Mental Strength Column in DER YBBSTALER: “Burnout
Since November 2022, I have been writing a column about mental strength in the newspaper “Der Ybbstaler”.
In the following I publish the text of the first column of 23.03.2023:
Welcome to the mental toughness column. Here you will find tips and tricks to build their mental strength to better cope with the challenges in their daily lives and “recharge their batteries”.
Today I am devoting myself to a topic that, from my observation, affects more people than suspected – the topic of burnout.
I have witnessed several acquaintances in recent weeks and months needing “time off” or on the verge of being burned out. I feel deeply affected by such news, as I have experienced burnout myself and can therefore understand how the affected persons feel.
The term “burnout” is an umbrella term for several psychological illnesses that, due to overwork, often manifest themselves in forms of depression, shutting down, listlessness or similar. Burnout doesn’t happen overnight. It is a gradual process that progresses from several factors, mainly stress. It usually starts relatively harmlessly when you feel stressed at work and/or in your private life. Instead of taking the necessary breaks to recharge their batteries, they usually try to compensate for what is still open with more effort. Due to the lack of regeneration, however, those affected are usually less able to cope with stress and they try to get everything under control by working even harder and foregoing breaks or sleep. Sleep is often disturbed because the problems of the day are still being processed. These individuals feel like they are on a hamster wheel, but are reluctant to seek support. It’s like a spiral that begins to turn downward.
On this point, I would like to quote to them a dialogue from the book “The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse” by Charlie Mackesy:
“What’s the bravest thing you’ve ever said?” the boy asked.
“Help,” said the horse. “You don’t give up when you ask for help,” the horse said. “You refuse to give up!”
In my observation and experience, you usually already have the “gut feeling” of needing help. In my case, I did not want to admit that I needed help or that my inhibitions were too high to seek help. Eventually it was too late and I couldn’t do it anymore. Suddenly, simple tasks like cleaning out the dishwasher were already an almost unmanageable challenge.
Now you are wondering how mental training can help against burnout?
Mental training can be applied preventively. It is well known that regular exercise improves health and minimizes the risk of diseases. Appropriate exercises in mental training, especially for stress reduction, mindfulness and regeneration can help them stay mentally fit and counteract possible burnout. As with any preventive measure, the earlier it is started, the better it is.
Finally, I would like to give you the following tip: Make sure you get enough breaks and sleep, where you can recharge your batteries. Use this time “analog”, i.e. without social media, video viewing or the like. Make sure they get enough sleep on a regular basis. The general recommendation is 7-8h per night.
If you want to know more about how to better manage stress to prevent burnout, I invite you to a free initial consultation (lasts about 30 minutes). I offer individual trainings and for companies also workshops. If you are interested, contact me by e-Mail at email@example.com