if” it will happen, it’s “when”.
If you just said, “Wow, thanks, Debbie Downer,” it probably hasn’t happened to you, yet. If that’s you, I’m happy for you. I really am! But trust me, with any job, feeling burned out is inevitable. And guess what? It’s okay to feel that way.
Everyone’s “burn out tolerance” is different. For some it only takes one or two extremely difficult stories, for others it’s months and months of early mornings, long nights, and lots of stress in between. Either way, it happens to everyone.
So, how do you deal with it? Well, that’s the tricky part. Just like everyone’s tolerance is different, everyone’s recovery process is different. With that being said, here are just a few tips I can offer about how to deal with daily newsroom stress and burn out:
1. Take time off.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but, if you’re anything like me, you may need reminders.
We get so wrapped up in our work sometimes, we forget when our last day off actually was. If you can’t think of your last day off either, it’s time to take one.
On your time off, DO NOT WORK. Again, it may seem like common sense, but, sure enough, you’ll wake up and watch the news, someone from work will call you, or text you, you’ll see a cool story you want to pitch later, you make a great contact while at the store, and so on and so on.
Think of your day off as a detox day. Even go as far as no phones and no TV. Sometimes it takes not having access to electronics for a few days to really reset, and focus on being in the moment.
2. Speak to a class.
Hang with me a minute. I know I just told you not to think about work, but, if a day off is not in your near future, this is something you can do on the clock.
Get it approved by your newsroom managers, then reach out to a local school or university. For me, seeing the eagerness of the class (especially the youngsters) makes me eager to get back to work and keep pushing.
They ask some great questions that can sometimes make you do some soul searching. Answering their questions can also help you find the answers you didn’t know you needed. Plus, seeing their excitement can make you excited again.
3. Stop thinking about yourself.
Self-care is great, and you should “treat yo-self” occasionally! BUT don’t let the “I deserve this” mindset consume you.
If you end up treating yourself every day, well then it just becomes part of your routine and loses that “pick me up” effect. Also, if you keep focusing on “how bad” your life is, of course it will seem to only get worse and worse. So, stop.
4. Spend some time helping others.
Volunteer at a food bank, a youth mentorship program, at a church, a pet shelter, or some other organization.
It’s a tough thing to see, but realizing how others live with so little can turn a bad attitude into gratitude very quickly.
5. Be creative.
As journalists, MMJs, reporters, photographers, we’re naturally creative and curious folks. Which can be a blessing and a curse.
If you feel “stuck” in news mode, shake it up. On your time off, or down time, try to be creative in a way that has nothing to do with your “day job.” Paint, write in a journal, write a blog, write fiction, sculpt, read, dance, sew, or make jewelry; the options are endless.
This not only helps your creativity, it takes your mind off of all the negativity going on in the world. Just focus on that particular activity and enjoy it.
6. Talk it out.
It’s okay to talk about what you’re feeling. Trust me, it helps to vent to your mom, cousin, friend, or sibling.
It’s okay to seek counseling, whether it’s from a church or an independent agency. It’s okay. We see and report on some pretty bad stuff. Don’t hold all of that in.
Bottling up your emotions can be the final straw when it comes to burn out. That only amplifies the “I’m so done” feeling.
7. Let go.
If you feel like your time as a journalist is up, it’s okay to let go. If you’re done, you’re done.
Take a new adventure. Find a new career. Move back home. Because guess what? You can always get back into news.
It may take a few years to climb that ladder again, but you can do it. You’ve already done it once, right? It’s okay to let go, to heal, and to make a triumphant return. ❤️