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How to keep burnout at bay

What the ‘Burnout Generation’ means for the future of work

Burnout, especially among millennials, has been a hot topic for a while and was center stage in a recent essay from Buzzfeed’s Anne Petersen that went viral. For those who missed the essay, Petersen discusses her and her peers’ relationship with burnout. As she reports, Millennials are one of the first American generations who are drastically poorer than their parents as a result of student debt obligations, rapidly rising housing costs, and stagnant wages. Petersen argues these issues, among other things, have created a generation-wide feeling of burnout as well as hopelessness. A central part of her argument is the disconnect between what Millennials were raised to believe and the fact that there is little hope for most to “compete” their way out of the many structural problems facing society today.

Author Malcolm Harris agrees in his book Kids These Days: Human Capital and the Making of Millennials. Harris argues that Millennials, more than any other generation before them, have been primed from birth to be “employable,” both inside the classroom as well as elsewhere. Theirs, he argues, is the first generation trained almost solely to be the most productive worker possible. But when that employment does not materialize, or it is unstable, unrewarding or simply does not make ends meet, the disconnect can be profound. Some have even suggested millennial burnout might be, along with the recent bouts of political instability across the western world, the signal of the end of an order.

Reactions to these and similar works have been varied, but one thing everyone can agree on: the issue of Millennial burnout has touched a nerve, and no one likes to contemplate the end of world order.

But it should be noted that Millennials are not the only workers suffering burnout. It can happen to workers of all ages, and instances of burnout have been on the rise over the last few decades. According to Gallup, 23 percent of employees report feeling burned out often or always and an additional 44 percent say they feel burned out sometimes. This is a significant issue for employers; burnout can lead to workplace instability, employees quitting or getting physically ill, lost revenue and more. The Harvard Business Review reported burned-out employees to cost the economy an estimated $125 Billion to $190 Billion a year in healthcare spending.

How to keep burnout at bay

What can employers do? Working to spot the signs of burnout before it is too late is of course important. There are several common symptoms associated with burnout: anxiety, depression, insomnia, weakened immunities, loss of appetite, and substance abuse. All of these can reveal themselves in various ways in the workplace, and there are many organizations helping employers identify and deal with these issues (World Health Organization, for example, provides guidance). Additionally, here are some general tips that are well known but worth repeating:

  1. Offer PTO and make ‘em use it. This may sound strange, but many workers who have paid time off don’t even take it. U.S. workers are notorious for not using their days off and the U.S. remains one of the last developed nations that does not set minimum requirements for time off (note: the global standard is 20 days). PTO is recognized as almost an essential element to a healthy work-life balance. Companies who don’t offer PTO can face serious retention issues, especially as the unemployment rate remains at a historic low. However, it’s not enough for companies to offer PTO. Many employees feel pressure to not take vacations, which can easily lead to burnout. Foster a culture in your company where taking a vacation is encouraged. Everyone needs time away, and the results of taking a break can often be enhanced productivity, thereby benefiting the employer.
  2. Kill the after-work emails. We’re more connected than ever which can be great for business. However, with this new level of connection, it is especially important to respect boundaries. Countries are beginning to pass laws cracking down on the practice of requiring employees to check messages in off hours; being overly connected has been shown to cause health problems like burnout and excessive stress. Respecting employees’ personal time (and encouraging them to respect it as well) will ensure your workforce develops a healthy work-life balance.
  3. Understand the role that pay and job stability play. Lack of job security, stability, and stagnant wages are contributing to burnout. Employers who may believe they are saving money or boosting shareholder value by keeping wages low may be negatively impacting their bottom line in the long run. Fair pay makes workers feel valued and increases loyalty to your company as well as reduces the necessity for side hustles which can exhaust your workers and make them less productive overall.
  4. Listen to your employees. It’s important to listen to what your employees are saying and how they are feeling. If they are feeling stressed or overwhelmed, understand what organizational factors may be contributing to these issues, and work to address problems.

One feeling commonly reported in conjunction with burnout is a workers’ lack of control over their destiny and an inability to self-determine their happiness. Here is an area where employers can help. From making sure employees have the tools they need to do their jobs well to providing volunteering activities, team building and more, companies can do a lot to influence the happiness of their teams and thus, help to combat burnout.

Are headaches, chronic fatigue, and poor sleep the norm for you rather than an occasional setback? These classic stress symptoms are telltale signs that something needs to change.

Stress is a physical and hormonal chain reaction that, once triggered, can potentially speed up the aging process and weaken the immune system, as well as contribute to heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and autoimmune diseases. And according to a survey from the American Psychological Association, more than one third of workers in this country experience chronic work stress.

What gives? We’re doing more at work with fewer resources, notes Vicki Hess, RN and author of Shift to Professional Paradise: 5 Steps to Less Stress, More Energy, and Remarkable Results at Work. Other job stressors include increased demands on time and the pressure to be plugged in around the clock, according to Hess and Terry Beehr, PhD, director of the Industrial and Organizational Program at Central Michigan University. The good news is that there are steps you can take to keep your stress at bay. Here are six things that can alleviate stress at work:

Learn to say no

Knowing your limits and voicing them can actually earn you more respect. “Have confidence in your ‘no’ when you think it’s the right decision, even though it may not be the most popular one,” says life coach Suzy Greaves. “In the long term, your ability to say no will be one of your most valuable attributes.” But don’t just say no willy-nilly. Take the time to assess your current workload, assigning time commitments to each task. You want to outline your reasons for saying no in a precise, measurable way, and then offer up solutions so your boss sees that you’re not just trying to leave him or her high and dry.

Structure your day to include breaks

Working for over eight hours straight isn’t healthy. “Productivity actually goes down, stress levels go up, and you have very little energy left over for your family,” says Sharon Melnick, PhD, a business psychologist and author of Success Under Stress. Our minds and bodies require periods of rest to rejuvenate and fuel us for optimal productivity. That means scheduling walks, desk stretching, or breathing exercises and ranking them just as high as the work priorities in your day. “Tony Schwartz of the Energy Project has shown that if we have intense concentration for about 90 minutes, followed by a brief period of recovery, we can clear the buildup of stress and rejuvenate ourselves,” she says.

Change your perspective

Don’t be too hard on yourself if you’re the “yes” person in the office. It’s only natural to want to be liked, and some of us fear that saying no will bump us down on the respect meter. “Stress is not a reaction to an event but rather to how you interpret the event,” says Allan R. Cohen, PsyD. Living in constant stress heightens your senses and increases adrenaline, a hyperactive state that is not sustainable in the long term. Changing your outlook will help set the kinds of limits at work that will help reduce stress, anxiety, and overwork. Cohen suggests countering your fear with more positive thoughts, like “If they didn’t like me, they wouldn’t have asked me to do the task in the first place.”

Let your breath guide you

It may sound overly simple, but there’s real truth in how your breath correlates to how your whole body functions. Deep breathing increases the oxygen in your blood, which relaxes your muscles. “When you feel frustrated or angry, it’s a heated feeling in your body that can cause you to react,” says Melnick. She suggests a cooling breath technique: Take a breath in like you are sipping through a straw and then breathe out normally through your nose. You should feel a cooling, drying sensation over the top of your tongue that will help calm you. If you’re the type who gets jittery before presentations, Melnick suggests quelling your anxiety by positioning your thumb on the side of your middle finger and applying pressure. This stimulates an acupressure point that regulates your blood pressure.

Feed your body

Proper sleep, healthy eating habits, and regular physical activity are key to keeping your body in check. Processed foods can cause us to feel anxious, so build a diet of mostly whole foods. Exercise releases feel-good, stress-relieving chemicals. And sleeping soundly can help you solve problems and even boost your intelligence.

Feed your mind

In her book, Hess talks about creating a “professional paradise” by identifying and maintaining control over negative thoughts and emotions. This is what we’d call the mind-over-matter method. Don’t discount the benefits of yoga and meditation in achieving this state. Mayo Clinic quotes a number of studies that have proven their ability to help manage stress. You can also keep your mind stimulated with creative activities and social interactions with friends — both positive experiences that will further manage stress.

The Square Editorial Team is dedicated to telling stories of business, for business owners. Our team comes from a variety of backgrounds and share a passion for providing information that helps businesses to start, run, and grow. The team is based in San Francisco, but has collaborators all over the country.

How To Identify Employee Burn-out And Keep It At Bay

Published on June 24, 2020 – By Kate Tattersfield

If you’re experiencing burnout at the moment, know that you’re not alone.

Workplace stress is on the up and it’s being compounded by the pandemic. Business uncertainty and the constant need to adapt is giving rise to higher levels of burnout, according to a recent survey by New Zealand-based Frog Recruitment.

Out of 900 workers, 64% of respondents say they are feeling more burnt out at work now than before the lockdown.

Organisational psychology expert Jane Davis from The Flourishing Institute also highlights that research is emerging internationally, showing that there are increases in anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress due to Covid-19.

What is burnout?

Burnout is a phenomenon that is specifically linked to work.

Although it’s not a medical condition, The World Health Organisation classes it as an occupational phenomenon, including a definition of the term in the 10th Revision of the International Classification of Diseases and expanding on it in the recent 11th edition.

WHO’s description of “burn-out” in the ICD-11 is as follows:

“Burn-out is a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed. It is characterized by three dimensions:

  • feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion;
  • increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job; and
  • reduced professional efficacy.

Burn-out refers specifically to phenomena in the occupational context and should not be applied to describe experiences in other areas of life.”

Why are we experiencing higher levels of burn-out?

Frog Recruitment’s Business Relationship Director, Jane Kennelly, explains that both employers and their managers might be feeling more pressure to over-perform. Habits like working from home and longer hours have led to a blurring of the work-life boundary.

“We have heard from clients whose sleep patterns have been disrupted, eating and drinking are on the up, and balance has become a thing of the past,” says Kennelly, adding: “It’s time to think about restoring the balance. To successfully thrive in our new world order that may mean working from home and the office, it is essential to plan a sustainable work and life flow.”

“Burnout seems to be more prevalent and many employees are experiencing fatigue and exhaustion due to prolonged stress,” explains Davis.

“Right now, it is very important for leaders to listen deeply to their team members and understand their personal situations. Focus on meeting their needs; particularly the psychological need to feel competent, the need for control, and social needs”.

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What can employers do to combat burnout?

Although there are things people can do to ease their own feelings of burnout, such as setting boundaries and allowing time to disconnect, the onus is on employers, not individual workers, to manage workplace stress (even if the workplace is at home).

Here are 5 key strategies Frog Recruitment suggests for overcoming burnout.

1. Acknowledge the situation

Accept that the last few months have been tough, with many employees having to make difficult decisions and employers having to work longer hours (in some cases with reduced resources).

2. Spot the signs

Burnout doesn’t happen overnight. It could begin with commitment to the job, an urge to prove oneself and high levels of productivity despite feelings of stress creeping in.

Workplace stress indicators can include:

  • Lower energy levels
  • Reduced motivation
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue, irritability and frustration

3. Implement prevention strategies

It’s important to identify those most at risk of burnout, including overachievers, working parents and “yes” people. Companies should create strategies at an organisational level before personalising them for individuals.

“Set reasonable and realistic expectations. Be clear as to which activities require the highest standards and when it is okay to lower the bar and still meet business needs.”

4. Leaders leading the way

Managers must lead by example by encouraging breaks and physical activity. Even something as seemingly as innocuous as sending an email outside of work hours can create a vicious cycle of being “switched on” at all times.

5. Design a recovery plan

Celebrating successes, considering the allocation of tasks and prioritising workloads should all play a part in your burnout recovery plan.

The World Health Organization is developing evidence-based guidelines on mental wellbeing in the workplace. In the meantime, here are some useful resources for learning about bur-out and how to keep it at bay.

How to keep burnout at bay

The pace of life today is crazy. Many people juggle multiple responsibilities — work, home life, caregiving and relationships. How many times have you felt like the demands, expectations and time pressure are exhausting and relentless?

Humans aren’t programmed to go through life without rest, solitude or downtime. With everything going on, it’s easy to get blindsided by stress and burnout. So, it’s important to beware of symptoms and acknowledge when your responsibilities start to become too much to handle.

The symptoms of stress can include head and muscle aches, upset stomach, fatigue, anxiety, irritability, lack of focus, over- or under eating, angry outbursts and social withdrawal. No one is superhuman. You need to recognize and then respect your limits.

Here are three tips for keeping burnout at bay:

  1. Ask yourself, “What’s important now?” If you’re driving, pay attention to the road. If you’re having dinner with a friend, be engaged and present. Don’t play around with your phone. It’s not only distracting; it’s disrespectful.
  2. Quantify the commitment. Before you agree to sit on a committee or host a dinner party, recognize that it means giving up time that can’t be replaced. Anticipate that the time commitment probably will be longer than your initial estimate. Factor that into decisions about what’s worth your time. Be willing to say “no.”
  3. Make yourself unavailable. It’s OK and important to set aside time for yourself. Schedule it on your calendar, and don’t let other responsibilities encroach on that time. This may mean saying “no” to some requests.

In addition to these tips, it’s also important to maintain healthy habits in order to prevent burnout. Making sure you’re getting enough sleep at night, eating healthy meals during the day and exercising regularly will help give you the energy to take on life’s myriad of responsibilities.

How to keep burnout at bay

Have you been getting worn down lately? If you’ve been feeling overly tired, lacking in motivation and generally ill-at-ease, it could be the early signs of work burnout. In today’s career-focused world, it can feel impossible to take a step back from your job, even after you leave the office for the day. But if you don’t take care of yourself, burnout can lead to poor job performance and a lower quality of life.

If you think you could be burnt out, or even headed in that direction, don’t worry. There are plenty of small changes you can make to help keep symptoms at bay. Read on for five tips that will keep you feeling healthy, rested and ready to face whatever your job sends your way.

Get active. One of the simplest ways to combat burnout is exercise. Sure, it can feel like you don’t have time to go to the gym at the end of a long day, but start small. There are plenty of ways you can incorporate fitness in your day-to-day routine. Make a commitment to yourself to take the stairs for a week, to stretch once an hour or to go for a walk after dinner. Even a small amount of physical activity can be a huge boost to your mental health.

Go outside. Similarly, getting a chance to be outside, even for a few minutes, can have a noticeably positive impact on your mood. Incorporate 10 minute walks into your lunch break, go for a run before work, or get at least half an hour of sunshine into your day.

Meditation isn’t overrated. Studies have shown that just 10 minutes of meditation a day can improve your sense of well-being. Find the time you feel most comfortable committing to meditation, be it when you wake up, before bed or on your commute home. The more you practice, the better you’ll begin to feel.

Get your eight hours. One of the best ways you can take care of yourself is by prioritizing your sleep. Lack of sleep is linked to all sorts of negative health outcomes, including weight gain and depression. Adults need a minimum of seven to eight hours a night, so do your best to create a sleep schedule for yourself and stick to it.

Talk to someone. Finally, never assume that you need to suffer alone. Work burnout is a common phenomenon, and there are likely other people you know going through the same thing. Be it your coworkers, friends or family, make a point of explaining how you’re feeling to someone else. The act of commiseration is extremely beneficial—sometimes we just need to be heard.

Whether you’re semi-nomadic or a weekend warrior, you’ve no doubt experienced travel burnout at one point. We say things to each other like “I need a vacation after my vacation.” But it doesn’t have to be that way. Here is a list of ways to avoid travel burnout.

How to keep burnout at bay

Slow Down

Travel isn’t a checklist. It’s not a contest of how many places you’ve been, and speeding from one place to the next is sure to tire you out. By slowing you down you not only save some of your energy reserves, you get to know the place better and enjoy your experiences more. Being in a hurry is an immediate fun dampener, and besides, by the time you’re finished rushing around – you’re exhausted. Take time to learn about the culture that surrounds you, to observe and be fully present without the pressure of a stacked itinerary.

How to keep burnout at bay

Take Time to Rest

This isn’t a marathon either. Take days off. Give yourself permission to do nothing. Whether that means laying by the pool, sitting by yourself in a café, or lying in bed watching movies all day – give into it. Allow yourself the freedom to do nothing but relax in whatever form you enjoy it most. It can replenish your energy reserves immensely.

How to keep burnout at bay

Take Care of Yourself

Sometimes we forget to take of ourselves when we’re on the road. Eating well, exercise, and taking nights off from partying in order to sleep well fall by the wayside as we find ourselves pushed to capitalize on every opportunity and burn out quickly because of it. Our bodies still require nutrition, good sleep, exercise and rest. Feeling run down? Eat a meal full of fresh veggies and lean protein, take a brisk walk and go to bed early. You’ll be startled by what a difference it will make on your energy level for the following days.

How to keep burnout at bay

Spoil Yourself

As a budget traveler, I run myself ragged at times by saving a buck. It’s good to remember that spoiling yourself isn’t a crime and sometimes it’s exactly what you need. Taking a night to sleep in plush accommodations, get a massage or eat a great, albeit pricey, meal can rejuvenate you, leaving you energized and ready to travel on.

Burnout can lead to high blood pressure, diabetes, reduced immunity, heart disease, anxiety even death.

How to keep burnout at bay

With a large number of people working from home, in isolation, on long zoom calls, days merging into nights and work life balance upended by the pandemic, employers are worried about burnout. If you work in hospitals, exhausted to the bone, with no end in sight, it’s not surprising that burnout has become commonplace.

What Is Burnout?

The term “burnout” was coined in 1974 by an American psychologist Herbert Freudenberger, and was used to describe the consequences of severe stress and high ideals in ‘human service professions’, for example, doctors, nurses, social workers, teachers etc. The term is no longer used for these ‘helping’ professions only. It is now being recognised that it can affect anyone, from stressed-out career-driven people and celebrities, to overworked employees and homemakers.

How to keep burnout at bay

Are You Having Any or Some of These Symptoms?

How to keep burnout at bay

Burn out is a reaction to chronic stress and in this context it is a work related syndrome that is characterised by a low sense of personal accomplishment, energy depletion, emotional exhaustion and depersonalisation to a point that one finds nothing enjoyable or engaging. In the professional setting, especially in case of doctors, it can lead to disruptive behaviour, decreased productivity, increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job leading to reduced professional efficacy and a decrease in client or patient satisfaction. Physical symptoms like headaches and sleeplessness, “quickness to anger,” and closed thinking push the efficacy further southwards.

The Implications Can Be Scary

The biologic implications of sustained excess stress certainly cannot be ignored. These include lifestyle diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes, osteoporosis (rarefied bones), reduced immunity, heart disease, depression and anxiety and in some extreme cases, even death.

4 Things You Can Do to Keep Burnout at Bay:

Understanding the factors that contribute to burn out is probably the most important first step in combatting burnout. People and their personality traits and processes followed in your workplace play a huge role in determining whether you would fall prey to or come out winner from this cesspool.

1. Have an Honest Discussion With Your Manager

It is important to remember that most often, burnout is not entirely your fault. Unfortunately, like in the West, in India also it has become fashionable to glorify stress. According to Dr Christina Maslach, creator of the Maslach Burnout Inventory, “This leads people to be quiet and shut up about some of the stress causing factors they are facing because they don’t want to be viewed as not doing their best.”

How to keep burnout at bay

Most people are scared of talking to their manager about the unrealistic deadlines they are compelled to keep. But the key lies in having an honest conversation with your manager. A reasonable manager would understand how, in order to hit these deadlines, something will have to be delegated, delayed, or dropped altogether. Especially in case of human service professionals, like doctors and teachers, shared appointments and shared working with flexible hours can help reduce the work burden and ultimately reduce stress and improve job satisfaction.

2. Make a Habit of Doing Time Audit

On your part, a time audit would help you find out which all non-productive activities and useless distractions, read social media, are eating away your time. While prioritising your activities keep aside an hour or so as ‘my time’, where no phones are allowed and no office gadgets are around. This is the time you should utilise for something you enjoy like reading, music, painting or whatever you fancy. Let this scheduling based on the time audit be your daily routine.

3. Diet Deserves More Attention From You

Diet plays an important role in warding off tiredness and exhaustion. A balanced nutritious diet rich in fibre, taken at regular meal timings goes a long way in keeping a sound mind in a sound body.

4. Bring in the Necessary Lifestyle Changes

Certain practices to improve lifestyle can help you not only prevent but overcome the symptoms of burnout such as regular exercise. Breathing exercises like pranayama and mindfulness practices like yog nidra and meditation help achieve a good pattern of restful sleep. These will help reduce the impact of stress and decrease the chances of burnout.

With some determined effort, it would not be difficult to keep burnout at bay.

(Dr Ashwini Setya is a Gastroenterologist and Programme Director in Delhi’s Max Super Speciality Hospital. His endeavor is to help people lead a healthy life without medication. He can be reached at [email protected])

How to keep burnout at bay

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How to Keep Busy Kids From Being Overwhelmed

Homework. Sports. Hanging out with friends. Part-time jobs. Other commitments. Teens have a ton to do. Many are focused on racking up experiences for their post-high school plans. But as they build up their resume for adult life, there is one skill experts say they are missing — knowing how to relax.

Sound ridiculous? Teens with too much to do are at risk of burning out. Stress can zap the energy they need to focus and make good choices. When they run themselves ragged, unhealthy choices can seem like the easiest option. What teen hasn’t been tempted to veg out on the couch instead of going for a walk, grab chips for a snack instead of yogurt, or stay up all night to cram for a test instead of getting sleep? The problem is that all of those can set them up for unhealthy weight gain.

To make matters worse, when they’re stressed, they can also turn to those same unhealthy behaviors — like eating junk food, watching too much TV, and playing video games – to feel better and de-stress. It’s a trap.

Instead, teens need to learn how to break free. You can help teach them how to manage stress before it becomes overwhelming and deal with it in healthy ways when it does strike. Then they’ll be able to have the energy to make fit choices. Knowing how to recharge is a life skill that is just as important as loading up on formal activities, classes, and lessons, say experts.

“I would be happiest if there were a required course in things like yoga or meditation, and I wouldn’t have said that 10 or 20 years ago,” says clinical psychologist Marsha Levy-Warren, PhD, author of The Adolescent Journey. “Kids [these days] don’t know how to turn off, calm down, and figure out what it is that’s important to them.”

Signs of Too Much Stress

Your teen might not even notice when they are stressed out and overwhelmed. If you notice any of these signs, it’s time to talk to your teen about the pressures and stress in their life:

  • Dropping grades
  • Stomachaches, headaches
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Changes in eating habits
  • Crankiness or mood shifts
  • Problems with friends

Continued

When you talk, explain that stress can lead to unhealthy habits like eating junk food and choosing to play video games instead of exercising, which actually could make them feel better.

Movement and exercise are great choices for dealing with stress. Let them know that exercise can trigger “feel-good” chemicals in their brain that should make them feel better. Then work with them to come up with ways to get movement into their day.

Besides helping their moods, movement is important for teens’ health. Teens need to get 60 minutes of exercise throughout the day. Pushups in the morning, shooting hoops after school, a family walk after dinner — it all adds up. Plus, people who are active are more likely to make better food choices. Teens who fuel their bodies right will have the energy they need to tackle their busy days. That’s a positive cycle.

To Manage Stress, Set Priorities

Teach your teen how to cut down on activities; that can also help relieve some pressure if they’re stressed out.

“When parents say, ‘That’s too much, you have to choose,’ you’re helping kids learn how to prioritize, which is a very important skill they’re going to need for the rest of their lives,” says Roni Cohen-Sandler, PhD, author of Stressed-Out Girls.

Sit down with your teen and help her decide which activities are most important to her — which ones she likes the best. Then, work together to decide which ones to continue and which ones to stop.

If your teen plays sports, limit them to one per season. Do the same with other commitments. Try to have at least one day where she comes home without any scheduled activities. On those days, encourage your teen to find healthy, unstructured ways to relax. Explain to her that listening to soothing music or taking a stroll in nature would be good ways to chill.

Cutting back on commitments can also help make sure your teen gets at least 8.5 to 9.25 hours of sleep a night. Not enough sleep can lead to unhealthy weight gain. Plus, when they don’t get enough sleep, they’re also more likely to eat unhealthy foods and not want to move.

Continued

Be a Role Model

If you talk the talk of making time to recharge, you also need to walk the walk.

“If you’re a type A personality who is a workaholic who never takes time off, your kids are going to do that, too,” says child and adolescent psychiatrist Shamina Henkel, MD, director of psychiatric services for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

Children learn by example. Try to dial back on your commitments, when possible. If you don’t ease off your over-scheduled life, your child won’t understand why they should. If they see you reach for junk food or plop down in front of the TV in order to relax and recharge, they’ll learn to copy those unhealthy behaviors.

Instead, when you’re stressed, show that you can deal with it in healthy ways: Ride your bike, meditate, listen to relaxing music. Then explain to your teen what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. You can even invite them to join you.

“Eat right, exercise, take time off,” says Henkel. “Teach them, ‘This is good for me, it feels good for me, it helps keep my stress level down.'”

That, in turn, can make it easier to have a clear mind and the energy to be mindful of the choices you make when it comes to fueling your body right with healthy foods.

Encourage Downtime to Avoid Burnout

To keep stress at bay, also offer kids a break. Parents are often in a frenzy, rushing from one thing to the next, says Cohen-Sandler. But don’t get on teens as soon as they get home from school to “be productive” or start on school work. This can add unnecessary stress.

“Give them relaxation time and model that skill yourself,” she says.

Carve out time during your day to unwind, just like you’d make time for meals. You might suggest that your teen walk the dog or dance to some music before starting on homework, for example. Moving around helps get their brains ready to study as well as lowers stress.

Sources

CDC: “How much physical activity do children need?”

Roni Cohen-Sandler, PhD, clinical psychologist, author of “Stressed Out Girls.”

Shamina Henkel, MD, FAPA, board certified child and adolescent psychiatrist; director of psychiatric services, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

Marsha Levy-Warren, PhD, clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst; author, “The Adolescent Journey.”

National Sleep Foundation: “How Much Sleep Do We Really Need?”

David Palmiter, PhD, clinical psychologist; professor of psychology, Marywood University (Scranton, PA); author, “Working Parents, Thriving Families.”

by From Mayo Clinic News Network, Mayo Clinic News Network

The pace of life today is crazy. Many people juggle multiple responsibilities – work, home life, caregiving and relationships. How many times have you felt like the demands, expectations and time pressure are exhausting and relentless?

Humans aren’t programmed to go through life without rest, solitude or downtime. With everything going on, it’s easy to get blindsided by stress and burnout. So experts explain it’s important to beware of symptoms and acknowledge when your responsibilities start to become too much to handle.

“The symptoms of stress can include head and muscle aches, upset stomach, fatigue, anxiety, irritability, lack of focus, over- or undereating, angry outbursts and social withdrawal,” says Dr. Tiffany Casper, a Mayo Clinic Health System family physician. “No one is superhuman. You need to recognize and then respect your limits.”

Casper shares three tips for keeping burnout at bay:

– Ask yourself, “What’s important now?”

If you’re driving, pay attention to the road. If you’re having dinner with a friend, be engaged and present. Don’t play around with your phone. It’s not only distracting; it’s disrespectful.

– Quantify the commitment.

Before you agree to sit on a committee or host a dinner party, recognize that it means giving up time that can’t be replaced. Anticipate that the time commitment probably will be longer than your initial estimate. Factor that into decisions about what’s worth your time. Be willing to say “no.”

– Make yourself unavailable.

It’s OK and important to set aside time for yourself. Schedule it on your calendar, and don’t let other responsibilities encroach on that time. This may mean saying “no” to some requests.”

In addition to these tips, it’s also important to maintain healthy habits in order to prevent burnout,” says Casper. “Making sure you’re getting enough sleep at night, eating healthy meals during the day and exercising regularly will help give you the energy to take on life’s myriad of responsibilities.”

©2016 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Working Woman Report is the source for stories about women in business, women in leadership, and news about empowering women. It’s updated daily and curated by Emmy Award Winning Journalist, Allison Haunss.

From Mayo Clinic News Network Mayo Clinic News Network

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Dr. Tiffany Casper, a Mayo Clinic Health System family physician shares her tips for keeping burnout at bay. As Dr. Casper points out, “No one is superhuman. You need to recognize and then respect your limits.”

Mayo Clinic News Network

The pace of life today is crazy. Many people juggle multiple responsibilities, work, home life, caregiving and relationships.

How many times have you felt like the demands, expectations and time pressure are exhausting and relentless?

Humans aren’t programmed to go through life without rest, solitude or downtime. With everything going on, it’s easy to get blindsided by stress and burnout. So experts explain it’s important to beware of symptoms and acknowledge when your responsibilities start to become too much to handle.

“The symptoms of stress can include head and muscle aches, upset stomach, fatigue, anxiety, irritability, lack of focus, over- or undereating, angry outbursts and social withdrawal,” says Dr. Tiffany Casper, a Mayo Clinic Health System family physician. “No one is superhuman. You need to recognize and then respect your limits.”

Casper shares three tips for keeping burnout at bay:

-Ask yourself, “What’s important now?” If you’re driving, pay attention to the road. If you’re having dinner with a friend, be engaged and present. Don’t play around with your phone. It’s not only distracting; it’s disrespectful.

-Quantify the commitment. Before you agree to sit on a committee or host a dinner party, recognize that it means giving up time that can’t be replaced. Anticipate that the time commitment probably will be longer than your initial estimate. Factor that into decisions about what’s worth your time. Be willing to say “no.”

-Make yourself unavailable. It’s OK and important to set aside time for yourself. Schedule it on your calendar, and don’t let other responsibilities encroach on that time. This may mean saying “no” to some requests.”

In addition to these tips, it’s also important to maintain healthy habits in order to prevent burnout,” says Casper. “Making sure you’re getting enough sleep at night, eating healthy meals during the day and exercising regularly will help give you the energy to take on life’s myriad of responsibilities.” ___ (Mayo Clinic News Network is your source for health news, advances in research and wellness tips.)