Burn out is no joke and is a real danger to anyone who’s work environment places them under relentless physical and emotional pressure. You’re skipping lunch breaks or eating at your desk. You’re working non-stop and when you do stop your mind keeps spinning with work related thoughts. Perhaps alcohol becomes something you rely on to relax. You’re waking up in the night thinking about work. Secretly you fear you are not up to the job and will be found out as a fraud or a fake. You find ways of masking your burnout but you’re feeling overwhelmed. Your main objective is to make it through the day. Any passion or inspiration you once felt for your work is fading or gone. You’ve got used to the position and financial security but you wonder how long you can keep going before it all comes crashing down around your ears.
If any of this sounds familiar you might be on the way to burn out. Burn Out doesn’t happen overnight. It might even takes years or decades for it to take full effect.
What Is Burnout?
Burnout describes the physical and psychological consequences caused by relentless stress and anxiety. It differs from stress in that when you are approaching burnout, rather than being overstimulated and nervous as you might be when subjected to emotional stress, with burnout you experience feelings of powerlessness, hopelessness, cynicism and a lack of motivation. You may also find yourself disengaging emotionally both at work and at home and feeling physically rundown and depressed. Procrastination becomes a problem as does decision making.
Before you reach burnout you’re body will give you plenty of warning signs. Your weight may change, you may become short tempered and cranky and your physical health begin to show signs of deteriorating.
If ignored, your body will take increasingly drastic measures to get you to stop burning the candle at both ends. The trick is to be aware enough to listen to the warning signs before you find yourself lying face down on the bed unable to open the curtains or face even the postman, never mind manage your team or organisation.
Work And Home Stress And Anxiety
Burnout is usually associated with the workplace and for good reason. Highly demanding working environments are a routine feature of modern life, however stress crosses over from our personal into our work life and also from work to home.
A recent study by Dr Victoria Blom and colleagues of the Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, looked at the effects of stress crossing from home to work and from work to home, and the relevant risks of burnout.
The study of nearly 4,500 twins found that women felt slightly more at risk from burnout overall. Women reported work demands interfering with home life to be more of a problem than was reported by men.
A “rather direct” association between work to home stress and burnout was found. The effects of work related stress at home applied equally to both men and women regardless of age, education, job demands, or children living at home.
Why Does Burnout Happen?
Burnout happens when you ignore the warning signs that something is wrong. A natural tendency is to try to mask the signs of burnout and hope that somehow things will get better on their own. We tell ourselves we’ll slow down soon, but soon never arrives. The reality is that people in danger of or suffering from burnout are in need of immediate help.
Unlike machines, which are designed to work without a break, humans have more complex needs in order to be healthy in body and mind. Machines do not have emotions, nor do they feel the need to be appreciated and have freedom to choose how they spend their days.
Where the demands of home and work put employees under relentless pressure, requiring energy and attention to commitments which leave little or no time for themselves, is it any wonder that burnout is such a major problem?
What is EFT And How Can It Help With Burnout?
Emotional Freedom Techniques, or EFT, is a universal healing tool that can provide impressive results for physical, emotional, and performance issues. EFT is sometimes referred to as emotional acupuncture, but without the needles. It uses gentle tapping on specific points on your body to help you release emotional stress, improve the clarity of your mind and aids the healing of physical symptoms. EFT is a gentle process which works quickly and creates permanent results.
EFT for Individuals
As much as we’d like them to, problems don’t go away or get better when we ignore them. EFT can help you relax refocus and prioritise. It is equally well suited to helping you avoid burnout by addressing the early warning signs, and speeding your recovery if things have gone too far. You can also learn to use EFT yourself in between sessions to deal with stress and anxiety as they arise in the moment.
Mental distress issues linked to burnout cost U.K. employers an estimated £26 billion each year through absenteeism, reduced productivity and recruitment costs. The global financial crisis has increased concerns about job security while new regulations in the finical sector in particular have piled on the pressure. In a recent survey 44% of financial workers reported a rise in mental health problems, yet talking about and dealing with emotional impediments to performance is not accepted practice in business.
By helping you and your team manage stress and anxiety quickly and effectively EFT offers a highly cost effective solution for businesses wishing to protect their people and grow their profits.
Group and individual EFT sessions can be tailored to fit your organisations unique circumstances. Interventions can be held in house or at The City Of London Therapy Centre. EC1, where I am a senior consultant.