6 6 FINDING YOUR SMILE AGAIN
you consider that quality child care is based on strong child/caregiver
relationships. The impact such turnover has on children is huge.
The purposes of this book are to offer insight into why caregivers
burn out and to provide tools for coping with the stresses that come
with your profession. In the following chapters, I will explore who is af-
fected by burnout, why your profession is so prone to it, tools for dealing
with burnout, suggestions for handling common stressful situations, and
methods to help you get back on the path toward living your Ultimate
Purpose. What it boils down to is that the responsibility and stress
intrinsic to being an early care and education professional can lead to
burnout. I know—it happened to me. I don’t want it to happen to you.
Before you read any further, take three or four deep, cleansing
breaths and remember that if you’re not taking good care of yourself,
the care you are providing to others is inadequate too. The only way
you can fully be there for those you care for is to fully be there for
yourself. I can’t offer you any one-size-fi ts-all answers. There are no
easy ways to avoid provider stress and burnout, but if you are willing
to do some work, you can make subtle and mindful changes in your
life that will put you on a less stressful, more serene path.
Now, take those breaths, relax, and know that you are strong
enough to make needed changes in your life.