Welcome to generation burnout, population: you! If you’re finding yourself in a losing battle between work and play, whilst trying to land your dream job or score that promotion, then you’re going to want to keep reading…
Burn out, recognised in May 2019 by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as a medical condition, is classified as "a syndrome resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed”. WHO reports symptoms as ‘feelings of energy depletion’ and ‘increased mental distance from one’s job’ and ‘reduced professional efficacy’. Sound familiar?
Gen Z and millennials are at particular risk. A recent Australian Psychological Society study found younger generations are currently experiencing the lowest levels of wellbeing—more than 35% suffer ‘significant distress’, greater than 26% have ‘above normal anxiety levels’ and higher than 26% live with ‘extremely severe depression’. Researchers pinpoint financial pressure, lifestyle comparison and fomo—largely from social media—as the driving forces.
According to studies 80% of individuals find bathing a relaxing experience. Our tip? Pop on your fave podcast and top up your tub with a few drops of magnesium oil. Clinical researchers say magnesium promotes physical recovery and mental stillness; whilst another academic study notes dead sea salt contains magnesium, calcium and potassium—all of which activate the parasympathetic nervous system, counterbalancing stress.
White noise is a game changer for those that struggle to hold their attention for long periods (hello meetings) by improving concentration and memory. Academics also note white noise enhances the release of happiness hormone dopamine boosting your mood too. In doing so, this addresses two of the hallmark symptoms of burnout—emotional fatigue and inattention. There are a bunch of free white noise apps you can download to your phone or simply search on YouTube and let it run in the background of your work computer.
Academics have found sugar consumption produces a similar effect in the brain to stressful psychological experiences: both increase the release of cortisol. As a result, you feel anxious, wired and tense—which gets worse with the more sugar you ingest. The solution? Ditch the sugar and switch to an all-natural sweetener, that provides the taste without the above repercussions.
Following on from the above, having sugary office snacks will only support stress—for those suffering burn out or not. Our tip? Subscribe to the The 3pm Box, a service that delivers healthy treats to workplaces nationwide. As a recent study found 33% of individuals increase their snack intake when they feel stressed—having healthful options is vital.
Clinical trials report taking a short break specifically outside your normal environment lowers stress and ups your recovery and overall well-being more than a ‘staycation’. And when we say a break, we mean it. Leave your laptop at home, delete your email app off your phone and truly let yourself unwind. Need some inspo? Check out these epic health retreats around New Zealand.
For those who are constantly exhausted, caffeine is not the way to go: research shows it burns out your adrenal system, leaving you more tired after a temporary high. Instead, try Super Shrooms Mind and Body Fuel. With medicinal mushrooms, such as reishi, lions mane and chaga, you can fight fatigue easily. Studies note medicinal mushrooms also aid cognitive capacities—so you’re more mentally clear too. The blend also features superfoods cacao, turmeric and cinnamon, all of which counteract stress in their own right.
Now that you know what to do, the most important thing to do is take action—nothing changes until you do.
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Image credit: Anastasiya Lobanovskaya