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Well-Being ‒ The Answer To Burnout ‒ Part I

Written by: Chrysanthi Vazitari, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

Aren’t you tired of being tired? Aren’t you tired of feeling ‘not enough’, overworked and unsatisfied? Aren’t you tired of lacking energy or motivation or simply of being confused? I know I am! Being one of many people who have experienced burnout, and being one of those who worked a lot through overcoming this, I decided to focus on advocating the prevention of this problem rather than the cure.

But first, I think it's time to clarify a few things about burnout, starting with the definition.


The WHO defines burnout as “a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.”


One of the most common signs of burnout is sleep imbalance, either through difficulties to sleep or by having nightmares. Another one is physical exhaustion and unexplained fatigue. Of course, to this add the constant headaches and possible stomach aches. It’s crucial to point out that burnout can develop alongside depression or intense anxiety, both of which can be translated into physical symptoms.


How to practically deal with that?


I will categorise “burnout” into two categories, internal & external. Internal focus on personal responsibility - big fan of this one - it gives us power and control. The external one revolves around the working environment or society and culture. Working in a toxic environment, being mistreated, being used, abused or lacking inspiration, leadership and motivation are causes that can lead to burnout.


While WHO defines burnout as “a syndrome conceptualised as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed”, it needs a lot of conscious work to treat and of course many times, there is the need for an expert.


For me, we are “attacking” the problem from a very wrong angle. Why treat something, if you can focus on preventing it from happening?


To start with, I will focus on personal responsibility, because I simply love seeing people getting mentally, emotionally and psychologically stronger. There are 5 elements of well-being, where focusing on them holistically can prevent you from facing burnout.

In this article, you will discover the 2 out of the 5 pillars and stay tuned for the upcoming 3.

  • Emotional well-being

It’s the feeling of being happy, and by "happy", I mean the ability to produce "happy hormones" (serotonin, dopamine, oxytocin, and endorphins).


It’s the ability to be present and live in the moment. To practice “stress management” techniques, be resilient and generate the emotions that lead to good feelings.


How do we do that?


Here are 3 practical ways to practise emotional well-being:


➡Mindfulness: Being aware of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment, through a kind, nurturing lens.


Ask yourself often: how am I feeling? what do I need now? where is this stress coming from? To be simply aware of what you are facing in the current moment is a huge step.


Here is a free 5’ guided journal to help you prevent burnout.


Positive self-talk: It’s the optimistic inner monologue that makes you feel good about yourself and everything going on in your life. This “voice” encourages you to focus on the bright side. Pick yourself up when you fall and recognise when you fail. As Tony Robbins says “where focus goes, energy flows”.

Notice within your day or week: how do I speak to myself when situations are hard? How do I speak to myself when I don’t deliver everything according to plan, or when I make a mistake? Shift all this harsh talk into a positive way.


(i.e. I am so stupid, I completely forgot the deadline → It can happen to anyone, next time I need to organise myself better and probably set some reminders)


➡Gratitude: Be thankful and appreciative for everything you have. Look at the glass as half-full and not half-empty. Changing your mindset step by step to see the great things in your life takes practice.


So, start every morning and write down: What are the 3 things that I am grateful for?

  • Social well-being

It’s the sharing, developing, and sustaining of meaningful relationships with others. It’s the creation of a sincere support network that helps you overcome loneliness.


Here are another 3 practical ways to practise social well-being:


Quality time: when you spend time with your loved ones, BE THERE! Make a conscious effort to be present, to remove any thoughts or distractions coming along the way. Shape your family’s health habits by doing an activity together, like a Sunday walk/hike, Friday evening fun activity, Saturday brunch etc.


Next time you spend time with your loved ones, try to plan something fun and exciting and observe how present and engaged you are.


Meaningful connections: Networking & creating connections are very different! Living in the Brussels bubble, where lobbying, and networking in the main source of business, made me realise that people are missing real connections. Scientists are finding that our links to others can have powerful effects on our health because social connections protect health and lengthen life and of course, social connections can influence our biology and well-being.


Next time you meet someone, be open, ask questions, share something personal and create a trusting environment.


Better Communications: Effective communication is the process of exchanging ideas, thoughts, opinions, knowledge, and data so that the message is received and understood with clarity and with a purpose. Most of the conversations serve an “agenda”, we do not listen with understanding, we hear so we can counter-argue or convince others.


Practise active listening with someone (family member, friend or colleague). Observe the body language, get engaged in the conversation, and demonstrate curiosity.


All in all, this week, I challenge you to focus on working with emotional and social well-being and let me know what came up on my social media.


Stay tuned for “Well-being”, the answer to burnout ‒ Part II.


Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and visit my website for more info!


 

Chrysanthi Vazitari, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Chrysanthi is a certified transformational coach working with multi-passionate and highly energetic professionals, who try to get career satisfaction, advancement or who want to completely pivot their careers. Chrysa has successfully pivoted her career three times already, from an educator to communications advisor in big corporations and is now an entrepreneur/coach. She is the founder of Career Grow & Glow and the co-founder of GrowthUP coaching. Her coaching method is the ACC: Awareness ‒ Clarity ‒ Choice (by CMA) in combination with somatic/embodied and cognitive-behavioral elements. Of course, there is constant change, as she doesn't rest and keep incorporating new methods along the way!

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