Stress is a normal human response that happens to everyone. When we experience changes or challenges, our body produces physical and mental responses that are stress. Such stimuli are called as stressors.
Stress can be positive, keeping us alert, and ready to avoid danger. But stress becomes a problem when stressors continue without relaxation & often lead to burnout. Term ‘burnout’ describes a severe intensity of state of stress over a long period of time that leads to severe physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion. It may even disrupt healthy immune responses.
Unlike ordinary fatigue, burnout halts the body’s ability to cope with stress and handling of day-to-day responsibilities. Burnout does not go away on its own. If left untreated, it can lead to serious physical and psychological illnesses like depression and heart diseases.
Red Flag Signs of Stress and its Manifestations
- Physical & Mental Exhaustion – May include headaches, and reduced appetite, or sleeping disturbances.
- Isolation – People with burnout may stop socializing with friends, family members, and co-workers.
- Escape from Realities – Affected individuals may fantasize about running away from responsibilities and may turn to drugs and alcohol.
- They often react aggressively with friends, co-workers, and family members even in ordinary coordinative work.
- Frequent illnesses. Burnout & chronic stress can lower immunity and increases susceptibility to colds, flu, insomnia, depression, and anxiety.
- Chronic Lifestyle Illness: Chronic stress is often linked to lifestyle related disease like hypertension, diabetes, metabolic syndrome etc.
How to Manage Stress & Prevent Burnout
Consider following these steps to beat stress & prevent burnout.
Exercise is good for physical wellbeing & the best stress buster. Mini-workouts and short walks can also be useful.
Practice good sleep habits:
Avoiding caffeine before bedtime, practicing relaxing bedtime rituals, and avoiding smartphone usage can help promote sound sleep and help calm our body and facilitate rest & reset.
Eat a balanced diet:
Eating healthy diet rich in essential amino acids and minerals may help increase the body’s coping ability to handle stress.
You can try these natural proven adaptogens to prevent stress & burnout. The evidence for some of the natural vitamins and ingredients can be summarized as below:
- Enhances mental acuity and physical endurance.
- Reduces cortisol levels, mitigates serotonin, which is a happy neurotransmitter, and hence reduces stress.
- Reduces psychological stress level, and also helps enhance immunity.
Natural Vitamin E:
- It is a provenantioxidant reported to reduce free radical-induced oxidative damage & thereby helps prevent organ damage.
- For maximum benefits, it is advised to consume vitamin E rich in mixed tocotrienols & tocopherols, not just alpha tocopherols.
- May help reduce anxiety, stress, and cognitive decline.
Omega-3 & DHA:
- Reported to regulate stress mediators, such as catecholamine and pro-inflammatory cytokines. Their intake is also associated with improved mood and cognition.
During stressful times, it is important to reach out for help with friends, and family members to avoid burnout.
Stress is unavoidable, but certainly manageable. It needs to be borne in mind that continuous exposure to stress can lead to burnout. Eating a balanced diet, regular exercise, getting a good night’s sleep, leading a healthy lifestyle, and consuming safe natural adaptogens and appropriate multivitamins may help to effectively cope stress in our lives – a new norm of our modern lifestyle.