Beating the burnout
Contrary to popular belief, yoga teachers are not immune to stress and burnout. Here are some ways to spot the danger signs and some tips to help if you’re starting to feel under pressure
With workers in the UK returning to the office in their greatest numbers since the pandemic, the number of Brits suffering from burnout or stress-related illnesses is also on the rise. It’s estimated that burnout affects around 12 million people in the UK each year, which can then manifest as alcoholism, depression and other addictions.
Yoga teachers are not exempt either. Self-employed people such as business owners or freelancers — which typically includes most yoga teachers — may be more susceptible to burnout due to long working hours and the weight of responsibility that they carry.
From the emotional and energetic impact of teaching, to dashing about all over town to lead classes at different locations, yoga teachers can leave themselves vulnerable to stress and burnout if they are not careful.
For so many people in the past couple of years, work and life have become intertwined. Luckily, there are some things that you can watch out for before hitting the rocks. Here, Private Rehab Clinic Delamere shares some tips on how you can tackle burnout when self-employed and how to spot some of the common danger signs.
Spotting the signs of burnout
Feeling tired all the time: If you are waking up feeling exhausted and find that you are still feeling drained even after you have been awake for a few hours and a cup of coffee in your system, then this may be a sign that you have burnout.
Recurring health problems: A person suffering from burnout may experience frequent and recurring headaches and muscle pains, as well as feelings of indigestion and stomach aches.
Feeling irritable: Finding yourself easily irritated or frustrated, even by small things, and then snapping out at others is a possible sign that you are carrying too much stress from work.
Self-deprecating feelings: When someone is suffering from burnout it can have serious effects on their mental health. A person can have a heightened sense of self-doubt, feel like a failure and even experience impostor syndrome. A person with burnout may also experience increased feelings of isolation and detachment from their colleagues, friends and family.
Increased procrastination: When burnout occurs a person may find themselves avoiding their responsibilities, regardless of how small those responsibilities may be. Instead, a person will fill their time with procrastination and indulging in comforting distractions.
Coping mechanisms: During burnout, a person may be more likely to turn to other comforts and coping mechanisms such as comfort eating junk food or even consuming alcohol and/or drugs. Engaging in any habit excessively to cope with stress may be a sign of burnout.
Change in sleeping and eating habits: Stress can mess with our natural cycle and someone who is experiencing unnaturally high levels of stress may find that their sleeping habits are altered as they end up staying up late and sleeping in. A person may also find themselves skipping or avoiding regular meal times, having a loss of appetite at some points in the day, or craving comforting junk food at others.
How you can tackle burnout
1. Set goals and priorities
Having a mountain of work, with no plan in place to move forward, can sometimes feel overwhelming. It can help to take a step back to assess which of your tasks need prioritising, and which ones will help you to achieve your goals.
2. Speak to your colleagues or clients
Being honest with the people that you are working with or for about your mental health can often make things a lot easier.
You may be surprised at how understanding other people are of your situation. By being open with others, you will have a better understanding of what to expect from each other, meaning that you will have a stronger professional relationship going forward.
3. Ask for help
Never be afraid to ask for help if you feel that your stress is becoming too much to handle and you start to show signs of burnout. Getting external advice through counselling or therapy can give you a new perspective on a situation to guide you through any problems. If you do not feel comfortable with counselling, then simply reaching out to friends and family can be enough to help you talk through your problems.
4. Schedule time off
Sometimes when work life is becoming too stressful, all you need to do is take a short break from it all. Returning to work after a much-needed break can give a person a more positive mindset. Those who are self-employed are often in charge of their own schedule and can overlook the need to take holidays. In fact, some surveys have shown that nearly one in 10 business owners go up to five years without taking a holiday.
5. Consider changing things
If your line of work is causing you constant stress and it feels that there truly is no way out, then it may be worth considering if you are genuinely following the right career path for you. It may be the case that you do not need to change your career path altogether, but that your daily work routine simply needs to be altered. Consider making small changes such as your place of work or the number of hours you work.
If you are stuck in one location or at home all day doing paperwork, you may benefit from finding a co-working space or a coffee shop to work in. Sometimes changes can be as simple as investing in new equipment or simply taking more regular breaks from your working day. By implementing these small changes you are less likely to burnout from stress.
6. Put self-care first
This is a big one! Work-life can be demanding, especially for any self-employed people who may be under pressure to meet deadlines for various clients or, in the case of yoga teachers, give so much energetically to clients. However, when we demand too much of ourselves, it can be damaging to our own physical and mental health. Remind yourself that you come first. Maintaining a healthy sleeping and eating pattern, while keeping up a rewarding social life and strong relationships is more important to your mental wellbeing than anything you do while on the clock.
Get in touch
As the world gets back to work after the pandemic, we’d like to know what sort of challenges yoga teachers are facing right now. How are things different? Are stress and burnout issues for you? Please let us know. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you’re concerned about stress and burnout then visit the Delamere website for more help, information and resources: delamere.com/addiction-treatment/work-burnout