604.739.2118 spinehealth@shaw.ca

In today’s society, burnout, feeling seriously stressed and unable to cope over a prolonged period, can happen to anyone. However, burnout can be avoided. I will outline the causes and symptoms, and the ways you can deal with your stressful situations.

stress-back-painThere are many causes of burnout. In general, it is found in people that are overworked and unappreciated. These people will feel disappointed, sometimes cynical, guilty or ashamed. The symptoms may include hopelessness and helplessness, low spirit and self-esteem and frequent illness.

Before you can help yourself, you must first recognize the problem. Burnout reduces your productivity and saps your energy, leaving you feeling increasingly helpless, hopeless, cynical, and resentful. Eventually, you may feel like you have nothing more to give.

Once you recognized the warning signs, you must make changes to both you and your environment. You must:

1. Slow down – Take an extra few minutes to enjoy your breakfast, lunch or dinner. Decrease your commitments and activities.

2. Eat healthy – Decrease on your fast food and eat a healthy diet. You can increase your energy level and endurance with proper eating habits.

3. Set reasonable goals – Do not extend yourself to unreachable goals.

4. Exercise – Physical activity produces natural endorphin (feel good chemicals).

5. Meditate – Isolate yourself from all the electronic devices (laptop, TV, emails, telephone, etc.).

6. Take a hobby – Creativity is a powerful antidote to burnout. Try something new, start a fun project, or resume a favorite hobby.

Furthermore, you may need to take time off. If burnout seems inevitable, take a complete break from work. Go on vacation, use up your sick days, take a temporary leave-of-absence—anything to remove yourself from the situation. Use the time away to recharge yourself and to rethink your strategies toward a greater satisfaction.