What is Stress and Burnout?
Simply put, stress is “our body’s response to pressures from a situation or life event.” Although it is often made out to be negative, stress is really a neutral object, designed to protect us in dire circumstances. However, in our North American culture of never ending work and activities, many people experience stress at a sustained, high level that the body was never designed for. This leads to burnout, a state of psychological exhaustion that detrimentally effects many area of one’s life.
How Does Stress Affect Me?
There are many side effects to these unsustainable levels of stress. These impact your body, such as headaches and migraines, muscle tension and pain, fatigue, a loss of sex drive, upset stomach, and sleep problems. They can impact your mood, leading to anxiety, restlessness, trouble focusing, irritability, or depression. They can also lead to changes in your behaviour, such as eating, anger outbursts, substance abuse, social withdrawal, and lack of exercise.
What Does Stress and Burnout Counselling Look Like?
Stress and burnout counselling helps you move from a state of being overwhelmed and in chaos to a place where you feel ordered, able, and secure. At Freedom Counselling all of our counsellors are trained in the latest psychological and counselling practices, including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). When dealing with stress and burnout this technique helps clients learn to focus on and listen to their body, including signs that they are doing too much or that their stress is growing. By accepting where they are at and what they can accomplish, and making a plan to destress, clients can make the most of whatever resources they have and gradually expand this over time.
Health Link BC
A good place to start learning more about stress and the options available to you in British Columbia is the provincial webpage on stress and stress resources, which can be accessed here.
Canadian Mental Health Association.
The CMHA raises awareness for mental health, and this webpage is provides a great overview of stress and its effects on one’s life. Click this link to go to the page.
The Simple Stress Solution
In 2017 Dr. Calista & Vern Ward, therapists at Freedom Counselling, published a self-help book on managing stress. This 30-day guide is great by itself or alongside therapy, and helps readers to understand the “stress spiral” and how to master their stress and use it in a healthy way. Learn more about their book here.