• Monday, May 27, 2024
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Recognising and managing signs of burnout and its effects on physical health

64% of Nigerian employees at high risk for ‘burnout’, severe mental health

In Lagos, Nigeria, lived a young woman named Amara. She was ambitious and hardworking, chasing her dreams in the corporate world. Her days were filled with long hours at the office, deadlines that seemed insurmountable, and constant pressure to succeed.

She found herself becoming increasingly exhausted and overwhelmed. She pushed herself to the limit, neglecting her personal life, skipping meals, and sleeping very little. The signs of burnout were slowly creeping up on her.

One evening, after another grueling day at work, Amara decided to meet up with her childhood friend, Chinedu. As they sipped on their drinks in a cozy café, Chinedu noticed the weariness in Amara’s eyes.

At first, Amara shrugged off the concern, insisting that she was fine, but Chinedu persisted.

Tears welled up in Amara’s eyes, and she finally admitted that she felt like she was overwhelmed by the volume of work she had to do each day but couldn’t stop because she felt like she needed to work hard to fend for herself.

Chinedu understood the pressure Amara was under, but he knew she couldn’t continue like this.

He encouraged her to set boundaries at work, take short breaks throughout the day, and prioritize self-care. Chinedu also advised her to seek support from her colleagues and managers, as they might be more understanding than she thought.

The conversation weighed heavily on Amara’s mind, and in the following days, she started to implement Chinedu’s advice. She spoke to her supervisor about her workload and was surprised by their willingness to help her find a better balance. She also started taking short walks during her breaks and practiced meditation to reduce stress.

As Amara began to make positive changes in her life, she noticed a gradual improvement in her physical health. She had more energy, slept better, and felt a renewed sense of purpose. She even rekindled some neglected friendships, which brought her joy and support outside of work.

Over time, Amara’s transformation was evident to everyone around her. She became an advocate for work-life balance, openly discussing burnout and its effects on physical health with her colleagues. Through her openness, she inspired others to prioritize their well-being and seek help when needed.

In today’s fast-paced and demanding world, burnout has become a prevalent issue affecting people of all ages and professions. Burnout is a state of emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion that results from prolonged and excessive stress. It can have detrimental effects on both mental and physical health, impacting a person’s overall well-being and quality of life. In this article, we will explore the effects of burnout on physical health, and strategies to recognize and manage this condition effectively.

Read also: NESG spotlights human capital development to tackle brain drain

Some Effects of Burnout on Physical Health you may not have known previously include:

1. Weakened Immune System: Prolonged stress and burnout can weaken the immune system, making individuals more susceptible to infections and illnesses.

2. Cardiovascular Issues: Chronic stress associated with burnout can contribute to high blood pressure, heart disease, and an increased risk of heart attacks.

3. Chronic Pain: Physical symptoms such as headaches, muscle aches, and joint pain may arise due to the effects of burnout on the body.

While burnout has grave effects on our physical health, thankfully there are techniques to deal with it. It is encouraged that you do not allow yourself get to the place of burnout before you begin to take of yourself as burnout in some extreme cases can take 2-3 years to fully recover from. Regardless, here and some ways to recognize and manage burnout

1. Self-awareness: Recognize the signs of burnout within yourself or others. Self-reflection and acknowledging the problem are the first steps in addressing burnout.

2. Seek Support: Talk to friends, family, or colleagues or a mental health professional about what you’re experiencing. Seeking emotional support and understanding from others can be immensely helpful.

3. Set Boundaries: Learn to say no to excessive demands and prioritize self-care. Setting boundaries helps prevent overwhelming stress.

4. Take Breaks: Incorporate regular breaks and leisure activities into your routine to recharge and reduce stress levels.

5. Exercise: Engage in regular physical activity as it can boost mood, reduce stress, and improve overall well-being.

In conclusion, recognising and managing signs of burnout is crucial for maintaining both mental and physical health. Burnout can have severe consequences on an individual’s overall well-being and must be addressed proactively. By being aware of the signs and symptoms of burnout, seeking support, and implementing effective strategies, individuals can regain control over their lives, reduce stress, and improve their physical health and quality of life. Remember, taking care of oneself is not a luxury but a necessity for a balanced and fulfilling life.