Preventing Work Burnout

Do you sometimes feel as though you’re in the movie Groundhog Day? You know the one, where Bill Murray relives the same day over and over and over again. We all have our own version of the script but most of us run on autopilot most days, some more stressed than others.

When stress isn’t balanced even the strongest men and women can succumb to burnout.  Although we both suffer from “burnout”, there are some differences in how men and women respond to it. Burnout is not a medical diagnosis, however, there are 3 defining characteristics:

  1. Exhaustion – feeling emotionally exhausted and experiencing a loss of energy
  2. Cynicism – possessing a negative attitude toward colleagues and clients, feeling irritable and withdrawing from people and activities you once enjoyed
  3. Inefficacy – experiencing a decrease in personal accomplishment, productivity and expending energy at work without seeing results

Men Experience Burnout Differently

Interestingly, women typically experience exhaustion first, then cynicism and lastly inefficacy. It is at that point that many women will look to make a major shift in their work or home life to regain a sense of balance.  Men typically experience cynicism first, then exhaustion, however, often don’t stop to re-evaluate their situation because they rarely perceive inefficacy. This is also why women are also more likely to seek medical care when they don’t feel well, while many female patients will tell me their husbands need to be “half-dead” before going to the doctor.

Symptoms of burnout include emotional and/or physical exhaustion, loss of perspective, lack of connection with your work and depression. Increased levels of depression were specifically associated with a demanding work situation that was combined with low levels of personal control, described as “low decision latitude”.

Although we all know that stress is “bad” for us, many have accepted that we have to continue to live a “stressed out life” and “it is what it is”.   And for all of the Type A personalities out there, even if you can keep up that pace, it doesn’t mean you should.  Choosing to give most of your time and energy to your work can lead to potentially devastating effects on the relationships with those you love, as well as having significant mental and physical effects on your health.

Burnout Can Cause Serious Health Problems

  1. Cardiovascular Disease and High Blood Pressure
  2. Mental Health Issues: Anxiety, Depression, Memory Loss, Insomnia, Fatigue, Difficulty Concentrating
  3. Sexual Dysfunction: Infertility, Irregular Menstrual Cycles, Decreased Libido, Hormonal Imbalances
  4. Digestive Disorders: Decreased or Increased Appetite, Weight loss or Weight Gain, Dysbiosis
  5. Immune Dysfunction: Frequent illness, Exacerbations of Asthma/Allergies

Having a proper physical and lab evaluation can identify if the stress or work burnout is affecting your health on a deeper level.  At CentreSpring MD we will take a holistic approach to identify the root causes of your symptoms, and once we know your baseline we can create a wellness plan that works for you.

Best Tips to Prevent Burnout

  1. Check in with yourself daily – take a 5 minute break at some point during the day, put your hand on your heart, focus on your breathing for a few minutes and name what you are feeling. Staying connected to your true feelings will enable you to make shifts at work and/or at home to improve your sense of wellness.
  2. Create a wellness plan and make it a habit! Whether it is creating a meal plan on Sunday nights for the week, packing your supplements in containers so you don’t forget them or packing your gym bag the night before and going there straight from work, planning is critical if you want to feel your best!
  3. Avoid “toxic” people, food, media etc. Everything you expose yourself to will impact your mind and body. Making more positive choices when it comes to music, TV, books, friendships, etc. can improve your perspective on life and improve your resilience.
  4. Make a habit of meditating, journaling and/or praying first thing in the morning. Getting your mind right at the start of your day will impact every experience you have as the day progresses. Attending to your own needs first will also make you a better parent, spouse, friend, boss or employee.
  5. Have a way to decompress before you go home if you have children, a roommate or spouse waiting at home for you. Everyone needs some time to decompress after a stressful day before being able to be fully present with others. Take a quick walk in the park or around your neighborhood, attend a yoga class, try a HIIT routine or another form of exercise, and/or engage in some form of creative art/music.  When you take the time to process the stress of your day before engaging with others, you will find more enjoyment and less stress at home.

Want to Dive Deeper?

While these tips can help you manage your load and prevent burnout in the short-term, if you want to get to the root cause of your health issues, make an appointment with one of our seven providers.

With a unique diagnostic process, we guide you to your best self by connecting the dots of your health and history to shape a unique treatment plan because no two people are the same. We lead you in the implementation and monitor the results to optimize the plan according to your body’s needs.

So what will you find as a patient at our office?

  • Longer appointments with your provider
  • Advanced technology and integrative lab testing
  • Conventional and holistic treatment options
  • Personalized treatment plans
  • Direct access to your provider
  • A complete menu of traditional and holistic health and spa services

As you can see, at CentreSpring MD, we are committed to a new model of medicine with true patient centered, collaborative care – a safe place for you to refresh, relax, and rejuvenate.

Dr. Tanya Lehine is a board certified physician specializing in family medicine and functional medicine with expertise in women’s health and the mind-body connection to health and wellness.

Email appointments@centrespringmd.com to schedule a visit with Dr. Tanya Lehine D.O..

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Categories: Men’s Health, Mindfulness