It is normal to feel stressed at work from time to time. However, for some people, the stress becomes chronic and consuming. This is known as burnout. The World Health Organisation has officially added “Burnout” to its International Classification of Diseases. The signs and symptoms of burnout are listed as:
- Feelings of exhaustion
- Feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job
- Reduced professional efficacy (work performance).
In other words, you have reached breaking point and it feels like you have had the life sucked out of you. You no longer feel capable of caring about what is important to you, to making any effort, or staying motivated. You have lost your mojo and simply do not care.
The reason this happens is continuous stress puts a lot of pressure on the body. This can be manageable in the short-term, but if it is constant, it can be bad for both your physical health and emotional wellbeing. Eventually, too much stress on your body over a long period can cause you to burn out. Burnout is a state of complete mental, physical and emotional exhaustion.
According to Corporate Health and Performance Coach Christine Boucher from Natural Health Balance reducing your stress and eliminating the potential for burnout comes down to a five simple lifestyle considerations:
- Take a Break:
Taking regular time out, including setting aside some time each day to ‘switch off’ from technology. Do something you love, paint a picture, walk your happy dog, ride your bike. Reconnect with nature, breathe in the fresh air and smell the roses along the way. In the workplace, go outside and sit on the grass, walk to the water fountain for a cool drink or connect with a work college for a friendly chat.
Build your resilience so that you do not sweat the small stuff. Do this by looking after your health, eating well, exercising regularly, and getting a good night’s sleep. When we are strong and resilient we are better equipped to handle the curve ball thrown our way unexpectedly.
- Set Boundaries:
It is important to set boundaries; it is ok to say no. I often see my clients over extending themselves bending over backward trying to help everyone else to the detriment of their own health and well-being. Are you someone who helps those who ask, maybe you end up doing tasks that are someone else’s responsibility putting you behind with your own work or joining the committee you have no interest in. Saying yes to everything can create stress and overwhelm. Say it with me now. NO! Feels good right?
Reach out for support if you feel you need, it is healthy to ask for help. Ask a friend, family member, workmate or boss. Alternatively, if you see that someone you know needing help, a friend, employee or neighbour, provide him or her with the support required. Refer to a doctor, if stress is to blame, your doctor can recommend a therapist or counsellor to help them handle the stress.
Relax, finding new ways to bring the body back into balance. Develop a list of self-care strategies, which could include journaling, meditation, massage, yoga, reading, music, mindfulness, stretching, tai chi, and breathing techniques. Find what works for you and turn off the fight or flight switch and turn on the rest and digest switch. Relaxing activities are as good as sleep putting the body back into a healthy homeostatic balance where it can repair, rejuvenate and heal.
Understanding the issue of burnout, recognizing workplace factors, being aware of signs and symptoms and taking pro-active steps for prevention can help reduce the impact of burnout on employees and workplaces. Do not wait until it is too late, it can take months even years to recover from burnout. Prevention is better than cure and much more cost effective for a business.
Needing support with reducing stress in your workplace and eliminating the risk of burnout for your employees? Sign up for the Stress to Strength Online Program at Natural Health Balance. A helpful guide for employees to move from a state of stress into a state of certainty and strength. Learn practical proven strategies to live a happier more controlled and connected life. Improving organisational performance, productivity and profit.
Managing Director - Natural Health Balance
Corporate Health and Performance Coach. Improving the health of employee's and the wellbeing of your business.
My purpose is transforming organisations to work productively and cohesively as a team. Improving the health of staff and the well-being of business through performance management, health coaching and team building to improve productivity, performance and profitability.
I am dedicated and passionate about Health & Wellness. Holding a Bachelor of Nursing Degree, specialising in Intensive Care Nursing. With over 20 years’ experience working in the healthcare industry.
Want to know more? Contact me today.
Diploma Intensive Care Nursing
Diploma Bowen Therapy
Level 3 Health & Wellness Coaching
Master of Business Administration
Gippsland Community Leadership Program