Professional Counselors, Health coaches and wellness professionals often worry about their clients who are at risk of feeling burned-out and work to provide tools to help them prevent and recover from bouts of burnout.
What counselors, health and wellness professionals often forget, however, is that, while they may feel passionate about their work, the very nature of their job also makes them vulnerable to burnout. I know because I struggled with this issue in 2013 when I relapsed in my binge eating disorder. The stress, pressure, overwhelming feelings of not having enough time in the day and over functioning turned my entire life upside down. After years of doing well. I failed back into unhealthy eating habits and self sabotaging behavior.
Professional burnout in health professionals is so common that it is considered a type of job-related depression, which several mental health professionals argue is a diagnosable health condition. Burnout syndrome is defined as a combination of emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and reduced personal accomplishment caused by chronic occupational distress.
Burnout can be prevented by recognizing the risk factors and early signs of burnout and making changes, and it can be managed with some common mental health strategies.
I always tell my clients who are highly sensitive business owners within the real estate and health and wellness professionals that they should fill their own cups while filling others’, so they don't burnout and relapse like I did. In other words, your wellness matter. Wealth is health as the saying goes. I believe it is just as important for folks within the helping professions to take measures to ensure their own well-being as they work to support others in improving their wellbeing.
To give you some ideas below I listed three ways you can make your wellness top proiority. Remember, wellness and self care looks different for each individual so do what is best for you and your own unique needs. The key is to relax, calm down, unwind, rest and recover in what ever way feels good to you.
Tip 1: Practice Shadow Work Journaling by notice and feel ALL of your emotions.
One of the first steps to overcoming stress eating is to allow yourself to feel all of your feelings — even the uncomfortable ones like anxiety, sadness and shame. Once you understand how you are feeling, you can start to break the habit of eating away your emotions. You can start learning new ways to cope that is NOT numbing them with food.
Don't have a journal grab one today here.
Tip 2: Practice Work and Life Balance by finding true pleasure in life.
Make a list of pleasurable activities that you truly enjoy and that also help you decrease stress. Plan out pleasurable activities throughout the day with friends and family. Add these activities to your daily schedule and stick to the schedule — even if you don’t feel like doing it! Try new activities that could help you bust stress: yoga, meditation, mindful walking in nature, painting to reduce stress or picking up a new hobby (baking, knitting, reading, photography). Get back to connecting with people and show your kids that you to have hobbies and things you love outside of working. This will allow you to become a positive example of work and life balance.
Tip 3: Practice making sleep a priority.
The number one reason most of my clients are burned out is due to lack of sleep. Many coaches, realtors, counselors, and business owners today are serving folks in different countries which means different time zones. To prevent burnout you must set business hours, create a more efficient business model to serves these clients, or niche down. Your health is wealth. Sometimes that means you can't serve everybody. Focus on your sleep; good sleep hygiene is key in overcoming stress eating.
Go to bed and get up at the same time each day, even on the weekends.
Maintain a regular routine to help you relax in the evenings.
Take a warm bath at night.
Avoid screens for an hour before you get into bed.
Take a nap during the day, if possible.
Seek professional help, if necessary.
Burnout can be aggravated by work, but it doesn’t necessarily come from the professional environment. There could be other factors that make people more likely to experience burnout than others such as your life choices. All the things you are tolerating and not saying "no" to. Taken on other people debts causing your own financial stress and having to work harder. Undercharging while over delivering. Overbooking work not being mindful of the time it will take to complete the task. Overwhelming responsibility to clients. Perception of client success as linked to your success causing stress due to they are not doing the work needed to succeed. Feeling overwhelmed by clients’ emotional issues. Competing demands (studies, family, social life, hobbies). A perception of lack of control over work processes and scheduling. Or you could be like I once was struggling with a fear of success and being abandoned so you make self sabotaging choices in your business causing stress. The list of stressor can go on and on. The solution to prevent burnout is simple. Have a self-identity beyond work. Period!
To create a self-identity means you need to establish boundaries and create a life that is fun, relaxing, and put you at ease.
ARE YOU LOOKING TO DIVE DEEPER INTO SELF-CARE?
I Can Help in Developing A Plan For Self Care
Do you want help developing a self care plan that works for your own busy schedule? Do you want accountability implementing a self care plan? If you or someone you love is struggling to maintain optimal mental and emotional health, consider reaching out to Spiced Life Conversation Art Wellness Studio and Botanica. We are a Metro Atlanta, Conyers Georgia area. We are a coaching and counseling practice with empathetic, skilled counselors and recovery coaches who can help you set goals, develop a self care routine and move forward to build a more fulfilling life. Our team would be happy to work with you either just for a couple of sessions to develop and implement a Self Care plan or longer term to work toward overall better mental health within our membership site or other programs.
About The Author:
Dr. Nikki LeToya White MSEd-TL, Ph.D. RHN is the founder, director and a full time board certified trauma-informed nutritionist, folk herbalist, and wellness consultant at Spiced Life Conversation Art Wellness Studio and Botanica. She created Spiced Life Conversation, LLC
Art Wellness Studio and Botanica to provide the Metro Atlanta area with a counseling and coaching services where clients are carefully matched with the right program for healing abandonment and childhood emotional neglect trauma that cause codependency, emotional eating, financial stress, and imposter syndrome as it relates to fear of success and being abandon. We help you begin your emotional healing journey with ease. Recently, we have expanded to include online membership site so we now provide support to people living all over the world. All of our recovery coaches provide at least one evidence based treatment to assist in your recovery. Dr. White is a big proponent of self care and helping people live a fulfilling life! She has been in full remission with both codependency and emotional binge eating disorder since 2016. In live a life in recovery from sugar addiction. Loving her low sugar balance lifestyle.
Dr. Nikki LeToya White