BURNT OUT? STRUGGLING? UNSURE WHAT TO DO?
As an industry, we are not people who are inclined to say no to work. The nature of freelance means we never know for sure where and when the next job will land, so we always say yes.
That may have worked when people had a bit of down time between projects, but with the dramatic increase in production we’ve seen in the last two years, people just aren’t getting the breaks they might not even realize they need. We’re so used to just powering through.
But what’s happening is people are dealing with burnout and exhaustion, and we’re seeing increased instances of mental health and addiction issues as a result.
If you’re experiencing this burnout, or are working with someone else who might be, what can you do?
For someone else: Is there unusual behaviour? Does the person seem unable to focus or perform their usual duties? Has their behaviour changed?
For yourself: Are you struggling to do work you’ve had no problems with in the past? Are you feeling angry at everyone? Are you self-medicating to get through the day?
2. Talk and Listen
For someone else: If you feel comfortable doing so, ask if they’re okay. Let them know you’ve noticed changes in their behaviour or performance, and that you’re there to listen if they need to talk. If you suspect substance abuse, let them know you’re concerned about that.
For yourself: If you’re struggling with anger, depression, or substance use, contact your union – we can refer you to the help you need.
3. Give Hope and Reassurance
For someone else: Let them know they’re not alone, and that help is available.
For yourself: We are here for you. You can talk to us confidentially and we can connect you with the help you need.
4. Internal and External Supports
Is there a family member or doctor you can contact?
Call your union, so we can connect the person with short term or long term counseling and/or treatment. You can call on your own behalf, or on behalf of someone you believe is struggling.
Resources are available. We’ll help find the solution that works best. Even if it’s just advice on how best to proceed if you think there might be a problem. If you or someone who works for or with you needs help, we can provide it.