How to Cope with Activity Director Burnout in Senior Living Communities

The role of an Activity Professional is essential to a senior living community. They work hard every day to promote health and happiness for residents in the community. Unfortunately, they are often undervalued and underappreciated despite a recent shift towards wellness in the industry. 

The job can be very rewarding and fulfilling, but can also be very stress-inducing. Activity Directors are constantly thinking about how to engage residents and improve their quality of life. Taking on this responsibility, especially during COVID-19, can lead to burnout, a state of physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion. 

Being an Activity Director often requires juggling many responsibilities and roles at once. It can be incredibly disheartening to feel underappreciated for all of the hard work you do for your community. We want you to know that your feelings are valid and we hear you. 

To cope with Activity Director burnout, consider these suggestions:

1. Join Activity Director Facebook Groups

Sometimes, all it takes is talking to others who share your experiences. Joining a group of fellow Activity Directors and Life Enrichment Coordinators who understand what you are going through can help you feel less alone. Check out this group which provides activity ideas, shoulders to lean on, answers to your questions and above all, a community to share, laugh and cry with. For new and unique activity ideas from other professionals to ease your decision fatigue, check out this group.

2. Discover the Value of Your Work

As an Activity Director or Life Enrichment Coordinator, you can often lose sight of the impact of your work. It might also be difficult for you to communicate with upper management and demonstrate the impact that recreation and wellness have on your community. Recording and analyzing data such as engagement rates, a variety of program types, and participation can help improve your confidence on the job. Showing these metrics to upper management can also help improve your credibility and even result in increased department budgets. You can learn, step by step, how to record and analyze insights by downloading the eBook The Business of Wellness for Senior Communities.

3. Learn New Skills

Sometimes, a fresh perspective is required to shift your mindset as an Activity Director or Life Enrichment Coordinator. Consider attending a conference, watching free Webinars or completing a new certification. Investing in knowledge can help you gain more confidence in your work and help you serve your residents with new ideas.

4. Simplify Your Duties

There are many digital tools available that can significantly improve your daily operations as an Activity Director or Life Enrichment Coordinator. Software platforms such as Welbi can actually automate 40% of your administrative tasks, giving you more time to spend with residents. The platform will also recommend activity ideas that your residents want to engage in, eliminating decision fatigue or feelings of defeat when an activity doesn’t go as planned.

5. Take Time for Yourself

Burnout is not something to take lightly. If you are feeling overwhelmed in your job consider taking some time to yourself. Your health and happiness come first! Consider taking breaks during long shifts to break up the day and making “me” time when you are off the clock. Self-care is extremely important to keep burnout at bay. 

We hope these tips come in handy if you are feeling overwhelmed as an Activity Professional. Remember that you are extremely valuable and deserve respect for everything that you do for your community. In addition, Welbi is here to support you and your community on your journey to bring wellness to residents. Subscribe to Welbi’s newsletter for more Activity Professional content and support.