3rd December 2020

Occupational Burnout – the next steps to an improved lifestyle

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It is essential that there is an early diagnosis and treatment which will help with the prognosis. It is always good to talk to others whether a friend or relative or a healthcare professional. In some instances, you may benefit from psychotherapy or a counsellor. Relaxation techniques can help also yoga and mindfulness.

Here are some suggestions which can help you recover although it can take several months depending on each individual’s situation.

  1. Key to improving your wellbeing is to identify the main stressors which caused the occupational burnout. What or who caused it and can they be avoided?
  2. Develop an action plan with goal setting with specific timescales.
  3. Consider different options – will you stay in the same job? Will you ask for a change of job or department especially if there is an individual who may have caused your condition?
  4. Potential changes at work could be more flexible hours, especially to begin with, such as working from home, job share, or reduce your hours.
  5. Will you consider moving to another employer or a different area?
  6. Identify what you are good at, your skills and what you enjoy doing. Is there something similar or something completely different you would like to do such as a complete career change?
  7. Make time for yourself either at home or even when at work – go out at lunch time for a walk or just look around the shops.
  8. It is essential that you are getting plenty of sleep and have a regular sleep routine so get to bed at the same time each night and ensure that you don’t have a TV, mobile phone or any other gadget which can stop you from sleeping.
  9. On weekends and in evenings, take time to enjoy some physical exercise such as walking, running, gardening or cycling which can be a great stress reliever. It helps to take your mind of any worries and concentrate on what you are doing. Once you have had some physical exercise you feel a lot better and more invigorated.
  10. Aim to be more positive and when you are being negative and critical about an individual or a situation, stop and turn it to a positive.

I was speaking recently to Helen (not her real name) who worked as a Finance Manager in a local council and had been under a huge level of stress almost resulting in burnout. She decided to take a ‘package’ and then retrained as a Sports Therapist and loves it especially as it is her own business and she can choose the hours she wants to work and work where she wants to. Helen wishes that she had made this choice a few years before but now has a good work/life balance and her overall health and wellbeing has improved greatly.

Consider what is the best option for you. We are all different and what is good for one person may not be good for another. However, there are some suggestions to get you thinking.

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