Tips to avoid holiday stress, work burnout

Health & fitness | 17 Nov, 2014 |

As the days grow shorter and colder, the holiday season is fast approaching. An inevitable side effect of holiday joy is added stress, whether it is in the workplace or at home.

Josselyne Herman-Saccio, a leader of The Landmark Forum and Advanced Course, said there are five telltale signs that someone has hit a “burnout wall” at work.
According to Herman-Saccio, these five signs are indicative of someone who has reached his or her stress limit in the workplace:

1.    Repeatedly complains
2.    Frequently participates in gossip and doesn’t enjoy being with co-workers
3.    Dreads going to work and/or is chronically late
4.    Is overly tired and feels trapped/stuck with no place to go
5.    Cut corners, tell lies (however small) to cover himself or herself and is just not doing as good of a job as possible

Herman-Saccio said that if someone is experiencing one or all of these five things in relation to his or her work, there are two simple questions that should be asked in order to evaluate the issue:
1.    What’s the source of the burnout?
2.    What’s the solution?

After asking these questions and working to identify issues, Herman-Saccio said there are several ways to get one’s head back in the workspace, such as making to-do lists, focusing on the positive benefits that a job has in one’s personal and professional life, and turning complaints into requests in order to see the positive side of things.

Dr. Suneil Jain, a naturopathic doctor with Rejuvena Health & Aesthetics in Scottsdale, said the holidays can heighten stress in the workplace.

“There’s a lot of social gatherings and get-togethers. There’s pressure with seeing family and getting gifts, another year coming to an end and realizing that you’re getting older. There’s a lot of things coming on around that time,” Jain said.

Jain said in naturopathic medicine, taking care of the body as a whole is key to maintaining health and eliminating stress.

“If you’re not eating right, that puts extra stress on your body and that gets you even more prone to being anxious,” Jain said. “Exercise is important, too, because it … can help you relieve stress.”

Jain said an office environment that encourages people to voice opinions and offers time to take breaks and unwind can be key to diminishing stress.

“You can tell when somebody is stressed because they’re not performing the way they usually perform, they’re making mistakes, looking tired and not performing the way an employee typically performs,” Jain said.

Jain said stress often manifests itself physically with fluctuating weight, exhaustion and can age someone a lot faster if they can’t get the stress under control.     “Stress controls literally every function in the body,” Jain said. “Everyone can do some deep breathing, where you learn how to properly take a deep breath in and deep breath out,” Jain said. “Do that a couple of times a day and during stressful situations.”

Jain said proper deep breathing techniques involve breathing in through the nose, allowing the abdomen to expand and breathing out through the mouth. People usually take short, shallow breaths and deep breathing can help relax and rejuvenate the body, Jain said.

“Other than that simple technique, there’s other things you can do for stress, like yoga, meditation, tai chi. Those are all great exercises that I think everyone should be doing or at least familiarizing themselves with,” Jain said.

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