Avoiding Faculty Burnout With Self-Care
This workshop targets full time and part time faculty, in order to teach self-care skills that aim to reduce stress and reduce the potential for burnout.
This workshop will teach specific strategies that faculty members can use to increase wellness, maintain well-being, and retain a sense of emotional health. These strategies can also be used in the classroom to enhance student well-being. Faculty members who experience emotional rejuvenation can bring a renewed sense of energy into the classroom, in turn providing students with an enhanced educational experience.
Participants in this course will read material from websites, view video clips, participate in online discussion boards, and develop a self-care plan.
Participants in this workshop will be able to:
· Identify and describe the importance of faculty well-being;
· Describe the link between teacher health and student benefit;
· Describe well-being and various definitions of health;
· Discuss the key elements of well-being from these highly regarded authors on the topic:
o Martin Seligman - Flourish
o Dan Beuttner - The Blue Zones
· Identify the warning signs of burnout
· Identify strategies for staying fresh on the job
· Understand the concept of nurturing/caring for the various aspects of the educator’s whole person
· Develop a personal care plan to address the seven selves, according to the whole person model
Over a five week period, participants will spend 2 hours per week reading materials, participating in online discussions, and completing a self-care/wellness plan.
In Week One we look at the elements of health and well-being, as well as factors that contribute to burnout.
o What is health?
§ World Health Organization definition – “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”
§ What is Health? What does Good Health Mean? http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/150999.php
o What is well-being? There are various perspectives on the components of wellness.
§ The six dimensions of wellness
§ The seven dimensions of wellness
§ The eight dimensions of wellness - http://www.samhsa.gov/wellness-initiative/eight-dimensions-wellness
§ SAMHSA’s Wellness Initiative definition:
· –Purpose in life
· –Active involvement in satisfying work and play
· –Joyful relationships
· –A healthy body and living environment
o All faculty members are susceptible to burnout. According to Inside Higher Ed, there are “high stress levels for those who work in higher education.” Additionally, the stress can result in “a state characterized by "the depletion of emotional reserves (emotional exhaustion), an increasingly cynical and negative approach towards others (depersonalization) and a growing feeling of work-related dissatisfaction." https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2011/04/14/research_analyzes_burnout_of_faculty_members_all_over_the_world
o An energized and dedicated faculty is integral to the success of any institution, as well as the success of the statewide community college system as a whole. When faculty members are drained, students are not able to reap the full benefits of higher education. Maryellen Weimer, PhD, notes that “Like physical health and well-being, others can’t take the actions that will make and keep us instructionally healthy. It’s something we do for ourselves and it may involve making behavior changes. Some of us need to learn how to say no. All of us need to know what keeps us fresh, what sustains and strengthens our commitments to teaching and to students. All of us need to recognize the importance of emotional rejuvenation and make emotional sustenance a priority.” http://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/teaching-professor-blog/when-teaching-grows-tired-a-wake-up-call-for-faculty
· Discussion Questions
o What do you see as the key symptoms of burnout? What symptoms of burnout have you observed in yourself and/or other faculty members?
o Read the articles Why Academics Suffer Burnout (including the comments) and When Teaching Grows Tired: A Wake-up Call for Faculty, and share a response. What are your thoughts on “tired teaching”?
o After reviewing the information on health and well-being, what are your thoughts on the key elements of maintaining both health and well-being?
o Complete a Personal SWOT Analysis - https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newTMC_05_1.htm Share your thoughts on completing this task and any insights it may have provided.
In week 2 we look at the concepts from the book Flouish by Martin Seligman
o The elements of well-being from Flourish by Martin Seligman (PERMA model)
· Positive Emotion
o The concept of “Flow” by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
o Science behind well-being and PERMA https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e0LbwEVnfJA (View minutes 2- 22)
· Discussion Questions
o What are your thoughts on PERMA and Flow? Describe a time when you have experienced Flow yourself.
o Complete the Brief Strengths Test to find your five highest strengths. https://www.authentichappiness.sas.upenn.edu/ How can you use these strengths at work?
o How do you think public policy can influence well-being? How do you think academic institutions can influence well-being? How do you think educators can influence well-being in the classroom?
This week we look at concepts from the book Blue Zones by Dan Buettner.
o Blue Zones – Explore https://www.bluezones.com/ including:
§ About Blue zones – https://www.bluezones.com/2014/03/blue-zones-history/
§ Blue Zone areas - https://www.bluezones.com/about-blue-zones/explorations/
§ National Geographic article - https://bluezones.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Nat_Geo_LongevityF.pdf
§ Blue Zones Project - https://www.bluezones.com/services/cities/
§ Six evidence based ways to make your life happier - https://www.bluezones.com/be-happier/
o Blue Zones Power 9 – https://www.bluezonesproject.com/power9
o 4 Habits the World’s Happiest People Have in Common http://news.health.com/2016/03/18/4-habits-the-worlds-happiest-people-have-in-common/
o Dan Buettner – How to Live to be 100 - https://www.bluezones.com/speaking/
· Discussion Questions
o What are your impressions of the Blue Zones? What would be appealing to you about living in one of these areas? What stands out to you the most from the Power 9?
o Select any one question from this study guide and share both the question and your response. https://www.bluezones.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/ThriveStudyGuide.pdf
o Complete the:
§ True Happiness Test - https://apps.bluezones.com/happiness/?_ga=1.244369805.960279756.1467337097 What were your thoughts on this exercise?
§ Vitality Compass - https://apps.bluezones.com/vitality/?_ga=1.109628429.960279756.1467337097 Was there anything in your outcome that surprised you? What suggestion was most meaningful to you?
This week we look at aspects of holistic health.
o Stress management
o Relaxation Response - http://www.relaxationresponse.org/steps/
o Whole Person Wellness - http://hdcs.fullerton.edu/csa/WholePerson/about.htm
o Holistic health
o Breathing, Meditation, Gratitude, Mindfulness
· Discussion Questions
o Find a website on alternative (Non-western) health practices, such as Ayurveda, doshas, Chinese medicine, chakras, aromatherapy/essential oils, health benefits of yoga, meditation, or similar topic. Share the website and something you learned. Is there anything you would consider putting into practice?
o Have you ever tried meditation? Why or why not?
o Nutrition and exercise are important components of wellness. What steps do you take to incorporate healthy eating and exercise into your daily routine? Do you follow, or aim to follow, a particular strategy/practice in your diet (vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, Paleo, raw foods, etc.)?
o Select a gratitude exercise from one of the following options. Which one seems most doable/ achievable to you? Express gratitude to someone in your life. Share something about that experience.
This week we look at ways to stay motivated and develop a self care plan to avoid burnout.
o 10 Ways to Stay Motivated When Negativity is All Around http://www.huffingtonpost.com/stacia-pierce/10-ways-to-stay-motivated_b_4941277.html
o How to Keep Yourself Motivated When You’re Not Feeling It http://tinybuddha.com/blog/how-to-keep-yourself-motivated-when-youre-not-feeling-it/
o Three bricklayers
o Avoiding Burnout - https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/avoiding-burnout.htm
· Discussion Questions
o Please share a quote, saying, or poem that is meaningful to you and/or describes you. Place a copy where you can see it daily. If you are comfortable doing so, please share why you selected it.
o How can you incorporate well being and self-care strategies in the classroom?
o Complete a self-care plan using one of the dimensions of wellness models from Week 1, by identifying a few strategies for each dimension. Please share a few items from the plan. What resources are available to help you achieve these wellness goals? What barriers exist? How do you plan to overcome these barriers?
o What is something you learned in this class that you hope to use/incorporate in the future? What strategies will you use for staying fresh/ motivated on the job?