Almost everyone I spoke to last week said they were either ‘flat out’ or ‘up against it’ at work. Each of them will have their own reasons and criteria for this, yet that feeling, combined with the collective stress, uncertainty and for some, fear in the air right now, is a cocktail for burnout.
If you didn’t know it already, the World Health Organisation recognises the term ‘burnout’ in relation to job stress. And a couple of years ago, it decided to elevate the concept of burnout from a built-in feature of our always-on world, to a fully defined “occupational phenomenon” that stems directly from our collective crisis of workplace stress and it’s characterised by 3 key factors:
- Feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion.
- Increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job.
- Reduced professional efficiency.
Why is this so important?
Many, many people suffer burnout each year, we know that already. High profile people have been speaking out about this in the last few years. The singer/songwriter, Alanis Morissette, for example, spoke publicly about her battle with work addiction and burnout. Arianna Huffington, Founder and CEO of The Huffington Post and Thrive Global talked openly about the time she collapsed from sleep deprivation and exhaustion and broke her collarbone.
Judging by the broad media coverage generated by the World Health Organisation’s news, it’s clear that not only is burnout in the zeitgeist, but that people are hungry for solutions. At The Life Adventure we work for various government departments and it’s no surprise that it’s the most booked talk and workshop we’ve run for them in the past two years. Companies and employees alike, are desperate to understand the topic better and find ways to avoid burnout before it happens, as well as spot the signs before things get too bad. It’s obvious to say it, but burnout is not something you want to be faced with anytime, but particularly right now in the throws of a pandemic.
The Burnout Club
It’s not a club you exactly want to join, but one where the membership has grown in alarming numbers. A recent Gallup study of nearly 7,500 full-time employees found that 23% reported feeling burnout at work very often or always, while an additional 44% reported feeling burnt out sometimes. No one is immune. It can hit the overworked and undervalued high-achieving executive, the carer who works around the clock or the everyday employee trying to be the best they can be. Each one, juggling working under unusual circumstances (Covid precautions in place), or the blurred lines between working from home and home life itself. That, along with the continual intrusion and bombardment of negative and stressful news around Covid (and coming shortly, the dreaded Brexit will be back), it’s a serious worry.
There’s still some shame attached to the idea of burnout, but with education beginning to surface on the topic, that’s now beginning to dissolve. We find that teaching organisations how to be aware of the signs is paramount, as well as new ways to discuss it openly so that people know how to spot the beginning signs in themselves and others. All this helps to prevent burnout before it happens because it’s become clear that burnout is one of the biggest issues of our time, and it’s not going away any time soon.
The reality is that experiencing any of the symptoms in WHO’s new definition of burnout — depletion and exhaustion, negativism and cynicism, reduced professional efficacy — means people just aren’t able to be their best, to be in flow, to be calm and productive. Instead, they’re more likely to cut corners or perhaps even feel forced to leave their job altogether. That’s unlikely to be helpful for anyone right now with rising unemployment and it’s hardly ideal for employers, either. Wellbeing and primarily, resilience, is top of the priority agenda right now for HR Departments and understanding how to manage and stay on top of burnout is an opportunity for companies to step up and look after their people much, much better.
If you’d like some help
Our How To Avoid Burnout talk explains clearly how to deal with stress, learn to relax, sleep better and therefore prevent burnout before it happens. It covers what it really takes to be positive, strong and motivated under stress and is full of practical tools, tips & techniques for an altogether better life. People leave with a clear understanding of the reasons they get triggered, aggressive and exhausted when stressed, along with concrete steps to can build into everyday life to remedy this, so they’ll feel less stressed and sleep better.
It’s a very practical session, delivered in-person (when restrictions don’t apply) or as a live webinar by Zoom or any similar platform, and vital if you want to improve not just performance at work but the way you view life as a whole. It covers:
- Staying energised
- How to relax
- Tips for how to do all of this at home as well as at work
- How to get a good night’s sleep
- Practice – the protocol for acute stress
- Practice – the protocol for chronic stress
- What you need to ask yourself every day to keep yourself on track
Our presenter, Shomit, comes from an intellectual perspective, with a M.Phil from Oxford University and a Ph.D from Cambridge University. He trained as a hypnotherapist under Dr. Keith Hearne and Dr. Roger Woolger, and has spent 30 years studying ancient Indian, Chinese, Egyptian and Shamanic systems of healing. Much of his work over the years has involved an amalgamation of these systems with cutting edge modern western hypnotherapy. The results are both powerful and easy to use. If you get the chance to enroll in some of his mind-blowing workshops, take it. The meditations are some of the most powerful we’ve ever experienced and the stories of his mother’s friendship with Mother Teresa remind you that you’re in the presence of a unique individual who’s giving you a unique insight into the world. If you ever need reminding that the world’s a stage and we are merely actors taking up our roles, then best let Shomit lead you through it, with intelligence, awe and finesse.
To discuss or book get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org