Recognizing Burnout in the Time of Covid | Article – HSBC VisionGo
For the last 18 months, one word has dominated our conversations and lives: Covid. Covid-19 has transformed our world and given us a “new normal.” For many of us, that has meant changing the way we work, play, and live. We have had to adapt, and change can be stressful even at the best of times. Even though Hong Kong was proactive with its approach to covid and avoided the lockdowns that much of the rest of the world faced, many of us have still struggled with the resulting stress, frustration, and burnout.
If you feel overwhelmed, you are not alone, and help is available. Here is what you need to know about burnout.
What is Burnout?
Burnout is a potentially serious issue for workers whether in the office or at home, and it can lead to feelings of exhaustion, stress, and irritability, or moodiness. First coined in the 1970s, the term “burnout” refers to a state of mental and physical exhaustion. Burnout is typically brought on by excessive or prolonged stress.
Our modern lifestyle leaves us vulnerable to chronic stress as it is, but Covid’s arrival has left even more people overworked, overtired, and facing immense professional and personal pressures. Burnout leaves you drained of energy and robs you of your creativity. It can seep into other parts of your life, interfering with your relationships, hobbies, and work. It can even increase your risk of stress-related inflammatory conditions, such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes, may increase.
Recognizing the signs can help you get the treatment you need before you suffer long-term consequences. Symptoms of burnout can include:
- Difficulty beginning or completing tasks
- Increased irritability
- A lack of energy
- An inability to concentrate
- Discouragement or disillusionment
- Drug or alcohol misuse
- A change in sleep habits
- Unexplained physical symptoms, such as headaches or digestive issues
Exhausted, overworked, and understimulated, you might feel as if you have nothing left to give.
Your risk of burnout may be higher if you have long workdays or a heavy workload, if you have little control over your work, if you have an unhealthy work-life balance, or if you are in a helping profession. However, anyone can suffer from burnout. The risk is especially high with the changes associated with covid, such as WFH arrangements and those dealing with health or financial concerns.
We are dealing with an almost unprecedented amount of stress, but burnout is not inevitable. We can take steps to control some risk factors and alleviate the pressure of others. In fact, good self-care can be among your defenses against burnout.
Some good self-care habits to incorporate into your routine include:
Healthy sleep habits
Stress can disrupt sleep patterns and leave you tossing and turning. Getting a good sleep routine established will help you feel renewed and refreshed.
You might not think you have room in your schedule to fit any more activities, but exercise is powerfully protective against burnout. When you exercise regularly, you torch not only calories but also stress and send your endorphins and mood soaring.
A balanced diet
Stress can send your body into overdrive, which is why you may crave starchy or sweet foods. With a balanced diet, you can nourish your body and ensure that it has exactly what it needs, no junk required.
You might not be able to eliminate all the stress in your life, but you can take steps to address it. Relaxation, mindfulness, and deep breathing exercises can all be beneficial ways to manage your natural stress response and let go of the tension in your body and mind.
Using Hypnotherapy to Address Burnout
Burnout does not develop overnight, and healing will not take place overnight, either. However, you may be desperate for relief, and hypnosis can help you manage your symptoms and tackle the root cause of burnout: chronic stress.
Hypnosis works on a subconscious level to help you identify and eliminate maladaptive coping mechanisms and develop more effective tools to manage your stress. It can help relax and soothe you while improving the quality of your sleep. Hypnotherapy is extremely accessible, too, and whether you prefer using a self-hypnosis app in the comfort of your home or seeing a therapist for in-person hypnosis sessions, the choice is completely yours.
If someone you love is struggling with burnout, you can help by offering a listening ear and an empathetic heart. Avoid judgments but rather keep your heart and ears open and work to understand their needs.
Since Covid, Hong Kong residents have suffered significant increases in both stress and anxiety. Research indicates that changes in daily routine and a lack of new self-care routines were associated with an increased risk of depression and anxiety. With hypnotherapy and appropriate self-care, you can fight back against burnout and begin to focus on healing and hope.
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