Many of these clients will be off work for between three and six months, which is the average time it takes for most people to recover from a burnout.
According to the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (Seco) in Switzerland:
- Between 26.6 and 34.4 per cent of Swiss workers say they are overburdened at work, a figure which has gone up by seven per cent in ten years.
- Chronic stress and its effects on health such as depression, burn out and cardio-vascular or muscular-skeletal problems have led to higher absenteeism and lower productivity.
- According to estimates published by Seco, the related costs could reach SFr10 billion per year for businesses and society. In a report published in 2010, the Federal Statistics Office highlighted the exposure of workers to psychosocial risks: 41 per cent of those interviewed said they were under strong psychological pressure at work.
99% of the clients I’m treating with burnout symptoms are women! I only have 1 male client who comes for Burnout Prevention Therapy.
According to Larissa Faw, a Forbes Writer, burnout among women is pandemic. According to research:
Men are 25% more likely to take breaks during the day for personal activities and 35% more likely to take time solely for relaxation. They also go for walks and head out to lunch more often than their female colleagues.
Most of my female clients with burnout are also mothers and in some cases the sole bread winners of the family. They have an enormous pressure to earn money for the family and to be performing at work, as well as being a good mother and wife. The constant battle between work and life balance causes them all so many frustrations. They find little to no time to devote to themselves and their passions, dreams and aspirations. And if they do find a little time for themselves, most of the times they will feel guilty about it.
One of my clients works for the UN, but really would love to focus on her personal coaching career. She did all the courses and has the best qualifications, but just doesn’t find the time to build her business as her family heavily depends on her income.
The problem with a burnout is that many people don’t recognise it soon enough as such. They complain of lower energy levels or lack of sleep, insomnia, frequent migraines etc., but would never dare to believe that they are in the early stages of a burnout.
So, what exactly is a burnout and what are the symptoms?
If you have been having periods of excessive stress and feel like you are in a state of mental, emotional and physical exhaustion, chances are, you are having a burnout.
Signs of physical exhaustion
- Chronic fatigue: You might have been feeling very tired and exhausted every day and lacking energy to complete the simple tasks you used to complete without any efforts before.
- Sleeping Disorders: You find it hard to fall asleep or wake up in the middle of the night and can’t fall back to sleep for longer periods of time. There was an interesting research done: If we sleep less than six hours per night on average the risks of having a burnout eventually are very high.
- Lack of concentration: You experience lack of focus and forgetfulness in your daily work and later on find it impossible to complete any tasks.
- Increased illness: You are sick much more often with flus, colds, infections, gastrointestinal pain, heart palpitations or chest pain, general dizziness and headaches or migraines, loss of appetite.
Signs of Emotional exhaustion
- Anxiety: You worry a lot and feel tense until this anxiety becomes so serious that you can’t neither work nor have a normal personal life.
- Depression: You start enjoying your work and personal life less and less. You might start feeling hopeless and sad, and if the burnout progresses you might develop a heavy depression and feel worthless or guilty. You might feel like every day is a bad day and you will start isolating yourself from others. You might feel absolutely disconnected and detached from the outside world.
- Anger: You feel irritated much quicker, both in your professional life and also in your personal life. If more severe you might experience anger outbursts and constant arguments.
If you have been experiencing a few of these symptoms lately, you might be on your way of getting a clinical burnout.
What to do when you feel you have a Burnout:
- Go and see your family doctor. Most doctors in Geneva are very aware of burnouts and the symptoms. Many of them will advise you to take off time from work before it gets worse. In my opinion: take that time off and really try and get better before going back to work. Once you go back, you will have the option of starting with 50% and then slowly increasing the working hours to 100% again.
- Slow down. If you have neglected your burnout symptoms for a long time, just looking after your health won't be enough anymore. You will have reached a state of chronic exhaustion that requires you to slow down and to cut back on as many activitities and commitments as possible. I have had clients who could barely read a book or watch television when they have reached the last stages of a burnout. Take your symptoms seriously. The sooner you begin to cut back and slow down, the faster your recovery will be.
- Meditate Daily. 10 minutes per day to start with and then you can gradually increase the time to 20 minutes ormore. There is extensive research that shows that meditation helps to:
- Overcome stress (University of Massachusetts Medical School, 2003)
- Cultivate healthy habits that lead to weight loss (Journal Emotion, 2007)
- Improve digestion and lower blood pressure (Harvard Medical School)
- Decrease your risk of heart attack (The Stroke Journal, 2009)
- Help overcome anxiety, depression, anger and confusion (Psychosomatic Medicine, 2009)
- Decrease perception of pain and improve cognitive processing (Wake Forest University School of Medicine, 2010)
- Increase your focus and attention (University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2007)
- Increase the size of your most important organ – your brain! (Harvard University Gazette, 2006)
Burnout brings with it many losses, which can often go unrecognized. Unrecognized losses trap a lot of your energy. It takes a tremendous amount of emotional control to keep yourself from feeling the pain of these losses. When you recognize these losses and allow yourself to grieve them, you release that trapped energy and open yourself to healing. These may include the loss of:
- Idealism or dream with which you entered your career
- The role or identity that originally came with your job
- Physical and emotional energy
- Friends, fun, and sense of community
- Self-esteem and sense of control
- Joy, meaning and purpose that make work—and life—worthwhile
- Get regular sleep. Try and sleep at least 8h every night. If you have sleeping problems, why not try a Reiki treatment? Many clients have reported to have slept much better after a few sessions of Reiki.
I can help with Burnout prevention, as well as, helping you to heal a Burnout if you already have been diagnosed with one. I use different energy tools, such as Reiki, EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique), Positive Visualisations and Guided Meditations to help my clients recover.
Here is a FREE Meditation for Relaxation and Stress-Relief that I have written, recorded and put on Youtube.
I'm happy to answer any questions you might have. You can contact me here.
Funny Feedback for the meditation:
"Awesome post and guided meditation on your blog!!! Chapeau! Here's a funny tidbit you can share if you like: you relaxed my 6-month puppy so much too when I had it playing on the speakerphone that I caught her snoring!! Hahaha, and she abruptly woke up when the soothing music stopped at the end. She was as relaxed as I was aiming to be. Too funny " Stephanie B.