While some people may dismiss burnout as a myth, the World Health Organisation added burnout to the International Classification of Diseases, meaning it has become a globally recognised medical condition as of 2020. Burnout is defined as chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed, and in today’s working environment it is more common than ever.
You can reach ‘burnout’ when your nervous system is in overdrive for too long, often due to stress. A lack of rest, relaxation or general ‘downtime’ from stress is like depriving your body of good food – eventually your energy and mental resources start to run out. The results can include fatigue or exhaustion, so that even the smallest things become an effort. You might feel emotional or short-tempered, find it hard to concentrate or make decisions, and find that even little things upset you.
Sounds familiar? We asked a number of our experts to offer their advice to help you minimise the effects of a burnout in lockdown.
Put those phones down, turn off that TV and have yourself a routine
A study has revealed that one in five Brits check their emails before going to bed. We’re all guilty of something, and if it’s not checking our emails then it’s watching ‘just one more episode’ or scrolling on social media until midnight. It may seem obvious and almost childish but setting yourself a bedtime is the first step to having a good night’s sleep. Leading UK Nutritionist and author of The Natural Health Bible for Women, Dr Marilyn Glenville explains: “Unfortunately, stress and lack of sleep can become a vicious cycle because the less sleep you have, the less able you are to cope physically and emotionally with the demand of everyday life, and the more stressed you feel, the harder it is to get a good night’s sleep, so you can feel trapped in this never-ending cycle”.
As well as having a set bedtime, try NHP’s Tranquil Woman Support capsules (£24.77, www.naturalhealthpractice.com). These capsules provide nutrients that are helpful in reducing stress and supporting hormone balance, digestion and immunity to help you manage a busy lifestyle and ‘switch off’ in the evening.
Incorporate a high-quality probiotic
Probiotics have a bank of impressive health benefits. A study on the ShapeLine probiotic supplement from Pro-Ven (£29.95, Boots) found that taking one probiotic capsule every day has impressive wellness benefits, which include a massive 40% reduction in upper respiratory tract infections (coughs and colds), 30% reduction in headaches and improved overall wellness. As a result of these benefits, the ShapeLine group felt better, had more energy and better mood than the group not taking ShapeLine. The added Vitamin C, D and Zinc all help to boost immunity in those taking this probiotic! ShapeLine from Pro-Ven also the first probiotic with proven weight loss benefits!
PrioritiseFirst things first – prioritise your workload. Leading UK Nutritionist Dr Marilyn Glenville tells us: “If you feel the symptoms of stress coming on, learn to get your priorities right. There is nothing in your life right now more important than your health. Learn to say no if you feel that you have taken on too much. Being assertive is invigorating and empowering. It also helps to make lists of what is or is not a priority and to tackle the priority tasks first. This will help give you a sense of control over your life.”
Make sure you’re getting enough sleep
Stress and sleep are closely related. If we do not get enough sleep, we find it harder to function and when we are stressed, we find it harder to get to sleep. If you’re a late-night thinker it can be extremely difficult to break this cycle. If you’re a night-time thinker and you struggle to switch off when your head hits the pillow, then you could try adding a magnesium supplement such as KalmAssure Magnesium capsules by Natures Plus (£11.75, www.amazon.co.uk). Nutritionist Cassandra Barns explains: “Magnesium is known as ‘nature’s tranquiliser’ and is needed to relax our muscles and nerves, which helps us fall into a peaceful sleep.”