Are You Suffering from Stress and Burnout?
Created: Tuesday, 28 May 2013 15:10
Written by Tammy Laber
Recently I attended an educational seminar on job related stress and PTSD for people in front-line professions – police officers, emergency medical professionals, and so on. Some of the information was pretty specific and will be hugely valuable next time I counsel such a professional.
For example, if you know a police officer who is having trouble with their marriage, that’s not surprising, because police work is one of the professions with the highest divorce rates (please refer them to me!). But some of it applies to anyone in a really high stress job. And I seem to see a lot of people in advertising, lawyers, and finance people…
Essentially, when you are in a high stress job all day, your nervous system gets revved up to an unusual degree. At first this feels good – you are awake, alert and alive. But over time it takes its toll. You see, that high level of alertness comes with the release of a large amount of the stress hormone cortisol… and that can be bad for you in a number of ways.
Then when you get home, your nervous system shifts into a very low gear to recuperate from all the stress. You feel “tired” and like “doing nothing”. Plus, you may be withdrawn, grouchy and irritable with your spouse. Engaging in normal conversation and making even small decisions like where to go for dinner seems like too much effort.
When you feel this way, what you really need is some exercise, NOT time into front of the TV or a few drinks. Because it’s not your body that is tired… it’s your nervous system that needs to make an adjustment, and exercise will help you ditch the stress and get back to a normal range faster. Also, make the effort to do things you enjoy like hobbies and engaging with people you care about. In this state, you’ve got to “fake it ‘til you make it”… in other words, don’t wait to feel like doing something enjoyable, make the effort to engage in an enjoyable activity and let it produce the good feelings you need.
If you’d like to talk more about the many things I learned in this all-day seminar (this is a really short and simplified summary), give me a call. I can help you!