Stress vs. Burnout
Stress is part of everyday life—and in small doses it can even be a good thing, driving us to be our very best. However, too much stress can lead to burnout. What exactly is burnout and how can you avoid it or overcome it?
Dr. Gaurava Agarwal, MD, Chief Wellness Executive for Northwestern Medicine and the Director of Faculty Wellness for Northwestern University talks about this important topic.
What Is Burnout?
“Dr. G,” as he is known, says burnout is a form of chronic stress that stems from your relationship with work. Combined with everyday life stressors, this chronic stress can leave you feeling unmotivated and get in the way of success. Burnout can impact anyone in any profession. In fact, up to one in four employees experience burnout.
Causes and How to Recognize Burnout
Unrealistic goals, workloads, or expectations are big factors but not the only causes. How do you know if you’re experiencing burnout? Some signs to look for include mental and physical exhaustion, irritability, trouble sleeping, struggling to find purpose at work, trouble meeting deadlines, and a lack of creativity.
Coping With and Preventing Burnout
Self-care is important and can help build your resilience against stress and burnout. However, burnout can make it harder to take care of your emotional and physical wellbeing. That’s why Dr. G recommends prioritizing healthy eating, getting enough sleep, exercising, and connecting with friends and family.
Note: Since everyone’s health history and nutritional needs are so different, please make sure that you talk with your doctor and a registered dietitian to get advice about the diet and exercise plan that‘s right for you.