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How to manage burnout

Mental health research was my first research to facilitate as a counsellor.  Managing burnout was an uphill task, however I am  super grateful for the unwavering support l received from staff members and other stakeholders to take into cognisance my mental health. Burnout in my position as a young researcher refers to the state of physical, emotional and mental exhaustion that can occur when researchers are overwhelmed by the demands of their work. Burnout can have serious consequences for researchers, including loss of interest in their work, low productivity and physical as well as mental health problems.

As a young researcher l managed to came up with my ways of managing burn out which included establishing boundaries. During in-depth life history interviews l set myself a number of female participants l had to talk to. I usually talk to a maximum number of five, this was important to my mental health as l am the able to give adequate counselling to participants. Some parts of the interview could accelerate for one and half hours, it gives the participant thee opportunity to express their emotions, and myself to suggest possible sustainable solutions with regards to one's storyline. Through this exercise l limit myself on work related issues especially counselling establishing a work-life balance which helped myself to prevent burnout.

Normally after a heavy and loaded day l  prioritized self-care as a way of managing burn out be it after a day or during my weekend. When am not working on weekends, l visited my  family members in  Murewa. Travelling from Shamva to Murewa could give me peace of mind, a new environment always brushes away disturbing and heartbreaking memories. When I'm home l accompany my mother in her garden and l also do laundry which keeps my mind busy and I end up forgetting some disturbing stories. Playing games with my siblings energizes my mindset in preparation for another week thus relieving stress and preventing burnout.

It was so amazing to work with staff members who promote team building, being a young researcher my immediate supervisor could easily foresee if was stressed or experiencing burnout. She supported me with counselling sessions and a network providing emotional and practical support can be crucial in preventing and managing burnout. After a whole session l would feel better and able to face new days.

Lastly, humanitarian work requires a multi-sectorial approach to help women in need. l prayed for God's guidance to help me serve souls to heal from their disturbing and tough situations that they were encountering while facilitating management of burnout.

Nokutenda Nelia Magama

Nokutenda is an aspiring development practitioner currently studying towards an undergraduate degree in Development Studies at Bindura University of Science Education, Zimbabwe. Nokutenda is a passionate young woman who works hand in glove with girls and young women from rural marginalized areas and has been doing her advocacy work for the past four years paying particular attention on ending harmful cultural and religious practices working with traditional fraternity. During her internship period, Nokutenda was a young researcher on the ongoing Mental Health Research, she represented girls and young women from community, national, regional and global foras. Nokutenda is also an active volunteer for Rozaria Memorial Trust, Ree inspiration for Girl Child Empowerment and Girls and Goals. She is a member of the African Women’s Leaders Network Mash East.

Day 4: Project
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