Workplace stress leading to burnout

Constant stress, especially workplace stress can leave you feeling helpless and completely exhausted.

There are ways to manage stress at work. Ineffective management of stress can lead to burnout. In this state you feel as if problems are insurmountable. Everything seems grim, bleak and overwhelming.

Burnout is a serious problem. This is not only because it can take years to recover from it.

At The Buttery Private we can design an individualised program to help people in managing workplace stress, overcome burnout and help prevent a recurrence.

Following our four-week intensive residential program, a three-month follow-up by phone or Skype helps participants apply what they have learnt in the program to their work and personal lives. This can help them manage workplace stress and minimise the risk of burnout

By recognising the early warning signs of burnout, it is possible to do positive things to address it.

What is burnout?

People suffering burnout are in a state of physical, mental and emotional exhaustion because of their exposure to prolonged stress. This includes stress from many sources, not just prolonged work stress. They feel overwhelmed and drained emotionally and can no longer meet the unrelenting demands they face.

In this state of burnout people feel helpless, resentful and lacking in energy. They feel as if “their tank is empty”. They have nothing more to give.

You are on the way to burnout when:

You feel exhausted all of the time.

You feel like everything you do in your work and personal life is meaningless.

You feel like you are having a bad day every single day

There are significant differences between stress (including workplace stress) and burnout.

Burnout can be characterised by:

Dulled emotions

Feeling disengaged

Lack of motivation

Leads to detachment and depression

Stress can be characterised by:

Over reactive emotional response

Feeling over-engaged

Loss of energy

Leads to anxiety

There are ways to manage and prevent burnout. Just as there are ways to manage work-related stress.

These are some of the positive steps you can take to manage stress and reduce the risk of workplace burnout.

Connect with others: face-to-face conversations with others are calming and relieve stress.

Put time into developing your relationships with your partner, children, friends and others in your community.

Take time to develop friendships with your workmates.

Do something positive for others by volunteering or taking part in community activities in support of a good cause.

Try to maintain a positive frame of mind, avoid negative thoughts and negative people.

Look for the positive aspects of your work and its contribution to society.

Focus on achieving a realistic work-life balance. Focus on those aspects of your life that give you joy (even if you do hate your job!)

Take time out: enjoy a holiday, even if it is just staying at home and doing things that give you joy or satisfaction. If you can take sick-leave take it. If you have to take time out and you can afford it, take time off without pay. Strive for balance. Your health and well-being are more important than money.

These are other lifestyle choices you can make to enhance well-being, manage stress and have a more healthful life:

Be sure to get adequate sleep and establish a sleep routine.

Eat a healthy, balanced diet and avoid too many processed foods and “comfort eating.” Learn about the foods and thigs that can affect your mood (sugar, caffeine, additives, Trans fats, preservatives). Fish and other foods rich in Omega-3 can boost your mood and overall health.

If you drink alcohol, have a healthy relationship with it.