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Posts Tagged ‘workplace burnout’

What Really Predicts Burnout From Work

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An executive client recently wrote to me saying, “I feel exhausted and tense and I can’t sleep well. Because of burnout, I lost my concentration, my spirit and my whole power!”

As a mental and behavior expert, I am often confronted with clients who are complaining about tension in their body, frequent headaches and sleeplessness. They might exhibit psychological signs of irritation, feel overwhelmed and distance themselves from work. In the media, “burnout” is used to describe a lot of mental and physical conditions, regardless of the symptoms and their causes. Therefore, the concept of burnout is often vague and blurry. Let’s consider the facts.


Characteristics of Burnout

The World Health Organization defines burnout as a condition resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed. Burnout has three defining characteristics, which include “feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion; increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job; and reduced professional efficacy.” They also emphasize that burnout should be seen in the occupational context and not be used to describe other areas of life.

Keep in mind that non-workplace-related stress factors can cause similar symptoms to burnout and that unmanaged work-related stress can cause mental health issues, like depression and anxiety. This is precisely what I want to help people avoid. Most people simply aren’t aware when they feel stressed and only wake up when they physically and mentally collapse.


Individual Risk Factors

The reasons for burnout vary. In my coaching, I use an adapted checklist from the book Burnout for Experts: Prevention in the Context of Living and Working. Together, with the client, we identify his or her personal workplace stressors so that we can apply the right approach for their burnout recovery and prevention.

In the case of the client who emailed me — let’s call him Marc — he previously felt fully engaged and committed to his work. So committed, in fact, that he often didn’t notice how much time had passed. There was a nagging disagreement with his business partner, but he wanted to maintain harmony. Instead of confronting the business partner, he kept quiet and took on some additional tasks. In our discovery session, he further revealed that financial insecurity had taken a toll on him and he felt he had to sort it out by himself.

There had been signs of energy depletion before, but Marc ignored them. My advice to Marc and others is that it’s time to learn the skills needed to give you the confidence to change your work situation, whether it’s reduced working hours, saying no to tasks, confronting work conflicts, discussing career plans and reward schemes or seeking help.


Short-Term Interventions

Resilience, in the context of work, is defined as the ability of a person to recover, bounce back, adjust or respond to workplace stressors, change and adversity. There are two steps you can take in the short term to improve your overall resiliency.

1. Make your neurons fit.

The key factors to make your neurons and your brain fit are sleep, nutrition and exercise.

According to research, adults should get at least six hours of sleep a night. Enough sleep and good sleep quality determine whether you can run at peak performance the next day and help prevent burnout. Recent studieshave also shown that exercise and a diet enriched with the Omega-3 fatty acid DHA (in fish or plant-based foods), fresh fruits and vegetables positively impact synaptic plasticity and cognitive ability. Together, all three can help combat mental health issues.

Marc decided to schedule high-intensity interval trainings in his calendar that he could easily do for 20 minutes at home. He also looked up delivery services that could bring nutritious meals to his office. Most importantly, he set a bedtime so that he could reduce his evening activities and smoothly transition into sleeping.

2. Be emotionally fit to cope with stress.

Mindfulness, self-efficiency and coping strategies are big players when it comes to preventing and reducing burnout.

• Mindfulness: Mindfulness is a mental state in which you can mentally step back and observe what’s going on (e.g., observing your thoughts and feelings) so that you can act with awareness and flexibility. Marc considered his avoidance behavior of not confronting his partner. He realized that this had contributed to his additional workload. He acknowledged that his fear of confrontation was a strategy he had developed during his teenage years and that it was outdated in this stage of his life.

• Self-Efficiency: If you believe you’re able to perform a given task, you’re more likely to actively approach a situation. Your belief in your own capability is highly impacted by past experiences and core beliefs about yourself. Marc felt very competent in the operational side of his business, but had neglected his financial situation and relied on outside accountants. He had not been aware of running costs that caused his financial stress. After a discussion, he remembered that he had actually been quite good with numbers in the past and felt motivated to monitor his finances with diligence from now on.

• Coping Style: Coping is a process of adjustment following an adverse event. This coping strategy can be either active or passive. With an active coping strategy you re-assess the stressful situation, find solutions to the problem or seek professional help. With a passive strategy you try to reduce the emotional impact of the stressor by venting, disengaging or using alcohol or other substances. In Marc’s case he needed to have an amicable talk with his partner to express how his partner’s actions made him feel and what he expected from their partnership. Together, we wrote a script and role-played the communication.

Marc was able to recover from his burnout because he was willing to do a profound inquiry of his workplace and his own behavior patterns and beliefs and then actively make changes. And so can you, if you consider your neuronal and emotional fitness.

This article was first published on Forbes.

Interested?  Let’s work together.

Consider how you came to be in this situation. Do you need to make some changes at work, a different job, or a more satisfying relationship? Could it help you to speak to a professional? What needs to happen to prevent the same situation from happening again?

My goal as an executive coach is to provide rapid and long-lasting changes for professionals who go through life changes or challenging situations resulting in burnout, stress and anxiety. No matter where you are in the world, the therapy sessions are held online. 4-Hours of my Elevate Intensive and you will improve the quality of your life, switch your body back to peace and balance, and gain clarity and focus.

I hold a master’s degree in psychology with an over 15-years career in counseling and coaching. I trained with a broad range of international experts like the world-renowned therapist and pioneering hypnotherapist Marisa Peer (Rapid Transformation Therapy Practitioner®), Rori Raye (Relationship Coaching), and Prof. Dr. Justin Kennedy (Applied Neuroscience Coaching).

Contact me today to learn how I can help make things better!  www.brainbossmethod.com

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Workplace Burnout: 3 Reliable Ways On How To Overcome The Mayor Signs

SilkCelia-3 Ways To Overcome Burnout

Burnout is an occupational phenomenon – not an illness or health condition. The 11th revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) defines burn-out “as a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed”.

In short you experience your workplace as stressful and you are not able anymore to copy with the demands. It does not apply to other stressful experiences in your life.

If you can identify the symptoms early enough, you’ll increase your chances to tackle the underlying issue on time… and not to drift into an illness.

 

SilkCelia-Ovecome Exhaustion

1. Feeling of Energy Depletion and Exhaustion.

Burnout and depression share some of the same symptoms. Symptom means it is your own subjective experience. Your body feels depleted of energy and vitality. You feel as if your body is paralyzed.

What you experience

  • You wake up still tired though you went to bed early.
  • Climbing the stairs, preparing for work, taking in the grocery shopping or lifting up your kids takes more effort than you can afford.
  • You feel overwhelmed by the tasks ahead of you.

What you can do to overcome your exhaustion

1.Look at the time you’re spending at work and the time you’re actually performing at work. Create buffer zones to create space in your calendar to rewire and not to expire.

  • Apps like brain focus  can help you create focus and break times. You can adjust the focus time that best fits you. For example 25 min focus and 5 min break. In the break time make sure to do the opposite of what you were doing.
  • Great time breaks are: Breathing, Brain Fitness, Stretching, Mindfulness, and Lunch away from the desk. Or use this time to check on social media if necessary.

2. If you’re chasing deadlines instead of finishing them, scale back and set priorities. You can’t do everything at any time. Do a single to-do list for every day with things you must do.

3. You are not designed as a robot who can perform 24/7. Even a robot needs energy to perform. Though you may not follow a 9 to 5 job, the 8 hours work day and weekend were created for a reason. After work time is an important part for your inner balance and social connections.

4. Create a sleep ritual to get your body into sleeping mode. Detach from devices at least an hour before bed time. The bright light interferes with sleeping hormones that are released from your brain when it is becoming dark. Get in the rhythm of becoming more and more relaxed. Guided meditations and calm music can help.

SilkCelia-Reconnect To Your Workplace

2. Increased mental distance from one’s job.

It is natural that there are time that you don’t enjoy the work you do. However, if this feeling persists even when you are with friends and family, or just thinking about your work makes you feel miserable and you map out how you could escape your work, then this is a symptom of burnout.

What you experience

  • You’re calling in sick days on a regular basis.
  • You suspect that your colleagues, your boss or clients are against you and you become more irritable and less patient.
  • You do not attend company events or parties you were once looking forward to.

What you can do to overcome your distance

The most important thing is to find out, what is truly causing the stress at your work place.

  • Is it a conflict you have with your boss or colleague and it effects your work relationship?
  • Is it the new software you’re not understanding and you lack behind your work?
  • Is it the merging of departments and you fear to be sidelined or laid off?
  • Is it that you feel that you have to prove yourself  to be in your current position?

___________________________________________________

These are some guidelines for your self-reflection (adapted from Byron Katie):

  • In this current work situation, who/what angers, confuses, saddens, or pressures you and why?

Fill in the blanks: I am _____ with ______ because_____

  • In order to be happy in this situation what do you need them to think, say, feel or do?

Fill in the blanks: I want _____ to __________

  • What is it about the situation that you’ve never want to experience again?

Fill in the blanks: I don’t ever want to __________

___________________________________________________

Do this self-reflection to understand the deeper reasons of your burn-out. Only then you can find the right solution for your work situation.

If you need further help to find the underlying narrative of your distance to your work and how to solve it, book a 30-min discovery call with me now.

SilkCelia-Regain Control

3. Reduced Professional Efficiency

Once your burnout reaches a certain level, it will affect your work performance and your self-confidence. The nervous system has taken its toll on your stress response, your emotions and thoughts. You experience a mental burnout.

What you experience

  • Thoughts in your mind become louder and asking you: “What’s the point!”
  • You think this work is awful and it will always be like this.
  • You may start feeling hopeless, helpless and powerless.
  • You feel that the situation is not in your control, not predictable and you have no abilities to deal with it.
  • These symptoms can also manifest as a mental fatigue. You have difficulty concentrating at work and finish your daily tasks not to speak about getting done novel and complex problems.

What you can do to overcome your reduced professional efficiency

1.Make the part of your work you can control predictable. Take time as your precious gift and trade it for the things that bring you and your project forward. This means setting clear boundaries and reducing low value digital noise and optimize tools that benefit your work.

2. Focus on the positive. Burnout can occur because your focus is lost and misdirected to negative emotions and thoughts. Consider your daily thoughts and feelings. Are you focusing on the negative aspects of every situation?

How can you change this, so your thoughts are on a more positive path?

___________________________________________________

Do this short exercise from The Work by Byron Katie.

  1. What is your belief/thought concerning your work?
  2. Can you absolutely know it is true?
  3. Does this thought bring peace or stress into your life?
  4. What images or body sensation arise when you think of this thought?
  5. What are events in your life you felt similar?
  6. What feelings arise when you have this thought (e.g. anger, sadness, helpless, hopeless…)
  7. Who would you be without this thought?

___________________________________________________

You may want to create lists of positive actions and thoughts throughout the day to stay on track. You can keep a notebook of inspirational quotes to help you avoid negativity.

Summary

To increase your chances to prevent depression and recover from burn-out fast, take time to relax and follow this advice.

Find time to relax, trade your time as the most precious asset, reflect on the narratives of your work place situation and play with your negative thoughts. Understanding the underlying issue of your burnout will increase your chances to recover from burn-out and possibly make you more resilient in the future.

What insights are you taking away from this? And most importantly what are you going to put into action? Comment below.

How To Recover From Burnout in 4 Sessions

Click on this link >> to book a call with me and find out how you can leave burnout, anxiety and stress behind and increase your wellbeing and success.

Interested?  Let’s work together.

Consider how you came to be in this situation. Do you need to make some changes at work, a different job, or a more satisfying relationship? Could it help you to speak to a professional? What needs to happen to prevent the same situation from happening again?

My goal as an executive coach is to provide rapid and long-lasting changes for professionals who go through life changes or challenging situations resulting in burnout, stress and anxiety. No matter where you are in the world, the therapy sessions are held online. 4-Hours of my Elevate Intensive and you will improve the quality of your life, switch your body back to peace and balance, and gain clarity and focus.

I hold a master’s degree in psychology with an over 15-years career in counseling and coaching. I trained with a broad range of international experts like the world-renowned therapist and pioneering hypnotherapist Marisa Peer (Rapid Transformation Therapy Practitioner®), Rori Raye (Relationship Coaching), and Prof. Dr. Justin Kennedy (Applied Neuroscience Coaching).

Contact me today to learn how I can help make things better!  www.brainbossmethod.com

Like What Your Read? 

Register below and receive monthly advice!

Yes, sign me up for monthly newsletter emails from Silk Celia with highlights of her blog and vlog. For more information on how we use your information, check out our Privacy Policy. You can change your mind anytime by unsubscribing.