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Are You 

Suffering

from Burnout? 

The definition of burnout is chronic exhaustion caused by workplace stress and it’s been classified by the WHO (World Health Organisation) as a clinical syndrome. It has been characterised by three main things: 


  • Feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion.
  • Increased mental distance from one’s job or negative feelings towards your job.
  • Reduced professional efficacy.


In the UK alone, Health and Safety Executive attributes as many as 12.5 million workdays lost to burn out - whether we call it by that name or not. 

However, I think that burnout begins way before we decide we’re unhappy at work, and, one of the main reasons we’re probably unhappy at work in the first place is because our lives are out of balance in other areas. 

We are primitive

As humans we’ve evolved over many years to get to where we are now in terms of the types of jobs we do and the way we live our lives, but our bodies haven’t caught up. Maybe our future selves will adapt to be able to cope with the onslaught of stressors coming from our portable devices or the unnatural blue light under which we work, but for the time being we need to understand that there are so many things we do on a daily basis, from our food choices to our physical activities, that are unnatural and confusing for our primitive bodies and are having a knock on effect for our energy levels. 

Light

I think it is totally understandable that so many of us are becoming disillusioned with our jobs and feeling our morale lacking when often, especially during the winter months, we barely see daylight during the hours that our bodies are craving it and we inundate ourselves with artificial light once the sun has gone down and force ourselves to keep going well past the time that we naturally want to fall asleep. Daylight can have a profound effect on our energy, mood and stress levels - which are all interconnected. By getting outdoors for a minimum of 20 minutes first thing in the morning (even if the sun is not shining), you help signal to your body that it’s day time and you help regulate your internal clock - your circadian rhythm, which in turn will reward you with a more restful nights sleep that night. A lot of people think that their bedtime routine is the only thing that will dictate how well they sleep, but a good night sleep starts with a dose of daylight first thing in the morning. It’s impossible to feel upbeat and positive when you’re tired so maintaining good sleep hygiene is crucial. One thing I recommend to all patients is a pair of blue blocking glasses that you can pop on at home as the sun goes down. Try to dim the lights at home as well to create a darker and more peaceful atmosphere - this will signal to your body that it’s time to produce melatonin, the hormone that makes us feel sleepy. 

The Presscription Sugar Detox Cleanse (as seen above) is a great way to support your body's natural energy production as it may help you to rebalance your sugar cravings and your blood sugar - crucial for sustained energy. 

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Micro Dose Stressors

In our life as a primitive man we dealt mainly with macro stressors, i.e a life threatening event. Nowadays, most of us have experienced as many 20 micro dose stressors, or more, before we’ve even left the house for work in the morning. Your alarm goes off loudly spiking your cortisol, you notice some notifications on your phone one of which is an email from your boss, your children refuse to eat their breakfast, you spill your coffee, you realise you’re running late for work and have to run to get the train...and it just goes on and on. Then, once at work most of us sit staring at a screen all day with alerts and notifications going off all around us. Our bodies never fully relax. 


Diet and Lifestyle

As well as all the external stressors that hit us on a daily basis, what we’re putting into our bodies is as much of a stressor as the things happening around us. From my perspective as a Nutritional Therapist it’s such a shame that this is the case as what we eat and drink is completely under our control, and, by taking ownership over your diet you can easily and positively impact your health. What we all need to remember is that food is information to our bodies. So, if what you’re eating is processed, full of additives or high in pesticide residues etc then the information our body’s receive about that food isn’t at all optimal. Similarly, jacking ourselves up on caffeine a few times a day to push through the tiredness won't help in the long run either. Despite studies showing that caffeine is beneficial to our health ultimately you want your body to be able to produce its own energy and not rely on addictive stimulants to do that for you. 


So, what can you do?

Take 15 minutes of non negotiable you time per day. No phone, no distractions. This can be as easy as taking a walk in nature or listening to your favourite song. 


Get mindful

Meditation is daunting for many of us, but mindfulness doesn’t need to be. It’s as easy as taking some deep inhalations over your morning cup of tea or spending longer in the shower just luxuriating in the heat of the water and the feeling of indulging yourself. Of course, a daily meditation practice is amazing and if you have that available to you then keep it up!


Breathe

Our breath is our most powerful tool. You have the ability to tap into your rest and digest state by just making your exhale longer than your inhale. Try a 3-4-5 breath for starters: breathe in for 3, hold for 4 and breathe out for 5, all through the nose. Repeat a few times whenever you feel like you need it. 


Eat nutrient dense food

Focusing on your nutrition is at the core of our health and will help to energise you throughout the day. Start your day with a protein based breakfast with some vegetables and healthy fats as this will help to balance your blood sugar and keep you level all day, rather that on that roller coaster of energy. Practice a mini fast - whether that’s 16 hours between your evening meal and your ‘breakfast’ the next day, or a calorie restricted day in the form of a cleanse, then build on it. Giving your digestion a well deserved break from the onslaught of snacks, overly-processed food and alcohol is a great way to keep you balanced and energetic too. 

@gracekingswell D. N. Med

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Our favourite? The sugar detox cleanse