The Burnout Manifesto 2021

The Ultimate Guide To Chronic Stress / Nervous Breakdowns, Burnout Prevention and Workplace Mental Health

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The following article is for anyone who has an interest in the state of mental health within the workplace and wants to learn more about what can be done to foster healthy workplace environments and cultures.

Burnout has become the new term to describe a nervous breakdown.

As chronic stress affects the nervous system the old terminology was somewhat suitable; what it didn’t describe was the other systems of the body that overload can affect.

This manifesto encompasses both terms, and all conditions which are the result of chronic stress.

The author Anna Pinkerton has over 26 years experience as a clinician specialising in trauma, post-traumatic stress and in the effects of long-term stress upon the body and upon mind.

Over her career, Anna has worked closely with leaders who have burnt out, broken down, and supported them in recovery.

Through her extensive clinical experience, Anna has amassed a huge resource of knowledge getting to the bottom of exactly what burnout is, how people can recover from it, and the exact steps that need to be taken in order to prevent burnout altogether within the workplace.

Why Burnout Prevention and Recovery Should Be a Critical Concern for Companies in 2021 and Beyond…

“No one deserves to be in a workplace that makes them sick"

Who really wants to be working within a company culture that accepts burnout and stress as normal? It’s 2021 for goodness sake!

It makes no sense to push people past their limits where they suffer a breakdown and trauma. Especially as, in my 26 years of experience as a therapist, burnout can take around 6 months to 2 years to recover from. Individuals who have already burnt out in the past are also MUCH more likely to burnout again in the future which can permanently effect their career and the organisation they work for.
That has to be the bottom line. If your workplace is making you unwell then you’re not trading time for money, talent for money, or expertise for money…. You’re exchanging your health, and can there really be a financial compensation for that? Also, do companies really want to be getting the reputation for having a culture that causes their staff to fall victim to excessive stress and trauma?

Therefore I propose that 2021 is the year that companies make burnout prevention and recovery a priority.

I want to highlight a number of things within this article to help companies:

The Top 6 Consequences Of Burnout for Companies and Organisations

Understanding the impact burnout (nervous breakdowns) have on companies from a financial, cultural and sustainability point of view

#1 - The Financial Cost of Burnout

Do you know that just one person burning out within your company can cost more than training all of your staff?

To provide an example:

Employees with a 100k salary would usually cost 20% to recruit, and perhaps a 5% training budget per employee… So that’s £25k recruitment and training costs per employee (this isn’t including NIC, bonuses, and any accreditations, licenses, or other expenses occurred through employment)

So if one of these key members of staff do burnout, it could cost the companies upwards of £25k to replace.

That is not taking into consideration the time lost for recruitment, training and the new member of staff settling in…

#2 - The Other ‘Hidden’ Costs of Burnout

It can be difficult to put a price on losing talent, expertise and experience through burnout, because the financial costs are just the beginning…

There is also a cost to people filling in and taking over jobs… This puts more stress on other members of the team causing productivity to dip and putting other members of the team at risk of also burning out.

It also takes extra input to get new members of staff up to speed, adding to the pressure felt by the remaining team members.

#3 - Loss of Team Morale

The effect of burnout on others’ is a vital concern.

Sometimes the burnout is dramatic and public (someone collapsing with heart attack, stroke or faint for example) which can create very real fear within a team.

People can become concerned that their working environment is toxic creating a sense of fear in the workplace.

It is important to reassure employees that measures are being taken and adjustments are being made in order to avoid further casualties. It also gives the company a heart; disregard at these time depends fear and apathy.

#4 - Added Risk of Future Burnouts Within Remaining Team Members

The reality of losing someone to burnout puts increasing amounts of pressure onto remaining team members.

It’s crucial that companies acknowledge this as a lack of (or perceived lack of) appreciation, alongside the added pressure felt by remaining team members can contribute massively to future burnouts.

The extra pressure is a real threat to further burnout within the team, but can be avoidable if understood and the right adjustments are made.

#5 - Loss of Trust In Management

Burnout is complex, but a common response is for employees to blame management and the culture of the organisation.

Sometimes pressure is the issue, or at least part of the constellation of issues that aid the bringing about of burnout.

It isn’t the whole story however…

Generally though, people look for action in these times.

What are management prepared to do to learn from the burnout experience? Do they care? Are they willing to do something to address pressures?

Any actions that can be done to discover what could be behind the issues, and prevent it from happening again will give people hope and improve the situation for everyone.

#6 - Risk of Permanently Damaging Your Companies Reputation

Lack of concern, lack of measurement, and a lack of remedial action can slowly but surely have a detrimental impact on the reputation of a company.

If a company is considered uncaring, people will lose their enthusiasm and loyalty.

Fear of loss of work may motivate staff in the short term, but fear will not be a motivator for long…

Eventually fear corrodes a persons’ spirit, and no matter how driven someone is, everyone has a limited bandwidth.

I think the main question companies and organisations need to ask in 2020 and beyond is:

“Is our company culture and reputation allowing us to attract, retain and motivate top talent within our industry, or will it act as a repellent?”

What Are Nervous Breakdowns and What Is Burnout Prevention?

“Learn the lessons or lose your talent”

The dictionary definition of burnout is “physical or mental collapse caused by overwork or stress”.

Although all individuals experience burnout in different ways, common symptoms include*:

The difficulty with burnout is that because the person disappears from work (on extended sick leave or by stopping work altogether) often the lessons to be learned from what created a person’s burnout is lost.

So not only does a company lose their talent, their expertise, and their experience (which is often extremely costly to recover) they lose the unique journey that brought the individual to burnout, which makes prevention in the future more difficult.

Sadly, it’s often the people who are incredibly committed to their work and motivated to go that extra mile to succeed that are most at risk to burnout (and the most at risk to going unnoticed should they start experiencing the early signs of burnout).

When someone experiences burnout, it can have detrimental effect to the rest of the workplace.

Burnout can engender a lot of fear in others and rather than coming together to form a support network, often people tend to ignore the issue and are silent around what’s happened.

My definition of burnout prevention is where a company is prepared to educate the management tier, the supervisory tier, and in some cases all their staff in burnout awareness.

By burnout awareness, I mean the neurological, physiological, psychological and social aspects of what creates burnout.

Some companies may be afraid to educate their staff about this because they’re concerned that it will amplify the issue, but in my experience that’s rarely the case.

If companies educate their workforce with a preventative intention what they’re actually doing is sharing the responsibility between the company and the individual which maximises the benefits and effectiveness for everyone – When companies educate and share the responsibility they ensure all members of staff are empowered to take the appropriate steps to prevent people working past their limits too often.

People can’t do something about what they don’t know.

People don’t even need to understand burnout fully, they just need enough knowledge in order to spot the warning signs and take appropriate actions individually and collectively.

The Traditional Approaches To Burnout Prevention and Why They Are Ineffective

“Turn a blind eye and hope it goes away”

Unfortunately, the most traditional option for treating burnout in companies is to ignore it or to assimilate it as being a normal course of things within a workplace…

The attitude towards burnout is that its ‘natural wastage’, but what happens when the workforce has educated themselves to the point where they are not prepared to have a lifestyle like this anymore?

In companies where measures are taken to prevent burnout, the common options are focused on self care (E.g. Mindfulness, yoga, flexible working, self-care frameworks)

Problems occur when companies misconstrue self-care programs (i.e. positive workplace environments), with self-care activities – as they are not the same thing, and are not equally effective…

Self care programmes are typically focused on self awareness such as:

Self care means to learn to care, and not simply create a schedule of activities.

On the other hand, self care activities are positive things and act as stablizers to put in your week that help you sustain yourself, they do not necessarily require you to know yourself but they give the body and mind some respite which helps with mood regulation, energy, and effective pressure management.

The Limitations To Self Care Activities

"An argument for self care programmes VS self care activities"

The limitations of these approaches are that they are focused on putting a framework around an already overwhelmed person.

In my experience someone who is getting close to burnout would actually find self-care programs overwhelming.

For instance, if you advise somebody who is burning out go book a massage or take a yoga class, that person is already full to capacity (mentally and neurologically speaking) and the sheer act of making another appointment or squeezing another appointment into their diary is what actually becomes part of the overwhelm – and can even make the risk of burnout worse!

Successful burnout prevention programs tend to be focussed around helping people build a positive companionable relationship with themselves in order to withstand the rigours of working life and ensure they stay well.

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The Burnout Manifesto 2021

The Ultimate Guide To Chronic Stress / Nervous Breakdowns, Burnout Prevention and Workplace Mental Health

A Two Pronged Solution To Burnout Prevention and Recovery

"Educate and relate-to-self"

I believe the most successful approaches to burnout prevention involve 2 core steps:

1) Firstly I believe it’s imperative that you educate people about what burnout actually is. How it’s a mixture of psychological, neurological, physiological, and social systems. It’s complicated. And it’s important that we simplify complicated conditions in order to have some chance of preventing them.

2) Secondly, it’s crucial to help people build a thorough knowledge of how they work and how they can forge a companionable relationship with themselves. People who are in good relationships with themselves will stand a better chance of staying well compared to people who are in poor relationships with themselves and who often struggle to do what it takes to stay well.

Why a Different Approach Is Needed

“Evidence suggests we are failing to reduce burnout… In fact, the risk of nervous breakdowns and burnout is at an all time high”

My two step approach has been based on 26 years clinical practice (with over 29,000 hours of practice at the time of writing this article), and this experience has had a massive influence on my methodology.

The evidence suggests that traditional approaches to burnout prevention just aren’t working…

Statistics suggest that days lost due to stress continue to rise, so we are not learning lessons… We have failed to prevent burnout in company culture, and we have failed to reduce the effects of chronic stress…

We need to look to new approaches that are grounded in reality and offer tangible, measurable results rather than relying on outdated tactics that fail to address the issues effectively.

“Young people are most vulnerable to significant poor mental health”

- Deloitte 2020

Reality Based Solutions

“Reverse-engineered solutions from over 26 years of clinical research working with burnt out professionals…”

The difference with my approach (and what makes it effective) is because it’s based on clinical experience.

Everything I have learned about what brings people to burnout I have reverse engineered in order to learn what needs to be in place inside a person and within the workplace to prevent burnout in the first place.

There has to be an understanding that there is a nuanced relationship between the individual and the workplace, which is why you have to educate and encourage individuals, teams and companies as a whole to take their bit of the equation seriously and share the responsibility.

Companies that focus on educating their employees and helping them build a companionable relationship with themselves based on self awareness and caring stand the best chance in looking after their people, keeping their best people, protecting their investment, their culture, their reputation, their growth, and sustainability.

Not just in financial terms, but also in the harnessing of the experience and expertise that comes with talented and committed team members.

It’s the most dedicated and committed members of a team that burnout, and when they do, companies lose their best knowledge bases…

That can’t easily be replaced and it can be VERY costly to a company.

Why Many Companies Are Apprehensive To Implement Burnout Prevention Strategies In Their Organisations

“Is fear really the best motivator?”

I understand that some companies feel that fear is an ideal motivator as people will work harder and strive to stay productive and effective if they think their job might be on the line.

Yet fear is not a good motivator in the long term as it actually corrodes the human spirit over time and will deplete the person… Sometimes to the point where they can’t ever work again!

Fear may be a motivator in the short term (much like stress in short bursts can help people focus and mobilise for a task in hand), however stress and fear are similar, and the brain reacts similarly to both.

The brain looks at how to maintain a homeostatic state and will try to bring the person back to a normal range of demand and pressure. If fear and stress is prolonged, the brain will switch off to it, thus creating a false sense of balance and calm.

It somewhat ‘turns a blind eye’ to the stresses and numbs the person. This creates ineffective, disaffected, disloyal, and unwell staff.

So it’s important for companies to understand that it’s counterintuitive to have fear running through a workplace. Once one person has burned out, other members of the team will begin to wonder if it could be them next… Especially as they will then have to pick up the slack and take onboard the extra work.

Once one person in a team burns out, it often has a domino effect with other members of the team.

“39% of all employees say work adversely affects their mental health”

- BITC 2019

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The Burnout Manifesto 2021

The Ultimate Guide To Chronic Stress / Nervous Breakdowns, Burnout Prevention and Workplace Mental Health

How To Foster a Resilient Workforce

“Healthy human beings run healthy companies”

You can’t teach resilience by talking about it.

You can however teach how to practice being a flexible, insightful and responsive human being. It is responding with humility to self as well as others’ that creates resilience.

Humility has to be exercised and experienced in order to bring about a new habit, and inner resourcefulness, leading to resilience.

Teaching what it is to be fully human, is an essential element to workplace mental healthiness.

No one gets away with it, constant overwhelm will result in the breakdown of something, the person, a relationship, a job, a team – health on every level.

When team members fully understand the conditions that create burnout and understand the ebbs and flows that are required to sustain the rigours of their role, they will become resilient.

True resilience comes from information and experience combined.

You cannot talk someone into being resilient. The skills must be laid down and practiced to create it.

They will need to make only small adjustments in order to work hard and stay well, rather than extending themselves beyond their limits for too long and breaking down and requiring long-term medical assistance and convalescence.

When team members understand what the mind and body needs in order to stay productive, effective and successful, the mood within the group will remain buoyant.

A ‘crash and burn culture’ creates fear and instability which fosters an un-resilient workforce.

You can teach resilience by sharing with employees what burnout is, what it is not, and how to avoid it.

This has to be combined with essential basics as to what it is to be fully human. If people don’t employ all of their humanness they are weakened over time. Ignorance of ones basic needs is not sustainable.

The impact burnout and breakdown has on a company is huge because the elements of psychology and physiology that prevent burnout are actually ways of maintaining overall health as human beings.

Healthy human beings run healthy companies.

Companies consisting of healthy staff become resilient, buoyant, flexible and sustainable in the long term.

The exact opposite is also true to companies who follow the ‘crash and burn culture’ of motivating through fear… Companies who consistently push people to their limits and turn a blind eye to the signs of burnout become brittle, stagnant and unsustainable.

Positive Healthy Leaders Run Successful Companies

“…and why stressed out unwell leaders negatively affect the success of their companies”

Companies that cannot learn and adjust from their past mistakes become less flexible and vulnerable, and this begins with the company leaders…

I’ve worked with company owners and company leaders very much at the top of their game who have burnt out and their recovery journey has gone on to greatly impact their companies in positive ways.

They report to me that they have more energy, more understanding, healthier lives, and in turn… increasingly successful companies.

This is a top-down contagion, but a good one, meaning that when the leaders of the companies are in positive relationships with themselves they affect the company for the better and the exact opposite is also true… Stressed and unwell leaders negatively affect their companies.

Leaders have shared with me that they feel they have gained up to 30% extra energy having recovered from burnout and by learning to work with a healthier psychology and physiology.

“Only 1/3 of staff feel trained to support others”

- MIND / Deloitte 2020

Case Studies On Burnout Recovery

Inspirational stories from successful leaders who have overcome burnout

The following case studies have been sourced from private consultations Anna has conducted in her clinical practice. The stories are factually correct but the names have been changed to protect the privacy of the individuals.

Case study 1 - Jamie 38 years, Founding Director of a multi-million pound company.

“Jamie ran rapidly into burnout when pressures at home and at work began to collide.

Effectiveness at work was reduced by extreme self hatred, guilt and relentless demands, much of this felt like a vicious circle, one compounding the other.

It turned out that there was untreated trauma in Jamie’s past. The challenges of running the company alongside the personal trauma at home began to take its toll…

Jamie worked with me for two years, seeing the greatest leaps in recovery in the first 6 months.

Together we began to unpick his experience – what adjustments could be made early on with big effect. We then focused on what long term changes Jamie wanted to make in order to sustain his personal and business growth.

We worked on ‘re-wiring’ the thinking that was causing havoc in his life, and creating an inner narrative that was buoyant and robust.

Jamie went on to pass some of this learning into his company, whilst helping to increase the profits by more than a million in the year following his clinical work.”

Case study 2 - Naz - 51 year old CEO, engineering company

“Naz was referred to me at the time of complete collapse, unable to get through the working week, drinking heavily and very stuck as to what to do to get better.

In his complete overwhelm it was important to share with Naz what was actually happening to him – the root cause of his overwhelm – and that it was not a weakness that he found himself at burnout, it was actually his drive and strength that had gotten him here.

Naz had so many pressures that the stress had become chronic and he thought that was normal. He had turned it against himself, feeling weak and defeated.

I helped Naz see that burnout is not a weakness but one CAN be weakened by it… and that is very different way of looking at things.

Naz began to see that demeaning himself about being in collapse was actually making it worse, so we worked on how he could address this and feel less self critical, and save that energy for getting better.

Personal relationships had been tricky for Naz for some years, feeling he had given much of himself away and felt like he had little nourishment for himself.

Years of this and the rigours of work life gradually wore him down, to the point where he acted as though he wasn’t himself anymore; describing himself as a shell of a person.

We worked on how incrementally Naz could bring himself back from collapse, keep what he liked about himself and work towards letting go of the bits of himself that he wasn’t keen on or what worked against him.

Naz blossomed into a self assured and wise man in business and his relationships. He purposefully took some of this learning when he returned to work and shared it throughout his UK teams.

Naz felt he could influence the cultural change within the company without have to say ‘We are making a cultural change’. He felt it incredibly powerful to lead by example.

His company, having had multiple scares over the last 8 years, has since gone on to become sturdy even in an uncertain economic climate.”

Case study 3 - Juliet - 36 years, Founding Director, Management Consultancy

“Mother and owner of a management consultancy, Juliet was referred to me close to complete collapse.

She was burned out but had not yet fully broken down. Literally a few more days and this may well have been different.

Juliet, was highly anxious having panic attacks most days, feeling overwhelmed and stupid. She was incredibly angry towards herself and the world, but mostly herself.

She felt she was doing everything badly, and her thinking was focused on her failings and not her predicament. So, that was the focus of the beginning of our work together.

Juliet had inadvertently got into a spiral of pressures, personally and professionally, and they had slowly built up almost without her realizing at first…

She was over stretched in most ares of her life, and had come to feel that’s just how it is.

When we examined that cannot be true, unless of course life should make you ill; we looked at what needed to change practically and in her thinking in order for her to have the business and family life she wanted.

As with most burnouts, there was a connection between the person’s thinking (based on life experience) and the rigours of everyday life.

Expectations and beliefs Juliet held deeply were working against her and certainly not matching with her daily reality, this alone was causing her considerable angst.

The company she had loved and built, she had begun to hate, and this in turn had made her hate herself.

We worked on re-wiring her beliefs about herself, what her company should be, and what she wanted for herself and her family moving forward.

Easier said than done, but with some months of wiring in new beliefs about her strengths, her desires, her new hates, and her new likes, she was able to stabilise herself and her business.

Juliet had thought the only way out was to sell the business, but she did not need to once she was open to (and able to) have new beliefs that were relevant to her at the next stage of her life.”

The 3 Aspects To Burnout Prevention and Recovery

How nervous breakdowns manifest themselves in a person’s mind, body and environment

When I am helping a company implement a burnout prevention programme, I look to tackle the three main aspects that create burnout:

1. Neurological/physiological – What has been a person’s experience imprinted neurologically

2. Psychological – How is that person thinking in terms of their patterns of thoughts (e.g. how a person blames themselves / motivates themselves)

3. Social – What has been literally going on around the person externally (e.g. in the workplace, at home, relationships etc)

I see burnout as a constellation of symptoms and therefore a constellation of issues and one has to be cognisant of all aspects which is why simply reducing somebody’s workload or advising them to take one yoga session a week isn’t enough because it’s a complex system of circumstances.

“The BITC Mental health at work report states that only 9% of all employees have attended training focussed solely on mental health (and only only 13% of all managers have attended mental health related trainings)”

- BITC 2019

The Process For Identifying and Treating Burnout

Including the effects and manifestations of nervous breakdowns and stress related traumas

First and foremost, when professionals burn out, immediate time from off from work is necessary in order to reduce levels of cortisol, adrenalin and other stress hormones so the person does not breakdown completely (if they haven’t already done so), as the recovery can be prolonged.

The symptoms are overwhelming and often traumatic, so individuals must be primarily informed about what is happening to them, even if the ‘Why?’ cannot be figured out initially.

My first task is to ascertain whether the person is in post burnout reaction, or a post trauma reaction (as the recovery process is slightly different for each) whilst providing enough information about what is going on to help reduce the fears they may be experiencing and to help them see that what they are going through IS treatable and won’t last forever.

For those interested in the difference between post burnout reaction and post trauma reaction…

Examples of post burnout reaction:

Examples of post trauma reaction:

My next task is to ascertain which systems of the body* are affected and share relevant information with them around this straight away.

A plan can then be devised to support the individual throughout the entire recovery period; baring in mind that the earlier the intervention, the less they will suffer and less time off they will need to recover fully.

*11 Systems of the body:

Part of the thorough assessment I conduct in order to determine the best treatment for burnout is to try to ascertain which systems of the body have been affected.

Below is a list of the 11 differing systems of the body (one or more of these will be involved in what culminates collapse).

Chronic stress will affect people differently, but it affects everyone eventually. No one gets away with it.

It is often necessary for me to work alongside a GP in order to help a person in burnout to work on a recovery trajectory.

Obviously someone who has had a heart attack in their burnout experience will have their circulatory system affected; this would not exclude however digestive complaints based on heightened levels of adrenaline and cortisol coursing through the body.

So a comprehensive look at the systems is vital to good and complete recovery

The 11 systems of the body are:

The Common Signs and Symptoms of Nervous Breakdowns

How to spot if you (or someone you know) is heading for a nervous breakdown

There are 10 common symptoms and signs someone is headed for burnout:

The earliest sign of burnout is a change in someone’s thinking. Thought patterns such as “how can I get through the day” and “when will this end?” are common, alongside signs of depression and anxiety.

Others may spot that the person has started having a shorter fuse and is easier to anger, or on the other side of the scale begin to withdraw and stop participating as readily as before.

Some may describe the person as having a personality change. The reason that this appears so is because the person has already got to their bandwidth and is struggling to manage what used to be manageable. Their system therefore goes into survival mode.

It’s worth re-iterating that true burnout is when somebody is incapable of working at all. So, prevention is crucial, and way cheaper for organisations!

I believe it’s important that people who burn out understand that it’s often their strength and their drive that burns them out… It’s not caused in any way by weakness (even if they may feel that way in the moment).

12 Reasons People Are Burning Out Working From Home

Some people are astonished that people are breaking down whilst working at home, I am not, and here are some of the reasons why:

1)   Travel hours have been given to the job.

It is entirely somebody’s choice if they want to give their travel time to the organisation/business they’re working for.  In fact, every now and then that’s absolutely fine, but before you know it, you’re doing an extra 10 hours a week that’s 40 hours extra month – which is basically another working week! 

This has been great and necessary in the initial adjustments needed to manage the Covid19 challenges. 

If people enjoy this and can stay well while working the extra hours, that’s their choice. Although when it starts to overwhelm and makes someone ill it feels hard to choose to reverse the cycle. Some will feel unable to adjust down their hours, especially if many have done the same; it becomes the new norm. A bit like if you start a job and you do extra hours to show your value and contribution and then it feels almost impossible to reduce them afterward…

2)   No decompression time

Having lost travel time, you lose de-stressing time. It is harder to put in place the boundaries between work and home.  Not so much in a ‘work-life balance’ but where without any travel to and from work, there is no time to decompress before your home life starts. This means the intensity of work, meetings, discussions general stress starts to ‘bleed’ into home life and other people within the home. This also means that accidentally the stress starts to affect the whole household. It also means that home has lost its ‘soft place to fall’ feel.

3)   Schooling at home. 

Of course for many there has also been the added pressure of having young children (and older ones) at home and routines being different. People need routines in different ways and children often like the structure that has been altered too. You may feel having your children around at whatever age feels like something you didn’t sign up for, and it can make you feel torn to pieces trying to do the right thing for everyone, and your work. The multi-tasking can wear you out not simply through so many jobs, but the weight of the responsibility…

Advice From Anna

General advice and recommendations for people concerned about how burnout may effect them personally, their staff, or their loved ones

For people who have burnt out:

“UNDERSTAND THAT IT IS NOT WEAKNESS THAT HAS BROUGHT YOU TO THIS…actually, quite the opposite. Your strength and drive has most likely contributed to the symptoms you are currently experiencing.

1) Take time away from work immediately, a month off now could save you two years off later on down the line.

2) Get help immediately, and understand what symptoms may last and cause an issue in the future once you have recovered and are well enough to work again.

My initial advice for someone who has already burnt out is to ensure thorough recovery.

The experience of burnout is imprinted upon the brain and it is common for people to burnout a second and third time. Often when people have burnt out once it takes less to burn them out again, so they must be careful.

Part of the recovery process is becoming thoroughly knowledgeable of the different aspects that brought about your burnout (i.e. your previous thinking, your previous experiences, your resilience, and your propensity to extend yourself beyond your limits).

This knowledge will play a key part in making sure you avoid burning out again in the future because if you haven’t thoroughly recovered and fail to take the lessons into consideration, then you ARE likely to burnout again.

After burnout you are vulnerable and you deserve to become fully well and live the life that you want to.”

For people who might be headed for burnout:

“Firstly, remove everything from your diary that is not ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY.

This is crucial in stopping the burnout having to ‘turn up’ and slow you down.

It’s much better to slow yourself down than to burn out and then have to pick yourself up from the very bottom later, when more of your body’s systems are affected.”

For managers who spot a team member heading for burnout:

“If you can see somebody heading for burnout, the best thing you can do for them is to ask them to remove everything from their diary which is not absolutely necessary.

A common problem manager’s may face when spotting an employee heading for burnout is that the employee may not believe the manager cares that they’re burning out.

A perfect example of this is when a manager tells an employee to go home at 5:30pm, but the employee is fully aware that the manager is going to stay at work until 8:00pm and the employee may believe that if they actually leave at 5:30pm it will be seen as a weakness rather than a strength.

This is also a good reason why training in prevention is crucial because then managers can start to understand what they convey with their behaviour and words – as people will typically do what they see, not what they’re told.”

For people who are worried a family member / spouse is headed for burnout:

“If I’m approached by a family, I tend say to them that burnout affects everyone (it doesn’t happen in isolation) because somebody in burnout has often lost a lot of their previous capabilities for a time anyway…

Families can be quite afraid that they have lost their mom, dad, partner… that they are a different person to who they used to be.

Realistically burnout does require people to take some time away from work in order to fully recover. If individuals go back to work too early, they risk more prolonged time off sick in the future.

If, at all possible, reducing demands and stresses upon the person who is burned out helps massively.

They are often so overwhelmed that the simplest of jobs or demands can keep the burnout in place and prevent full recovery. Families are often well placed to help the person remove blame from themselves.

No one intends to burnout, and it often creeps up on them because they are strong and capable…

Sometimes families will see it as an opportunity to recalibrate and perhaps help the person change their views of themselves and how they live and work in order to have a fully interesting, productive and healthy life.”

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The Burnout Manifesto 2021

The Ultimate Guide To Chronic Stress / Nervous Breakdowns, Burnout Prevention and Workplace Mental Health

Who can benefit from working with Anna?

One To One Work With Anna - In Person & Remotely

Anna conducts 1:1 consultations around the world with clients using Zoom, Skype and FaceTime.

Many clients Anna has never met in person, but have gone on to fully recover from burnout, and return back to fully running their businesses.

The first step is an initial conversation to ascertain where the individual lies on the burnout spectrum and what can be done to help.

Together the client and Anna then decide how to proceed. A weekly meeting is common to begin with, but in some cases a twice weekly meeting is needed initially.

This can include meetings as a couple to support the family where necessary (burnout and breakdown don’t happen in isolation – it affects the whole family)

Meeting people face to face is preferred if that is geographically possible although many of Anna’s clients travel for work.

During travel times, meetings can be hosted virtually adjusting to the different time zones, before returning to face to face meetings post travel.

Bespoke Burnout Awareness and Prevention Training for Companies

Anna also regularly conducts trainings in small groups within organisations; which is useful so no one person is singled out or highlighted as having an issue.

Company based trainings can easily be discreet.

Trainings are perfect for organisations who are interested in prevention of burnout, establishing a wellness culture to ensure they retain top talent and reduce recruitment and training costs, or for organisations who have found they have a high rate of burnout and don’t understand why.

Trainings are also needed when organisations experience a major incident within the workplace that has suddenly affected the workforce.

Anna also provides Online trainings in Burnout Awareness, Burnout prevention, and Burnout Recovery which can be accessed privately for the individual and / or individual members of a team within an organisation.

Anna’s Best Selling Book: “Smile Again: Your Recovery from Burnout, Breakdown and Overwhelming Stress

Anna’s #1 best selling book an amazon is the perfect resource for individuals who are concerned about burning out, or who have already burnt out and are on the road to recovery

Free Resource: The Burnout Prevention Quiz©

The Burnout Prevention Quiz© is a free online tool that individuals and companies can use to assess their risk to burnout in less than 5 minutes.

Free Resource: The Burnout Prevention Inventory© Infographic

The Burnout Prevention Inventory© is a free infographic that accompanies Anna’s Burnout Prevention Quiz© to help individuals assess where they are on the burnout spectrum.

Free Resource: Kindness Incorporated™ Podcast

Coming soon!


The state of mental health in the workplace

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