13 Surprising Signs of Burnout You May Be Missing

From Thrive Global.

Pay attention to these symptoms so you can stop burnout it its tracks.

We all have those moments when we look around and realize the way we’re living and working…well, isn’t working. When we have that wake-up-call moment, we realize that we’d been missing some signs — be they physical, emotional, interpersonal, or professional — that something wasn’t right.

Burnout is a significant issue across most career fields, with dire consequences for individuals and businesses alike, according to a growing body of research. As we push through the whirlwind obligations of our busy lives, it can be hard to recognize the symptoms and signs of burnout before they reach a critical pointand demand to be addressed.

That’s why we asked our Thrive contributor community to share the burnout symptoms they didn’t recognize and wished they had. Their stories highlight the many (and sometimes unexpected) ways burnout can manifest in our lives, and their advice provides important insight into what we can do to address these symptoms head on.

Making careless mistakes

“It was only in retrospect that I recognised that one of the signs of burnout was making the kind of stupid, careless mistakes that lead to minor irritations such as being locked out, leaving my laptop in the back of a cab, scratching the car, or getting the date wrong for an important family event. At work, I was (just about) keeping my head above the water. At home, it was all going to pot!”

—Louise Rodgers, public relations consultant, London

Losing your “voice”

“When I look back on the signs I was heading towards a burnout, the biggest one that stands out for me is the feeling of losing my voice. Not physically, but metaphorically. When I’m not taking enough care of myself my ideas dry up. I feel like I have nothing to say or share. Now, as soon as I start to feel this way, I immediately evaluate if I’m making time for me, and if not, I get right back to it. Personally, that looks like seeing friends and being creative through knitting or crocheting.”

Read more here…

How to transform anxious thoughts into productive actions – from NBC

Mental health experts share their strategies for shifting your worries into something healthier and more productive.

With the fervor of the midterm elections, the time change, the barrage of tragic news stories in addition to just, you know, normal life stuff, many of us are feeling more anxious than usual.

Though some of us suffer from anxiety disorders, often requiring treatment, anxiety in itself isn’t abnormal; it’s actually quite natural, existing in part to motivate us to get out in the world and do our best.

“Everyone has a little bit of anxiety,” says Dr. Kate Cummins, a licensed clinical psychologist. “It’s the reason you get up and out of bed and ready in the mornings when your alarm goes off [and] the reason you prepare well for an interview or meeting at work.”

A daily ritual that will help you de-stress (in just 5 minutes)

Process your thoughts, diffuse stress and find an optimistic perspective in just a few minutes.

by Brianna Steinhilber for NBC Health

For many, stress is an accepted part of daily life, whether it’s triggered by a mile-long to-do list at work, a schedule packed full of family commitments or the stream of never-ending bills in your mailbox (or, likely, a combination of all three).

Research suggests that over the past decade there has been a sharp rise in mental-health related issues, like stress and anxiety. A survey conducted by the American Psychological Association found that 31 percent of respondents saw an increase in their stress levels in 2016 and 2017, with 20 percent reporting experiencing extreme stress.

Poppy Jamie, entrepreneur, TV personality and creator of the mindfulness app “Happy, Not Perfect,” is no stranger to the severe health effects of a high-stress lifestyle.

“[Thinking about stress] started for me at a young age, because my mother is a psychotherapist and my father is an entrepreneur who suffered from severe stress and anxiety,” says Jamie. As she entered the workforce, Jamie began to struggle with stress-related health issues of her own. “I was a TV host for seven years and I started my own business and I was trying to do so much, I was very much my father’s daughter feeling stressed and anxious,” she says.

Read more here…

5 Ways to Simplify Your Life

By Amy Morin for Psychology Today

Make room for the things that really matter.

I’ve spent the majority of the last two years living on a boat. Life on a sailboat has required me to think about what I actually need to be happy in life.

I discovered that having less stuff, fewer obligations, and more time makes room for the most important things. I have more space in my life for people I love, things I appreciate, and opportunities I want to take.

And while living on a boat has lots of benefits, it definitely isn’t for everyone. But no matter where you live or what you do, you can take steps to simplify your life.

Here’s why simplifying your life is important — everything in your life takes up space. Whether it’s mental space, physical space, or calendar space, you only have so much room.

Everything you own, everything you do, and everyone you spend time with costs you something. And when you have an abundance of stuff, it costs you a lot.

Simplifying your life will give you more time, space, and energy. The more space you have, the freer you’ll be to truly enjoy everything. Here are five ways to simplify every area of your life.

1. Declutter your house.

Your environment affects how you feel physically and psychologically. Whether you waste time looking for misplaced items, or you grow overwhelmed every time you open your closet, having too much stuff wastes your resources.

A clean, organized space helps you feel more productive and energetic than when you’re living among heaps of clothes, stacks of papers, and piles of dishes.

When you have fewer items to worry about, you’ll feel lighter. You’ll also have energy to care for the items that you keep. Start decluttering one room at a time, and see for yourself how much better you feel when you get rid of things you don’t need.

New low-cost counselling centre proves popular with clients working through difficult emotions

From CBC news

At $50 a session, client working through ‘pretty serious’ anxiety calls Hard Feelings a lifeline

A new Toronto counselling centre is proving to be popular because it is based on the idea that working through difficult emotions shouldn’t bankrupt clients who need a little help.

Hard Feelings, which calls itself a non-profit social enterprise, offers short-term counselling, or 10 to 12 sessions, at a low cost. It opened its doors on Bloor Street, east of Ossington Street, about 10 months ago.

The centre sells books as one way to generate revenue, and from the outside, it looks like a bookstore.

“We are growing so fast,” Kate Scowen, founder and president of Hard Feelings, told CBC Toronto. “Demand is huge for this project.”

The centre started with eight counsellors in September and now has 23. There’s also a wait list of counsellors who want to join the practice, according to Scowen.

“It’s going better than we had ever hoped it would,” she said adding that she would eventually like to expand to other locations.

Hard Feelings, which calls itself a non-profit social enterprise, offers short-term counselling, or 10 to 12 sessions, at a low cost. It opened its doors on Bloor Street, east of Ossington Street, about 10 months ago. (Lorenda Reddekopp/CBC)

Scowen, who has a masters degree in social work from the University of Toronto and has worked as a counsellor, program manager, writer and consultant for community organizations, said she founded the centre because the cost of mental health services can be out of reach for people who need emotional support.

“There’s a real gap in service for people who can’t afford counselling, and the wait times for free counselling are really long.”

She said she also wanted to work in a private practice, at low cost, in a welcoming space within a community. Scowen said she is working with other people to try to remove the stigma surrounding mental health issues.

“To house that all in one space just felt like a good idea,” she said.

The centre says on its website that it aims “to reduce barriers and increase access” to services in what it calls an “innovative” practice or model of service. Clients pay $50 to $80 for one session with a social worker. The majority of counsellors at the centre are graduate-level registered social workers.

Read more here.

Support Is Key to Helping Someone You Care About Get Treatment for Addiction

Unlike other diseases, addiction is a problem that impacts not only the person directly involved but also their friends and family members. When someone you care about has a problem with substance abuse, the effects spill over into your own life. Yet even when you recognize the signs that your loved one needs treatment, you may still feel confused about how you can help.

Recognizing the Signs

The Mayo Clinic lists some common signs that indicate your loved one has a problem using drugs or alcohol:

  • Problems at school or work, such as missing days or poor performance
  • Physical health changes, such as weight changes or lack of energy
  • Neglecting their appearance
  • Drastic changes in behavior, especially in relationships with family members or friends
  • Money problems, especially sudden requests for money

Overcoming Barriers

Even when you recognize these signs, you may face some barriers to helping your loved one get treatment. To begin with, the person may not be ready to come to terms with what’s going on. They may be in denial about the problem, fearing the changes and uncertainty of seeking treatment. Some people who recognize they have a problem may worry about the stigma and what others would think of them if they were labeled as an “addict.” Despite these barriers, as someone who cares about this person, you are one of the greatest resources they have for recovery. Showing that you will be there for them long term is instrumental in helping them overcome these barriers.

Knowing How to Help

Addiction is a complicated disease, and there isn’t a single solution that works for everyone, but the way you approach your loved one will make a difference in how they react. The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) recommends learning all you can about addiction. The more informed you are, the better you will understand what they are experiencing. Don’t wait for the person to hit rock bottom before having a conversation about treatment, though. They could be in danger of overdose and other negative effects on their lives before reaching that low point.

When you talk to them about getting treatment, make sure the person is sober, and express your concerns with love and support. Avoid lecturing because they are more likely to push back if they sense judgement. Regardless of how they respond initially, don’t expect your loved one to quit on their own. Stay in contact and continue to show your support so that they will hopefully come around to getting the professional treatment they need.

Understanding Types of Treatment

Every situation is unique, and that means that the treatment program that is right for one person may not suit someone else. Some people choose outpatient treatment, which usually involves visiting a facility during the day but then returning home at night. The other option, or what most people mean when they refer to rehab, is inpatient treatment, which involves staying at a facility 24 hours for round-the-clock care.

Once you choose outpatient or inpatient rehab, there are also different treatment approaches to consider. Some, such as 12-step programs, are faith-based and are built on Christian principles. For someone who isn’t religious or has a different faith, there are alternative programs. Some of these follow a model similar to 12-step programs, while others are more holistic, integrating other aspects of mental health into treatment.

Some people with substance abuse disorders will have a dual diagnosis of addiction along with another mental health condition, such as depression. In this case, the person will need treatment that addresses both conditions. You can help your loved one by searching for a program that suits their beliefs and other factors in their life.

You can’t force anyone to get treatment, but you can provide the strong support system they need. Keep in mind that recovery, like addiction, is a long-term process, not a one-time fix. If you can stick with them and be the solid rock in their life, they will have a greater chance of getting help and staying sober.

Photo credit: Pexels

Raptors’ DeRozan hopes honest talk on depression helps others

From The Star

All-star DeMar DeRozan copes with troubled times — hinted at in all-star weekend tweet that sparked a wave of support — by throwing his life into his family and his basketball: “Sometimes . . . it gets the best of you.”

They appear to be invincible, professional athletes do, with so much money, so much fame, so many people to help with everything — a first-class life, everything taken care of.

And then the difficult, lonely moments hit — maybe in the middle of the night, or maybe just out of nowhere — and they struggle as many do to handle them, the tugs of life overwhelming.

DeMar DeRozan, who would seemingly have it all, knows those struggles — those times of depression, anxiety, loneliness — as well as anyone and they are his demons to deal with.

“It’s one of them things that no matter how indestructible we look like we are, we’re all human at the end of the day,” the 28-year-old Raptors all-star said. “We all got feelings . . . all of that. Sometimes . . . it gets the best of you, where times everything in the whole world’s on top of you.”

DeRozan is unimaginably wealthy, uncommonly famous and has at his disposal a virtual army of family, friends and support staff arranged in part by the Raptors.

Be Vocal Speak Up

Be Vocal is a partnership between Demi Lovato, who is living with bipolar disorder, five leading mental health advocacy organizations and Sunovion Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Visit the amazing website here, and listen to Demi Lovato’s story.

http://www.bevocalspeakup.com/

Depression and anxiety: Have we got it wrong?

Full story at Al Jazeera

For 13 years, British author Johann Hari says he took the maximum possible dose of antidepressants. In Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Cause of Depression – and the Unexpected Solutions, Hari draws from his personal experience to challenge how depression and anxiety are understood in society, particularly in the West.

“There are plenty of people who were, like me, taking chemical antidepressants and they didn’t help,” says Hari. “This isn’t an argument for or against chemical antidepressants, it’s an argument for expanding what we think of as an antidepressant.”

Spending more time in nature, enjoying work and building lasting relationships are some of the cultural and societal solutions Hari says need to be considered as part of treatment for depression and anxiety.

“Nobody denies that there are social and psychological causes of depression and anxiety,” says Hari, “but that has not informed most of how we respond to these problems.”

“I think part of the cruellest thing we’ve done is, we’ve put the onus for solving this problem onto depressed and anxious people,” says Hari.

Read more…