April is Stress Awareness Month, an annual event to raise awareness of the causes of stress and open up conversations about the impact it’s had on our lives. Stress poses a huge risk to our health; it can lead to a number of physical problems, including heart disease, digestive issues and insomnia, in addition to serious mental disorders such as anxiety and depression. So this month, we’re going to be talking about stress, how to spot it, and what measures you can take to avoid it.
The Key Signs Of Burnout
Burnout is a state of physical and mental exhaustion caused by long-term or excessive amounts of stress. Psychologists Gail North and Herbert Freudenberger define burnout in 12 stages. At Bodyshot, we took those 12 stages and looked at what to do if, for instance, you recognise those signs in either yourself or someone else. From this, we created a fantastic resource 12 Stages of Burnout which you can find here. But this month I also want to discuss some of the key signs: apathy and anhedonia.
What should you do if you notice yourself feeling perhaps more apathetic than usual? Apathy refers to a lack of motivation or simply not caring as much as you probably should. This often manifests through phrases such as, “I can’t be bothered,” or “I’ll do it tomorrow.” And this might be uncharacteristic for you or another person.
Anhedonia is a particularly interesting one; it means being unable to derive pleasure from something you once enjoyed. Say you used to love a game of squash after work, and now it doesn’t interest you at all. That’s anhedonia: a loss of pleasure in something you’d ordinarily find enjoyable.
These are two of the first signs you might be heading for chronic stress. And it’s a good idea to take heed if you notice either of them. It isn’t necessarily a quick or easy fix, in fact, it requires a fair amount of consistency. Take a step back, and figure out how you can prioritise more rest and recovery – or ‘deliberate rest’. We’ve also created some great material over the years for getting more opportunities for rest and recovery into your day, which you can access here.
So, whether it’s you, a fellow team member, or a loved one, pay attention to apathy and anhedonia for Stress Awareness Month.
Webinar: The Impact of Proactive Leadership on Employee Wellbeing
Our next webinar, The Impact of Proactive Leadership on Employee Wellbeing, at 12pm on Tuesday 18th April.
Leanne Spencer is joined by Tom Emery, an organisational development expert and executive team coach. Together, they’ll be looking at how leaders can role model behaviours and boundaries to support their teams to be happy, healthy and effective in their roles and life.
We have limited places available so sign up now.
In the bestselling book Rise and Shine, Leanne shares her expertise and experience to show you how to spot the signs of professional burnout, recover, and go on to enjoy a happier, healthier life and career.
Listen to Leanne’s latest podcast show and learn how how to beat burnout.