Burnout: Why it’s Absolutely Worth Treating
Burnout is a real problem in our society. More and more research is being dedicated to studying how burnout is affecting us and what we can do about it. Burnout often involves feeling completely exhausted, irritable and negative or cynical about your situation. This usually happens in response to constant, long term stress either at work or in other areas of your life. The load of responsibilities on you becomes too heavy and there is not enough time to rest and restore some sense of balance.
When you’re in a state of burnout, you find it hard to do your job well and you struggle to give your all to your family and friends. Over time this can lead to low productivity, feelings of failure and increased conflicts with others. It’s important to know that physical health can be impacted as well. Burnout has been associated with headaches, chronic fatigue, bowel and stomach problems, high blood pressure and heart disease, catching colds more often, addictions and cravings, mental health conditions like anxiety or depression and poor sleep.
Those who are especially affected are people who work long hours, put themselves last and go the extra mile to support others. Many studies focus on health care providers being prime candidates for burnout. But let’s face it – it’s not just health care providers who are vulnerable to burnout. Parents, those with ill family members, entrepreneurs and anyone with a stressful or demanding job is susceptible.
You may be thinking “yes it totally sounds like I’m experiencing burnout but it’s weird to see a health care provider for burnout. Doesn’t everyone suffer with this? Isn’t this just life? Am I going to see a doctor just because life is too crazy? What can they even do anyways? I’m overwhelmed with work, kids, chores, social events, personal and home projects. A doctor can’t take that away so what’s the point in treating it?”
It’s true that I can’t take away many of the responsibilities that come with life. But it’s not about taking the responsibilities away, it’s about helping you have the stamina, resources and strength to cope with them better. I focus on the things that you can control like: nutrition, implementing key habits to soothe an exhausted body, herbs and supplements to give your system a helping hand and sometimes acupuncture which has been shown to reduce stress levels.
In fact, burnout has always been something that naturopathic doctors are quite good at treating. And if you are saying to yourself that you won’t have the time or willpower to follow through with recommendations, don’t worry – we can take baby steps and focus on what you are willing and able to change.
Decades of research has gone into studying burnout. If it’s that important to study then it’s that important to treat. It is possible to turn burnout on its head and get to the complete opposite state of burnout. That means feeling energetic, productive, positive, enthusiastic and healthy. No matter how overwhelmed you feel right now, there is always something that can be done to move you to a better state of well being.
Dr. Samantha Dass is currently a naturopathic doctor working at Holland Landing Health Centre in East Gwillimbury, Ontario, which services Holland Landing, Newmarket, Aurora, Keswick and Bradford areas. If you are interested in naturopathic services please contact Holland Landing Health Centre at 905-853-7900 or via e-mail at [email protected].