This is a guest blog by writer Snowden McFall, who is a stress expert as well as Joyce Marter’s friend and colleague from the National Speakers Association.
How to Prevent Burnout And Reignite Your Inner Fire
By Snowden McFall, M.A.T
“Take a moment right now and consider: how stressed are you? Are you exhausted? Do you have time for your self-care? Your dental and doctors appointments? Is the concept of vacation inconceivable? Are you irritable? If you answered yes to all these questions, you could be heading for burnout.
Most Americans are highly stressed. The American Psychological Association say 60- 80% of Americans are near burnout. 80% of all doctor visits are stress-related. And the cost to industry and businesses is between $300– $500 billion annually in employee absences, medical costs,lost productivity, and turnover.
If you’re female, you’re especially prone to burnout. As caretakers of both children and parents, women have greater stress at work and at home. Their excellent emotional intelligence can work against them when managing priorities, and often they come last in their own lives. Is that true for you?
How to Lower Your Stress Levels and Reclaim Your Joy
1. Get More Sleep. Get at least 7 hours a night or risk cancer, (according to the World Health Organization.) If you get less than that, you are 3 times more susceptible to colds and more likely to carry 20 pounds of extra weight. The Neurobiology of Aging says getting fewer than 6 hours of sleep means you are 4 times more likely to have a stroke. And recent studies show that your brain needs at least 6 hours a night to detoxify. Get less and you could be contributing to Alzheimers.
How to get a good night’s sleep: Do not check email for 2 hours before bed. Keep your bedroom cool and dark and free of electronic devices and blue light. Take a hot bath or put your legs in warm water up to your knees. Make your bedroom a sanctuary for sleeping, making love and resting. Don’t take prescription sleep aides, as they are highly addictive. Do consider healthy natural herbs like Passion Flower, Holy Basil, and L-Theanine amino acid. Consult your doctor.
2. Spend Time With Friends. Loneliness is a major problem worldwide and it contributes to depression. The solution is to schedule time with friends and see them often. Research shows spending time with friends releases oxytocin, a neurotransmitter that relieves stress and promotes euphoria. In one study, those who had the most friends over a 9 year time period cut their risk of early death by 60%. Develop close friendships and see them regularly with them for both your sanity and health.
3. Take Vacations. Millions of vacation days go unused every year. And that is such a shame because vacations without devices are major stress relievers. Did you know that for women aged 45-64, two weeks of vacation cut their incidence of heart attack in half!? After vacation, most people feel rejuvenated, are more productive and more satisfied with their marriages. Even if all you do is a staycation or a house swap with a relative or friend, take at least two weeks off from work a year.
4. Become More Optimistic. Optimism can get you through most of life’s challenges. Optimists live 7 years longer than pessimists, have better lung function and are far less likely to die young. A study of 350,000 executives showed the top 10% performers think differently from others: they are all optimists! So if you want greater success, achievement, and happiness, become a more positive thinker.
You can only make a difference in the world around you if you take care of yourself. Exercise, drink half your body weight in ounces of pure water daily, schedule vacations, sleep 7 hours a night and spend time with friends. You can achieve anything you set your mind, heart and intentions on, if you take care of yourself and stay positive. That’s the best way to reignite your fire.”