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Lifestyle Habits To Help With Burnout: Advice from our Health Coach, Lana Buettner

Do you feel exhausted from work and find it challenging to maintain a healthy work/life balance?  Do you experience chronic stress and feel like you might be headed towards burnout? 

We look at the implications of chronic stress and speak with neurocare's Global Head of Health Coaching, Lana Buettner, to learn more about the lifestyle changes we can make to help manage stress and burnout.

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Psychological, physical and toxic stress, a dysfunctional immune system and hormonal regulation, are the leading causes of chronic diseases.

People with chronic high cortisol and inadequate emotional regulation are more likely to face chronic inflammation. This can impact different systems in the body which lowers resistance to stressors and disease overall.

Some consequences are high blood sugar, lower immunity, digestive problems, poor cognitive function and memory, weight gain, anxiety, mood changes and depression. Long-term stress can also lead to burnout, which is a predictor of the mentioned health issues. 

As a Health Coach, Lana guides her clients in addressing their lifestyle and environment to better manage their stress levels and chronic symptoms. Below she shares a few suggestions to support the body and mind through burnout and to improve resilience.

 

Follow a balanced, nutrient-dense and anti-inflammatory diet

"I work with my clients to guide them to reduce foods which are highly processed, high in refined sugars and contain unhealthy fats and which promote inflammation and oxidative stress," says Lana.

"Diets rich in refined carbohydrates and sugars have been found to elevate cortisol and thus amplify the chronic stress response. The focus should be on a wide variety of vegetables (high in polyphenols, which come with numerous health benefits), high-quality protein, healthy fats (especially look at Omega-3s) and healthy carbs to regulate blood sugar and reduce inflammation."

 

Avoid caffeine and alcohol until the situation has improved

It's relatively well known that caffeine and alcohol further worsen symptoms of anxiety, restlessness, focus and sleep problems, which are also associated with burnout. Caffeine also competes with adenosine (a chemical which creates sleep pressure) receptors which can then impact sleep. As addictive substances, the thought of cutting these out can be met with resistance and worry around the potential withdrawal symptoms.

"This can be difficult for many clients to cut back on caffeine and alcohol as it's so much a part of our normal routine and social habits," says Lana.

"Through coaching, we take it one step at a time to build new habits around these changes".

 

Get a good quality sleep 

Sleep is the foundation for health and one important pillar of high performance. Not enough sleep and low-quality sleep impair every aspect of our biology. Thus it is important to respect our individual sleep/wake cycle, also called circadian rhythm, and support the proper functioning of the different processes involved in sleep.

"Looking to recover from burnout, sleep should become a priority as it regulates various functions in the body which impact mood, energy levels, focus, cognitive performance, detoxification and more," says Lana.

 

Engage in daily movement and regular exercise

Finding the balance between movement and exercise is another key pillar to address symptoms of burnout. Movement helps to boost mood, reduce inflammation, improve sleep and promote overall-well being.

"I help my clients to become less sedentary and find joy and motivation in moving again. We work on building new habits to add more standing, walking and exercise into their daily routines," says Lana.

 

Cultivate mindfulness and gratitude

Mainstream health science and practice are increasingly focusing on the importance of mindfulness and self-kindness as key (and evidence-based) components of recovery and healing.

When asked about what to do, Lana shares to "cultivate gratitude, self-kindness and self-love through journaling and meditation. These practices increase positive emotions, help to find inner calmness, promote being in the present moment and help manage stress. All aspects which someone experiencing burnout can benefit from".

Other ideas can be to engage in relaxation techniques such as deep breathing exercises, time in nature and yoga. In addition, doing a regular digital detox (for one day or more) can help with exhaustion from multitasking, and boost mood and support with regaining clarity and focus.

 

"It really takes an integrative/functional approach when it comes to managing burnout symptoms," says Lana.

"The key is to reduce the different triggers which cause chronic stress and inflammation".

Therapy and health coaching can help individuals recognize what may be triggering their stress and burnout and explore their next steps towards a healthy and sustainable lifestyle.

 

Our therapists can be found at all of our clinics (Home | neurocare group) and our health coaches are available in the following countries:

neurocare clinics Australia: www.neurocareclinics.com.au

neurocare clinics UK: www.neurocareclinics.co.uk

neurocare clinics Italy: www.neurocareclinics.it

neurocare coaching Germany: https://info.neurocaregroup.com/de-de/health-coaching/

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