While some people may dismiss burnout as a myth – the World Health Organisation added Burnout to the International Classification of Diseases, meaning it will become a globally recognised medical condition as of 2020.
Burnout is defined as chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed and in today’s working environment it is more common than ever.
“You can reach ‘burnout’ when your nervous system is in overdrive for too long, often due to stress. A lack of rest, relaxation or general ‘downtime’ from stress is like depriving your body of good food – eventually your energy and mental resources start to run out. The results can include fatigue or exhaustion, so that even the smallest things become an effort.
You might feel emotional or short-tempered, find it hard to concentrate or make decisions, and find that even little things upset you,” explains Nutritionist and Fitness Instructor Cassandra Barns. If this sounds familiar our experts are on hand to offer their advice to help you minimise the effects of a burnout.
1. Practice mindfulness
Psychologist and Psychotherapist Corinne Sweet working in association with ThinkWell LiveWell, the new mindfulness toolkit for practical people (www.thinkwell-livewell.com) explains why we’re struggling to slow down and relax, “We are finding it hard to slow down and relax due to the increased pace of life at work, home, socially.
Constant social media updates, 24/7 news feeds, shops open all hours. Flexible working and zero hour contracts mean old boundaries have melted and we are ‘on’ continuously. To prevent burnout we need to pace ourselves on a human scale. We need to eat well, sleep adequately, wind down, take exercise, moderate addictive pulls (limit alcohol, caffeine), and learn basic mindfulness techniques to live more in the present.
Top tip: Try ThinkWell-LiveWell
ThinkWell-LiveWell aims to meet people’s real needs in a practical, accessible way. Its innovations in personalisation and multi-disciplinary experiences take people through a complete process of change and development at the emotional, awareness and behavioural levels – in much the same way as face-to-face counselling or coaching would do.
The ThinkWell-LiveWell ‘Mindfulness and More’ toolkit draws on it’s founder Mick’s own multi-modular approach as a therapist to add and combine leading techniques such as cognitive work, NLP, hypnotherapy, guided meditation and dream-work, delivered in both online and offline forms.
2. Invest in houseplants
London’s Leading Nutritionist Lily Soutter (www.lilysoutternutrition.com) recommends using houseplants for their calming benefits. “Many of us know that being close to greenery and nature brings a sense of calmness and ease to our surroundings.
Houseplants are a stylish way of bringing a touch of the outdoors into our home. Not only do they help improve air quality and lift mood, but plants may have specific health properties of their own”. Lavender could be particularly helpful if you’re worried about burnout as it can help with stress reduction and sleep.
“Lavender is the plant of choice when it comes to getting a more restful night sleep. In fact, research has shown improvements in sleep quality in those who are struggling with stress and insomnia, with effects being seen from both oral supplements and aromatherapy. Whilst lavender tends to be an outdoor plant, growing this beautifully scented plant indoors can be well worth your time. Ensure that your pot plant has access to bright daylight and fresh air.”
Lily’s Top Tip: “Before bed, simply take a few deep breaths, inhaling the relaxing floral scent of your lavender plant for a calmer more restful nights sleep. You can also try drying some lavender buds to make potpourris, you can then add to a cotton bag and leave on your pillow for scented sheets.”
We all want to be able to do everything on our list but sometimes it’s essential to go through your workload and prioritise. The UK’s leading nutritionist Dr Marilyn Glenville (www.marilynglenville.com) explains, “If you feel the symptoms of stress coming on, learn to get your priorities right.
There is nothing in your life right now more important than your health. Learn to say no if you feel that you have taken on too much. Being assertive is invigorating and empowering. It also helps to make lists of what is or is not a priority and to tackle the priority tasks first. This will help give you a sense of control over your life.”
4. A helping hand from Hemp
Cassandra explains, “Phytocannabinoids are natural substances found in the hemp plant, most of which are non-psychoactive – in other words, they don’t have the mind or behaviour-altering effects associated with cannabis as a drug.
Research has suggested that some phytocannabinoids can have benefits for our health – including anti-anxiety, calming effects. For this reason, a supplement containing natural phytocannabinoids such as HempCeutix Complete could have benefits for calming our nervous system and helping prevent burnout.” Try Natures Plus brand-new HempCeutix capsules to help harmonise your mind and body (RRP £45.99,www.planetorganic.com)
5. Use essential oils
As well as prioritising, Marilyn suggests – “Make an effort to relax before you get into bed. Consider using some aromatherapy oils, such as bergamot or roman chamomile and marjoram in a warm bath, just before bed. A few drops of aromatherapy oils on your pillow at bedtime, can have the same effect.”