As the stress of the pandemic continues to put pressure on employees across industries, burnout and compassion fatigue have been increasing at an alarming rate. So, have you and your team figured out how to change your lives from stress to success? The key is to maintain your well-being and professional health.
In April, we hosted our Impact Breakfast Build Immunity Against Burnout and Compassion Fatigue led by Dr. Thomas E. Rojo Aubrey, resiliency expert and Glendale Community College faculty. In this session, Dr. Aubrey challenged attendees to ask themselves, “What kind of stressors are you exposed to at work?” Whether you’re stressed over meeting project deadlines or work-life imbalance, how you respond to your work stressors is critical. Stress overwhelms the body and can cause injury such as hypertension, anxiety, burnout, etc.
Relaxing your body to calm down your mind should happen in real-time, not at the end of your long, stressful day. Dr. Aubrey shared several tools to practice building resiliency as you go through your day. Examples you can try for yourself include breathing exercises, conscious muscle relaxation, guided imagery, mindfulness meditation, and reflective practices (music, drawing, writing for self-expression). Here are some tips related to these ideas and more to help you and your team build immunity against burnout:
Simply stop clenching the muscles in your body. That’s it – just stop squeezing! The key is to feel your diaphragm rising and falling as you inhale slowly through your nose and exhale through pursed lips.
1. Take a few seconds and scan your body from head to toe or from toe to head.
2. Starting from whichever direction you began your body scan, start again, and this time relax your muscles by releasing muscle tension as you scan your body.
3. As you become aware of any muscle tension, release it, letting your body become like a wet noodle.
4. Practice this exercise whenever you become aware of tension in your body.
Understand how your irritation to a supervisor’s reminder to complete a report or a significant other’s reminder to take your vitamins can be your body’s response to an activated security defense system (i.e. the nervous system). Be grateful for concerned and loving family members, friends, and colleagues.
If you don’t use your energy efficiently, you’re activating the defense system and burning yourself.
Stress doesn’t allow your body to use energy efficiently. By the end of your workday, if you’ve exhausted your energy, you may feel too drained to exercise, eat healthy, and sleep well. The secret to building immunity against burnout and compassion fatigue is learning how to properly expend your energy throughout the day. You and your team can greatly benefit from balancing your nervous system during your day at work. Practicing self-regulation by relaxing the body will create a sense of calmness and safety in the mind, giving access to a state of mind and body that supports learning, nourishment, rest, and recovery.
Want to learn how to engage employees working from home and in the office? Register today for our next Impact Breakfast!