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March 3, 2020

Self-care and burnout

self care and burnout coach, Leigh Joy

Eleanor Brown says: “Rest and self-care are so important.  When you take time to replenish your spirit, it allows you to serve others from the overflow.  You cannot serve from an empty vessel.”

Today I will be speaking about a topic I am most passionate about which is self-care and wellbeing.

More and more people are struggling to keep their heads above water at home and in the workplace.  We hear more and more about the importance of work-life balance.

For those who are not aware of Gallup, they are an analytics and advisory company based in Washington DC.  They created the World Pole in 2005. A recent Gallup study of nearly 7500 full-time employees found that 23% reported feeling always burnt out at work. 44% reported feeling burnout sometimes, and only 33% felt balanced.

“Burn out is a state of emotional, physical and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress.  It occurs when you feel overwhelmed, emotionally drained and unable to meet constant demands.”

Symptoms of burnout:

  1. Lower resistance to illness
  2. A pessimistic outlook on work or life
  3. Physical, mental and emotional exhaustion
  4. Time away from work and family
  5. Demotivation and detachment from your work
  6. Depleted energy levels
  7. Detachment in personal relationships
  8.  Lower productivity

5 Stages of Burnout

  1. Honeymoon phase
    1. Excited for the challenge
    2. High job satisfaction and commitment, energy and creativity
  2. The onset of stress:
    1. Some days more difficult than others.
    2. Optimism waning
    3. Irritability
    4. Job dissatisfaction
    5. Lack of sleep
    6. Lack of social interaction
    7. Forgetfulness
  3. Chronic stress:
    1. Going from motivation to experiencing stress frequently
    2. Lack of hobbies
    3. Missed work deadlines
    4. Persistent tiredness in the mornings
    5. Physical illness
    6. Uptake of escapist activities
    7. Anger
  4. Burnout
    1. Symptoms become critical
    2. Feeling empty inside
    3. Obsession over problems at work and home
    4. Physical illness increases
    5. Self-doubt
    6. Social isolation
    7. Chronic headaches
    8. Stomach or bowel problems
    9. Complete neglect of personal needs
  5. Habitual burnout
    1. Embedded in your life
    2. Depression
    3. Chronic sadness
    4. Burnout syndrome
    5. Chronic mental fatigue
    6. Chronic physical fatigue
    7. Coronary heart disease

In my private practice as a counsellor and coach, some of my clients are addicts and alcohols who are looking to stop using drugs and drinking.  As you can imagine, they are on the bottom scale of self-care. They are completely burnt out. Some have been hospitalised to find an equilibrium.  Once these clients are clean and sober, it is much easier to teach them self-care techniques. It’s important to note that not all burn outpatients are addicts. A few of my clients have been booked off work to recover from burnout; this affected their careers and families.

So how do we take care of ourselves?  I use a self-care wheel with my clients and will happily email you one. Please connect with me and I will send you one.

Should you wish for me to come and speak to your team about the six pillars of self-care, please feel free to touch base with me.

Leigh Joy runs a self-care consultancy. She is available to speak at your event about self-care.

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