Stress: Expert on how it affects your health over time
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Prince Harry recently opened up about his experiences with ‘burnout’ in a live stream with Serena Williams, saying he was “burning the candle at both ends”. Burnout isn’t something only royals and celebrities experience though, as up to 12 million Brits have experienced it. Burnout was recognised by the World Health Organziation (WHO) as an ‘occupational phenomenon’, but lots of different stressful situations can lead to burnout. Not sure how to combat burnout? Express.co.uk chatted to Ben Treanor, Wellness Coach and Founder of Mål Paper, to find out everything you need to know about beating burnout.
Burnout is often misunderstood, so it can be tricky to voice how you’re feeling to your boss, colleagues, family and friends.
The condition is characterised by tiredness and feeling drained, helpless, trapped, defeated, detached or lonely.
Some people become very cynical or negative, experience self-doubt and feel overwhelmed or procrastinate.
If you’re feeling burnt out, you may feel hopeless and as if there’s no way out. However, that’s not the case.
Wellness Coach Ben Treanor has revealed three ways to prevent burnout and improve existing burnout.
Take regular breaks
Many of us are guilty of not taking our lunch breaks at work, but this is a recipe for disaster.
Ben said: “When you work for hours on end without taking some time for yourself, you can end up feeling exhausted and uninspired.
“Even a five-minute break can be very refreshing and give you the energy boost you need to keep going with your day.
“People who overwork themselves often neglect their health in the process. Taking short breaks gives you the opportunity to take care of yourself physically and mentally.”
Instead of working through your lunch break, use the time to eat some nutritious food, go on a walk, or talk to a friend.
Ben added: “Breaks are also a great time to meditate and process your feelings, which is very important for maintaining your mental health. Try scheduling breaks or set alarms to remind you.”
A journal is a useful tool in your arsenal for improving mental health, reducing stress, and allowing you the clarity to achieve more. These things combine to reduce the likelihood of burnout.
Journaling benefits your mental wellbeing, helps you keep track of your progress, and motivates you to reach your goals so you can live life the way you’ve always wanted to.
Ben said: “When you experience strong feelings of sadness, anxiety, or stress, writing about your emotions and experiences also helps you to manage your responses in a productive way.
“By journaling your feelings, you allow yourself to be present with your thoughts – not worrying about anything else, just the way you feel in that moment.
“Like anything, it takes time to become a habit, no matter how much you enjoy it.
“By setting a schedule to journal at the same time every day, you’ll find it easier to keep your journaling up.”
Purchase a journal and some lovely stationery that will inspire you to write in your journal daily.
Some journals, such as the Mål Paper Check In Journal, provide prompts and ask you to do daily tasks, which you might find useful if you struggle with expressing your feelings to start.
Life can be very overwhelming at times and we can often miss the bigger picture by focusing too much on being busy and the stresses that go with it.
We become unable to be present in the moment and all of this leads to burnout.
With mindfulness, we take time to notice the world around us and reduce the chances of becoming burnt out.
Ben said: Mindfulness allows us to have an improved perspective on the world and our surroundings which can result in a more fulfilled, compassionate and happier life.
“Mindfulness exercises can make a huge impact on stress management. When you practice mindfulness exercises, you’re actively taking a step back from work to ground yourself, establishing an immediate boundary with your stress.”
So, what counts as mindfulness? Perhaps the most traditional and longstanding mindfulness practice is mindfulness meditation.
Ben said: “In this activity, you use meditation as a way to connect your mind with the sensations in the body.
“You also learn how to breathe properly and deeply to enable the body to relax and release tension.”
You can also try body scan meditation, sitting meditation, walking meditation.
Mindful eating, walking, running, or anything you do that involves paying attention to your senses also counts as mindfulness.
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