• If you notice the person isn’t coping, ask them what’s going on.
• Check in with them about how they ’re feeling.
• It’s okay to express concern. But be careful not to overpower them with your own.
Telling someone that they don’t deserve to experience what they ’re going through because someone else has it worse is very unhelpful! Everyone’s experiences are valid. Each person is an individual, with their own unique experience. Just because someone else’s life might be harder, it doesn’t mean their experience of their life as hard isn’t true to them.
Telling someone that they shouldn’t think or feel what they are thinking or feeling isn’t helpful. No one has control over what they think and feel. All we have control over is how we react to our thoughts and feelings. If you judge them for what they can’t control, you just add extra difficult thoughts and feelings to what they ’re already struggling to deal with.
Reacting to someone’s difficult experience by telling them to just be grateful or positive, can leave them feeling even worse about themselves. It also increases their feelings of guilt and shame. Just because someone is struggling with burnout, it doesn’t mean they ’re not grateful. You can be grateful for what you’ve got (e.g., your job) AND be burnt out at the same time.”
If you don’t let your feelings out, they WILL take control. Numbing or ignoring your feelings doesn’t take them away. They will continue to impact your functioning.
Reflect on the strength it takes to be open and vulnerable and that you will be there to help them find the support they need. It’s very helpful to encourage them to seek professional assistance if they are experiencing burnout.