Health interventions for people on the road to burnout

Research from Mental Health UK in their first burnout report for 2024 found that nine in 10 adults in Britain were under extreme levels of stress in the past year.

Stress is the biggest factor contributing to burnout. The report found that as many as 20% of employees needed time off due to poor mental health due to stress. The question was raised: is Britain on its way to becoming a burnt-out nation?

In these unprecedented times, it is not uncommon for those in high-pressure careers to not only have to deal with a stressful work environment, but they are also expected to entertain clients and socialize outside the office in the evenings. People between the ages of 35 and 44 were found to be the most likely age group to experience extreme stress, which could indicate that this is a point in many people's lives where they strive for more and progress in their careers.

There are many factors that can contribute to burnout, but the most common ones highlighted in the report are too much work volume (54% of people) and unpaid overtime (45% of people). Unfortunately, about 35% of employees don't feel comfortable letting their managers know they're feeling stressed, and 49% of people say workplaces aren't equipped to recognize signs of stress and burnout.

What is burnout?

The World Health Organization (WHO) classifies burnout as an occupational phenomenon, not as a medical condition. They define stress as a result of chronic stress in the workplace and identify these key indicators: lower efficiency at work, feeling exhausted, feeling negative or cynical about work, and being mentally detached.

Although the WHO only mentions this in relation to the workplace, it should come as no surprise that people experiencing burnout will also experience feelings of exhaustion in other areas of their lives. Although healthcare workers are particularly at risk, burnout can affect anyone.

What can we do about burnout?

While we need some stress in our lives, we all know that extreme or long-term stress can negatively impact many different areas of our lives. Of disease levels at an all-time high And what can we do to help reduce the risk of burnout, not only at the expense of companies, but also of individuals?

If you feel like you're well on your way to central burnout, there are ways to support yourself as you work to manage and reduce stress. It is much easier to prevent burnout than to recover from it.

Use mindfulness techniques

Mindfulness techniques have been proven time and time again to be a highly effective tool for managing stress, improving well-being, quality of life and reducing burnout. A review of more than 30 studies published in the British Medical Journal (Cohen et al.) supports this.

A helping hand from IV drops

But there are also medical interventions you can consider. IV vitamin therapy is a treatment that is no longer exclusive to hospitals and can be used to support the body. How? IV drips deliver vitamins and nutrients into the body through a cannula into a vein. Health optimization clinics typically offer a range of vitamin blends to choose from, which can be tailored to your individual needs.

But why would you want one? IV drip when you feel like you are tired and on your way to burnout? If we lead a demanding lifestyle and are constantly in a state of stress, the body can use up its resources (vitamins and nutrients) faster than we can replace them through diet alone. Not only can this further aggravate the symptoms of burnout, but it also means that the organs may not function optimally and the body itself may not be in a good position to deal with stress effectively.

By replenishing your vitamin levels (especially vitamin B12 glutathione and vitamin C) you can help give your body what it needs to support your organs so that your cells can repair and regenerate, function properly and give you energy. All of this can help your body better cope with the effects of stress.

Improve sleep quality

Sleep is essential for our body and can help lower cortisol levels. However, it is well known that stress interrupts sleep.

When we feel stressed, the hormone cortisol is increased. This can make it harder to not only fall asleep, but also get deep, restful sleep. And once you've had a bad night's sleep, it can contribute to the cycle of cortisol and poor sleep. Here are some techniques you can try to improve your sleep:

  • Deep breathing exercises: Slow, even, calming breaths can be very helpful in slowing the stress response. Try the 4-7-8 exercise when you're in bed. This means that you inhale through your nose for four seconds, hold your breath seven times and then exhale through your mouth eight times. Do this for a few minutes to feel the effect.
  • Have a tapering routine: A bedtime routine can go a long way to improving sleep quality. If possible, eat early in the evening and start reducing the amount you drink at bedtime. If you exercise in the evening, try taking it easy, such as yoga or stretching, and stop screen time about an hour before bed.
  • Melatonin for sleep: The brain naturally produces melatonin when it is dark and is linked to the circadian rhythm, which determines when we wake up and sleep. Taking melatonin supplements can help improve sleep, but we recommend that you seek advice from your GP first.
  • Meditation exercises: Meditation is the process of focusing on the present and just 10 minutes is known to help improve sleep. Try to focus on your breathing and as thoughts come into your head, observe them, then let them go and focus on your breathing again.
  • Hot shower: A warm shower before going to bed lowers your body temperature, allowing you to sleep better.

If you're burning the candle at both ends and starting to feel the effects of a demanding job combined with a busy lifestyle, you're certainly not alone. However, taking steps to manage stress as early as possible can help prevent burnout. If you feel like you need support, it may be time to seek advice from a healthcare provider.

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