BRUSSELS (Brussels Morning) – The term burnout cannot be ignored from the news. But the more easily the term circulates, the more diverse the causes.
Preventing burnout is a shared responsibility. “A healthy fish (the employee himself) in healthy water (the employer’s circumstances)”, says Eva Vandenheede, vitality manager at Securex.
In view of the latter, her company has recently started offering an extensive trajectory around self-care and stress management. “We want to enable employees to grow in a low-threshold manner in six sessions,” Vandenheede says. The interactive process grew out of many cases of burnout and long-term absence. “Between each session, we provide a short homework assignment. And we use coaching principles and buddy systems.” We go over in a nutshell the different sessions and the possible causes of burnout:
Step 1: Discover your drive
This gives you insight into what gives you energy and eats you up. “That is different for everyone: from cooking to reading or walking,” she says. “In addition, we also introduce the participants to the phenomenon of time fillers: activities such as social media that actually do not generate any energy.”
Question: how do you charge energy? And do you prefer to do this alone or in a group?
Step 2: Know Yourself
What are your qualities and pitfalls towards others? “We all have certain qualities, but sometimes we go too far. For example, some are too perfectionistic. Or others, because they are good listeners, take on all the problems.
Question: what is your quality and (at the same time) pitfall?
Step 3: More harmony in working with others
This is about developing positive communication to improve relationships with others. “Very often we only communicate what we see and the desired result. But if you also communicate your own feelings and the will to collaborate in between, it often comes across much better.”
Question: what is your way of communicating (e.g. after a recent altercation)?
Step 4: Polish your brain
Understanding what your brain needs to avoid stress and improve mental health is desirable. “Prolonged smartphone use before going to sleep is often not a good idea. Your brain produces hormones that just keep you awake, making it difficult to fall asleep. That is why it is better to do breathing exercises or read a book.”
Question: what helps you to avoid stress?
Step 5: Challenge your thoughts and emotions
Thoughts have a significant influence on emotions and on your health. “People often do themselves the worst through negative thoughts. If you think in advance that something is going to fail, you will quickly feel bad about it.”
Question: what are your thoughts, and which (positive) ones can you replace them with?
Step 6: Action plan for the future
Here you make agreements with yourself to continue to take care of your mental health. “What often helps here is to visualise certain things. For example, if you want to run a marathon or start as a self-employed person, it helps to take a photo in the context of that and to look at it regularly.”
Question: what do you still want to do, and can you visualise this?