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May 06 2019

Why You Need to Care About Burnout

By: Isabelle Morton

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Burnout is a modern-day illness affecting everyone from parents, to nurses, to CEOs. It affects one out of five employees, and according to findings compiled by the American Institute of Stress (AIS), burnout costs the U.S. economy over $150 billion annually.[1]

Burnout has been described in 60 different professions and groups of people. A study published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings shows that doctors seem to be particularly susceptible to burnout. About 40% of physicians report at least one symptom.[2]

“Burnout is not a medical diagnosis,” explains Mayo Clinic staff.[3] Other underlying conditions are likely responsible, yet burnout can certainly affect your mental, emotional, and physical health.

What exactly is burnout? The National Institute of Health has not yet found a definition everyone can agree on. This is probably because the symptoms vary so much.

In the 1970s, the term was used to describe people who failed to reach unrealistically high altruistic goals. It was documented in social workers and volunteers who experienced physical and psychological breakdown due to having more demanded of them than what was humanly possible to give.[4]

Today, the cause of burnout seems to come largely from an inability to cope with outside pressure—to fulfill the escalating requirements of others, from intense competition to be or do better than one’s peers, or from the drive to make more money or accomplish a certain goal. Usually a feeling of lack of control over one’s situation is also involved.

Burnout doesn’t happen all at once. It creeps up, giving people ample time to stop it from progressing if they heed the signs. Ignore them and they can lead to frequent illness, chronic fatigue, and depression, as well as physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion.

You need to care about burnout, because
it can sabotage your professional life,
your family life, and your personal life.

That’s why it’s so important to watch for the early warning signs, which include exhaustion, lowered commitment levels, heightened emotional reactivity, blocked creativity, impaired judgment, and reduced cognitive performance and motivation. More serious cases reveal a flattened emotional, social, and intellectual life, psychosomatic reactions, and finally despair.

Another viewpoint of burnout published in a study by the NIH offers this list of escalating symptoms:[6]

  • Compulsion to prove oneself (excessive ambition)
  • Working harder
  • Neglecting one’s own needs
  • Displacement of conflicts and needs
  • No longer having time for non-work-related needs
  • Increasing denial of the problem, decreasing flexibility of thought/behavior
  • Withdrawal, lack of direction, cynicism
  • Behavioral changes/psychological reactions
  • Depersonalization: loss of contact with oneself
  • Inner emptiness, anxiety, addictive behavior
  • Increasing sense of meaninglessness and lack of interest
  • Physical exhaustion that can be life-threatening

Yet another view (from the same study mentioned above) lists certain internal factors or personality traits that predispose one to burnout. These include:

  • High (idealistic) expectations of oneself, high ambition, perfectionism
  • Strong need for recognition
  • Always wanting to please other people, suppressing one’s own needs
  • Feeling irreplaceable; not wanting/able to delegate
  • Hard work and commitment to the point of overestimating oneself and becoming overburdened
  • Work as the only meaningful activity or as a substitute for a social life

It can instead stem from external factors such as high demands at work, impossible deadlines, lack of freedom to make decisions or contributions, and increased responsibility and pressure from superiors, to name a few.

Those who do catch the problem usually try reversing the damage by taking extended time off, going on relaxing vacations, exercising, and eating better. But that doesn’t always lead to a cure. This is because:

Burnout involves a breakdown
of key energetic functions. 

By pushing yourself to keep working even when you’re tired, allowing stress to become overwhelming, or involving yourself in any of the situations in the lists above, you do certain energetic damage to your body. Even with plenty of rest and rejuvenating activities, this damage may not heal without being addressed directly.

Healing Gemstones Can Help

We have two NEW gemstone remedies to help you recover from burnout:

Our LifeLine necklace  is designed specifically for the purpose of helping you recover from burnout. Restore Yourself Spray , our newest gemstone-infused aura spray, is formulated to restore health to those who feel depleted or exhausted from working too hard, resting too little, or simply giving too much of themselves.

 

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