Could you be experiencing burnout?
Everyone experiences stressful periods throughout their lives, but unfortunately, many people are under more stress than ever. The human body can only withstand so much, which can lead to the condition known as ‘burnout’.
What is burnout?
A commonly accepted definition of burnout is:
A state of chronic stress that can lead to physical and emotional exhaustion, cynicism, detachment and feelings of ineffectiveness
Burnout doesn’t appear overnight. It creeps in slowly as stress builds up.
Who can be affected by burnout?
One myth about burnout is that it is only for certain people – people who are further up the career ladder, or people who get stressed easily. The truth is, burnout can happen to anyone. From the CEO to the intern, anyone who experiences ongoing stress of any kind can be vulnerable, even people that don’t work outside of the home e.g. parents and carers.
Signs and symptoms of burnout
Burnout can manifest in many ways, with physical and mental signs. Some of the most common symptoms include:
· Fatigue that cannot be relieved with just sleep
· Apathy towards experiences that are usually enjoyable, such as hobbies
· Reduced productivity
· Poor concentration and memory
· Increased susceptibility to infection
· A sense of dread
· Chest pain and palpitations
· Poor appetite
· Anxiety and/or depression
· Mood swings, including anger and irritability
It’s important to remember that stress can impact every system in the body, so you could experience other symptoms due to burnout.
What causes burnout?
Generally, burnout is the combination of many factors, including:
· Poor quality and/or quantity of sleep
· High stress levels
· Poor nutrition
· Lifestyle factors such as not exercising
You might not tick all of these boxes. But for many people, there is no one single cause to blame, and so it is not an easy fix. Recovering from burnout can take time and requires a holistic and personalised approach.
Recovery is possible
Recovering from burnout can take time and requires a holistic and personalised approach.
Tips to support burnout
There are some simple changes you can make today that can not only help treat burnout but can also prevent it from occurring.
Get quality rest
A stressed body needs plenty of sleep to not only heal the physical effects of stress but also to clean out the brain overnight. By prioritising a good night sleep, you can actually be more productive than if you kept working through. For sleep tips, see this article.
Eat a stress-supportive diet
Emotional eating can lead us to less than ideal diet choices. By focusing on whole foods, you can support your body through the stress.
Magnesium and B vitamins are two of the most essential nutrients for a stressed body. Magnesium can be found in dark chocolate, green leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds and legumes. B vitamins are in a variety of vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, meat, fish, eggs and poultry.
Implement stress management strategies
Stress management is an essential aspect of recovering from burnout. There are many ways to manage stress. Gentle exercise, breathing exercises and meditation are just a few examples. Some may also consider seeking professional help to implement a stress management program that suits their preferences.
Burnout has a huge aspect of stress. But there is also a significant correlation between burnout and loneliness. When you are feeling exhausted, it can be easy to isolate yourself. But a lack of social connection could reduce your longevity by 70% and increase your risk of heart disease by 30%. If you don’t feel like you can socialise with others, it’s time to consider seeking help.
This might seem like it’s impossible, especially if your to-do list is never-ending. But pushing through can be less productive than taking a break. If you are glued to your emails or phone, switch off for a while – an hour, a day, or a whole weekend. Your body will thank you.
How I work with clients to treat burnout and other stress-related illness
I use a holistic, patient-centred approach that integrates traditional healing, ancient wisdom and cutting-edge science. The use of advanced nutrient therapy (vitamins, minerals and amino acids) plays a strong role in how I support burnt out or adrenally fatigued patients.
Through an extensive consultation process and functional testing, I determine whats happening with your individual biochemistry and develop an individualised treatment plan aimed at balancing your hormones and neurotransmitters.
I believe that as human beings we operate as one part of an intricately woven community that includes our family, friends and workplace, so when helping you to move beyond burnout, gain balance and heal, I also look beyond food, sleep and exercise.
Along with my qualifications in nutritional medicine, I bring my experience and understanding of human behaviour into my therapeutic practice. I will work with you in a way that educates, encourages and empowers you so you have a better understanding of your health issues, the possible root cause, and how you can take control of your healing journey on your terms. I treat you as a person vs treating your ‘dis-ease’ and my motto is very much to “teach you to fish” rather than “give you a fish for a day”.
Consultations are available at my clinic in Newstead, Brisbane and via my online video consultations.