Workplace Wellbeing

How Self Care Can Help Prevent Burnout

76% of U.S. workers experienced burnout in the past year. Read this blog to learn how to prevent burnout for you and your teams, what to do when self care isn’t enough, and how to develop—and maintain—an effective self-care practice.

Written by
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Shannon Maynard
Certified Professional Coach
Clinically reviewed by
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    According to a Spring Health survey, 76% of U.S. workers experienced burnout in the past year. That’s a staggering statistic, and a consistent self-care practice is one of the most effective ways your employees can avoid and reduce burnout.

    The right self-care practices can increase productivity, decrease stress, and improve overall physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. 

    Our December webinar brought together a panel of experts, including two therapists, a people operations specialist, and a personal transformation coach. They shared their perspectives on how to prevent burnout for you and your teams, what to do when self care isn’t enough, and how to develop—and maintain—an effective self-care practice. 

    Preventing burnout by practicing self care 

    All too often, we decide to prioritize self care after we’re already burnt out. Developing a self-care practice before this happens and paying attention to the warning signs is one of the best ways to prevent it. 

    Tou Ger Lee, ICF Accredited Personal Transformation Coach at Spring Health says, “People don’t realize they're not taking care of themselves. Burnout doesn’t happen suddenly. It happens slowly, over time. We often begin looking to self care when it’s too late and we’re already burned out.”

    Some common warning signs are complaining, not treating your partner well, and working later than usual. Think about your red flags, and commit to increasing your level of self care when they begin to show up in your life. 

    The ripple effect of self care

    As we discussed in an article summarizing how to develop an effective self-care practice for the New Year, one of the biggest self-care myths is that it’s selfish–and this couldn’t be further from the truth.

    When we take care of ourselves, we have the energy to care for others, connect with our coworkers on a more personal level, and be more engaged at work. We have more patience for ourselves and others, our empathy increases, and we can improve every type of relationship in our lives.

    Lee says, “Energy is contagious. Think of self care as a pyramid of champagne cups. When your wellbeing is overflowing, that will naturally radiate to the people in your life, and to the people in their life, creating a ripple effect.” 

    As we begin this new year, ask yourself: what’s one thing you can say yes to and one thing you can say no to in order to improve your self care routine?

    What if self care isn’t enough? 

    We’ve all experienced elevated levels of stress and uncertainty since the pandemic began, with so many also reeling from loss. And while this has made having a consistent self-care practice even more critical, sometimes it isn’t enough. 

    Shlomit Liz Sanders, LMFT, CCTP, is a licensed therapist at Spring Health, and says, “Nobody knows you better than you, and if something doesn’t feel right to you, it’s worth checking in with yourself. That can make the difference between knowing how to take care of yourself properly. Then, talk to a loved one who you trust and see if they are able to spot what’s going on.”

    It’s okay to ask for help,” adds Mary Shepherd, People Operations Specialist at Clever.  “Asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness. When I find myself resisting certain feelings, I welcome those thoughts and give myself permission to feel and get curious about what they're telling me I need in that moment.”

    Reach out to the people in your life who can help you take some of the weight off your shoulders and create a support system. This can consist of a trusted friend, a family member, or a therapist. 

    At Spring Health, we provide personalized mental healthcare for you and your whole family, from therapy and coaching to meditation and mindfulness. Learn more about how we can help here

    How to create and maintain an effective self-care practice

    Committing to developing a self-care practice in the New Year also often isn’t enough. 

    We’ve all been here. We take the time to create our goals, we share them with friends and family, we may even get off to a great start on January 1—but too many of those well-intentioned resolutions don't make it into February.

    There are three primary reasons for this:

    1. We create too many goals, and/or goals that are so big and broad we don’t know where to start
    2. We develop the goals we think we should have, instead of goals that are aligned with our values
    3. We don’t have the accountability we need

    Working with a coach is the solution for all three of these problematic areas. Coaches understand that you are the expert on your own life. After helping you clearly define the level of self care you want to achieve, they work with you to design an action plan to build your practice through small, incremental changes that make a big impact. 

    We’re focused on progress, not perfection, so as your coach keeps you accountable during each session, they also help you identify and work through things that are getting in the way of your goals. 

    This could be exactly what you need to ensure 2022 is the year that you finally take better care of yourself, and others around you as part of that ripple effect. 

    Watch the self-care webinar on demand for more insights from our panel of experts on how to  develop an effective self-care practice in the New Year–and encourage your teams to do the same. 

    About the Author
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    Shannon Maynard
    Certified Professional Coach

    Shannon is a Senior Content Marketing Manager at Spring Health, and has 15 years of marketing experience. She is also a Certified Professional Coach, Energy Leadership Index Master Practitioner, introvert, and HSP. She loves writing about introversion and mental health, and is a regular contributor for Introvert, Dear and Highly Sensitive Refuge.

    About the clinical reviewer
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