Preventing & Dealing with Journalists Burnout
Studies consistently show that many journalists and people working in the media are overwhelmed and burned out at some point in their career, resulting in poor health and negative attitude. With the pressure of deadlines, chasing the latest news and stories, irregular hours, travel, competitiveness, job insecurity, discrimination, constant exposure to crisis, and more, many journalists resort to self-defeating behavior, such as bad eating habits, chain smoking, drugs, alcohol, toxic relationships, and more. Many succumb to medical problems, insomnia, depression, anxiety, and others, as well as develop mental and psychological issues. Media personnel also tend to develop a cynical outlook, develop anger, and have poor personal relationships with family and friends. And sadly, the pandemic has increased the number of journalists and media personnel experiencing burnout.
As a journalist, I’ve experienced burnout first hand, as well as PTSD from constant exposure to violence, tragic stories, and horrific visuals. Eventually, it affected my health, as well as how I viewed people and the world. I became cynical and jaded. I was totally burned out physically and emotionally, and fell into deep depression with a constant state of hopelessness. But I utilized self-care and psychology to overcome not just burnout, but to establish a healthy and balanced lifestyle.
Don’t allow burnout to hinder your talent, ambition, and dreams. Avoiding burnout can snowball into serious medical and emotional problems. Also, preventing burnout is one of the smartest way to protect yourself from serious medical and psychological symptoms that can effect your health, career, and loved ones.
With some self-care and coping strategies, that could be used for a lifetime, you can become a competent, thriving, caring, and successful journalist, editor, producer, and more. Everyone has the tools within to become a brilliant storyteller, while maintaining sanity, health, and even have fun. The bonus is that these tools and strategies will also help improve your personal life that will ultimately lead to a healthier lifestyle, meaningful relationships, and a positive outlook.
Dr. Clara Young is a veteran journalist turned psychologist who survived both media PTSD, depression, and burnout. She holds a Masters and a Ph.D. in Clinical psychology and have been in the mental health field for more than 20 years. She has written several books on depression, positive psychology, and happiness. She is also a cancer and depression survivor.
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