The Burnout Series: What it is, How to Recover, Burnout in Ministry, and Prevention - Hope 103.2

The Burnout Series: What it is, How to Recover, Burnout in Ministry, and Prevention

In this series, psychologist and burnout expert Valerie Ling looks at what burnout is, how to treat it, and how to fully recover.

By Katrina RoeWednesday 20 Feb 2019Hope MorningsHealth and WellbeingReading Time: 2 minutes

Have you found yourself with a distinct lack of motivation and energy? Do you wake up feeling tired or dreading going to work?

Do you find yourself ruminating on worried, angry or resentful thoughts related to your work or family? Any of these feelings could be symptoms of burnout.

Valerie Ling (pictured) is a clinical psychologist and the director and founder of The Centre for Effective Living.  She has a special interest in the treatment and prevention of burnout.

As a psychologist, a mum and a ministry wife, Valerie Ling found herself surrounded by burnout.

“It was particularly when I started to work in a psychology practise that I would see Christian workers and caring professionals, that I realised, ‘Gee, there are an awful lot of people coming in on the stretcher of burnout’,” she said. “And it hit me that for one good woman or man down was a family down, a community down and we were losing people.”

That’s when Valerie decided to focus on the treatment and prevention of burnout.

Man stressed

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“Burnout is a syndrome – a collection of symptoms that result from prolonged exposure to chronic stress,” Valerie explains.

“When you’ve been in a state of constant stress, where the situation has not resolved, particularly when you’re in the role of working and caring for other people, there are three clusters of symptoms that represent burnout – loss of energy, loss of enthusiasm and loss of confidence.”

Some of the more common signs of burnout are:

  • Not eating or sleeping well
  • Feeling devoid of joy or pleasure
  • Dreading waking up and going to work
  • Feeling purposeless
  • Physical symptoms like headaches, nausea or pain
  • Ruminating on anxious, angry, worried or resentful thoughts
  • A loss of care, where people who you normally care for, start to become ‘objects’
  • A callousness that crusts over your passion and motivation

In this series, Valerie Ling answers such questions as:  ‘What is burnout?’  ‘How is burnout treated?’ and ‘Can people who suffer from burnout make a full recovery?’ Listen to all five episodes below.


1 – What is Burnout?

2 – Recovering From Burnout

3 – Preventing Burnout

4 – Burnout in Parents and Carers

5 – Christian Ministry Burnout

Need Support?

If you’re struggling or need someone to talk to, please contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.