Burn-Out is Officially a Thing and How to Avoid It

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pink lotus in hand of buddha


So if the World Health Organization (WHO) says being exhausted all the time, feeling disconnected and unmotivated is actually a “phenomenon” perhaps they’ll also offer an actual cure? Burn-out according to the WHO is something that occurs in the workplace. They don’t actually define what the workplace is!  Whether you are challenged by a job/life balance or a job/home/life balance or the significant demands of being a stay at home parent- stress is real and burn-out can occur in all three scenarios. My friend Jennifer Araneo is the owner of Mind Body Hoboken and specializes in alleviating stress and helping to prevent burn-out.

Hi Jennifer- as working mums we’ve known for years that burn-out is real. How do you help people avoid burn-out?

Burn-out is real, we also call it chronic stress. Our bodies are designed to experience stress but not long term, at least not without consequences.  Avoiding burn-out is absolutely possible. Finding the time to rest and relax is not easy, we have obligations to our family, friends, and careers so we tend to over-commit.

As a parent and business owner, I understand that we have limited time in the day/week to take a step back and reset. The people that can do this are not experiencing burn-out.  Those people say no!  They make a quick assessment of what’s being asked by imagining what would happen if they say yes and if at the end of that scenario if they feel resentment or something unpleasant, they say “no.” Now, that’s not for every scenario but say enough ‘no’s’ and that makes space and time to do what brings them joy or peace.  The short answer is to say “No.” more.

Talk to me about stress- what are some symptoms?

Stress is the body’s reaction to a harmful situation, real or perceived.

Chronic Stress or burn-out depletes the body of its resources. This causes something called a fight or flight response which is a chain of rapidly occurring reactions inside the body that help to mobilize the body’s resources to deal with threatening circumstances.  In fight or flight, the heart and lungs are working overtime thus taking away the body from regulating the digestive or immune system.  The heart and lungs can only take stress for so long before they become overworked and breakdown.

Symptoms of stress

  • Low energy – feeling overwhelmed
  • Headaches – difficulty relaxing, quieting your mind
  • Digestive issues
  • Chest pain and rapid heartbeat
  • Trouble Sleeping
  • Frequent colds and infections.
  • Loss of sexual desire and/or ability.
  • Poor judgment

Aside from tranquilizers and copious amounts of sleep (yeah, right!) what do you do to help people alleviate their stress and anxiety? 

There are different techniques to put the body back into balance also known as homeostasis.    When we talk about the Mind-Body Connection, it’s when the mind understands something but the body is not in agreement.   For example, when someone says ‘I know I should feel good about ..but I feel bad about this’ or ‘Why do I feel like I’m in a teenage drama, this is crazy!’  The mind has rationalized the situation but the body hasn’t caught up yet. When the mind and body are congruent then we are connected with what we believe and what we feel.   What would that feel like if your mind and body were working together to live the life you want to lead? It’s incredible when that happens, it’s freedom.

There are two different ways I work.  If a client comes in and wants to talk about their story, then I recommend hypnosis/guided meditation.  While in a meditative state, the client is able to focus on the situation without the distractions of everything else. They gain their own perspective on the real cause of the stress – I’m the tour guide walking them through,   On the other hand, if a client is not necessarily a ‘talker’ and they want to turn off the noise between their ears and allow their body to relax, I  recommend Reiki.Reiki is a type of bodywork used to calm the mind and balance the body using light hands-on touch – imagine a massage experience without massage.  Once in balance, the body can start to restore and allocate resources and go into rest and digest, opposite the fight or flight mode.

In addition to visiting you- what else do you recommend people do to support themselves and keep burn-out at bay.

Finding what brings you joy and incorporating that into your daily life.  It’s important to have something easy that you can call up at a moment’s notice, like a breathing exercise or music you can play in the car or on a plane as well as other things that take more time and planning such as exercise, gardening, or playing sports.

Mind Body Hoboken is offering a free 30-minute consultation to Hartshorn newsletter readers.  Schedule your session through this link.

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