Andrea Lee- Clinic Founder and Osteopathic Manual Therapist & Stacey Kerslake
Whether it is work related, or just the stresses of everyday life- trying to balance all that is weighing on your plate, these unrelenting pressures can have you feeling exhausted, lacking energy and even experiencing unexplained physical pain, this is what we call burnout. Burnout can be detrimental to your mental and physical health, while also leaching into your personal life and relationships, so it is vital that it not be ignored. It does take time, and it is important to have the right pillars in place. So how can you combat burnout? We break it down for you.
Every year we see clients that have made appointments for manual therapy treatments that they think are related to a work related injury- shoulder pain, stomach pain, debilitating headaches, when unfortunately a large contributor to these issues is burnout.
We often use the term burnout to describe a combination of symptoms such as fatigue, lack of motivation and declining productivity that are related to your job, and often linked to overwork, all very true, but burnout can show up in different forms, both physical and mental, that are often ignored and not considered symptoms of burnout. Symptoms including, hypertension, sleep disruption, unexplained stomach pain, headaches and other physical ailments as well as feelings of inefficacy, incompetence, and lack of achievement (source).
It is important to monitor both your physical and mental health to check in to see how you are feeling. If you are feeling physically exhausted and mentally distant from work, co-workers or other close relationships, you could be heading towards burnout. If you are feeling that you are burnout, or heading in that direction, you can take these mindful steps to help prevent worsening of symptoms, and get you back to a place of balance.
Acknowledge That You Are Burnt Out
By acknowledging that you are burnout, you are recognizing that you have both physical and emotional symptoms that need to be addressed, and that you need to make changes to your routine. This will help you work towards regaining that balance that you need.
Focus on Healthy Eating
A healthy plate can go a long way. Eating complex carbohydrates can help boost the brain with serotonin, the feel good chemical. Foods like pasta, oatmeal, brown rice, quinoa and potatoes can really change your mood. Other foods that can help combat burnout include, warm drinks and soups, high fibre fruits and vegetables, and proteins. It is important to never skip meals, and ensure you are fueling your body and hydrating regularly.
Prioritize Sleep & Exercise
It is important to prioritize your physical health. Sleep will be the first step in combating that feeling of exhaustion, and helping you feel prepared to combat your other symptoms. Exercise is a great way to help combat burn out. You do not need to do strenuous workouts, walks and yoga are two great options that get you moving, while also making room for mental health.
Self care goes a long way when it comes to combatting burnout. Similar to practicing mindfulness and making priorities, practicing self care can energize you and boost your self confidence, and shed those feelings of overwhelming self doubt. To combat burnout, you need to commit to putting yourself first, giving yourself what you need to live a healthier, and more balanced life. Try taking an hour a week that is just for yourself. Whether you go to a yoga class, or meet a friend for coffee. Find something that brings YOU joy, and helps you live in the present.
Be Mindful & Make Priorities
A great way to combat burnout is to practice mindfulness. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to take up meditation, but by simply acknowledging what you are grateful for each day can help you reframe your outlook and start feeling the pressures of work. Sometimes our stress can consume us, and it can take our focus away from the things that are really important to us, so try writing down your priorities. Whether it be family, friends, or a hobby, when you start prioritizing the things that bring you joy, your priorities will energize you and help you combat burnout.
It is important to remember that these feelings of burnout will not go away immediately, it takes time, and could even take weeks or months to start creating healthier habits to help combat burnout. Our knowledgeable team of practitioners are here to support you, consider booking an appointment with us to start combating those physical signs of burnout.