A Health For Mzansi reader is feeling burnt out and like the world is weighing heavy on her shoulders. On episode 30 of the Sisters Without Shame podcast, Paarl-based clinical psychologist Luc Scheepers shares some tips on how to make life choices that will prevent you from being overwhelmed.
According to Scheepers, in the international classification of diseases, burnout has been classified as a syndrome which is caused by many things including mismanaged workplaces.
Burnout has three immediate symptoms:
- felling exhausted;
- feeling distant from your job; and
- feeling unproductive and effective at work
“Burnout is an insidious condition, and grows gradually without one even knowing.”
There are several ways you can identify the symptoms of burning out, and Scheepers says most of them are cardiovascular related.
“Some of the early signs of burning out affect the heart and the lungs. You are most likely to have difficulties breathing, having shallow breathes, elevated heart rate, having concentration issues, become irritable etc.”
Prevention is better than cure
Scheepers says once you notice these symptoms it is wise that you act. He says try to strike a balance in your life for your mind to have a bit of activity to avoid the anxiety.
He says for burnout prevention it is imperative that one makes time for self-introspection and reflection. “Take stock of where you are in your life right now and ask yourself questions like:
- Am I working too hard?
- How am I resting and,
- What truly brings happiness and joy to me?
Scheepers adds, “take yourself to the place in time where you had the happiest moments of your life and remind yourself of what really makes you happy and revisit that often.”
Ask for help!
Coping with things like depression, anxiety and burnout is one of the most difficult tasks that anyone battling these must face. But Scheepers says one of the best mechanisms, especially in work related burn outs is ASKING FOR HELP.
“The South African society has taught us that it is embarrassing to ask for help, when it is actually one of the most effective mechanisms in anyone’s arsenal of coping with these conditions.”
Scheepers is against people resorting to social media for relief from stress and anxiety because Facebook or WhatsApp texts can be triggers too.
“I’d advise that you take a break and have a moment to breathe in and out for six seconds, and out for 8 second. Being in nature is a lovely way to relax, you can go outside and get enough natural air. Try as hard as you can to stay away from work on holidays when you are not supposed to work, do not overwork for yourself.”
He says, have some QTS (Quality Time for Self) day, fill your bath with some nice warm water and bubbles and chill.
Listen to the full interview of Sisters Without Shame
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