Burnout: Dr Rangan Chatterjee outlines signs to look out for
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Appearing on ITV’s Lorraine on Tuesday, January 24, Dr Rangan Chatterjee said the first sign of burnout is “really, very important”. “Number one, disconnection from the people around you; this is really, very important. “You feel so bad in yourself… you don’t want to talk to your colleagues, or your partner, or your children.”
Dr Chatterjee described this sign as “very toxic”, because “you are never going to heal from burnout by yourself”. He said: “You need people around you.”
“The second one is emotional exhaustion,” Dr Chatterjee continued. “We start to be really cynical, about our work [and] about the things in our life.”
He gave an example: when a partner asks for a cup of tea, if you find that simple request “irritating”, you could be experiencing burnout.
Another sign of burnout is the lack of creativity, he told TV host Lorraine Kelly.
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“I’m putting signs out there that may be a bit surprising for people… that they’re not aware of,” he said.
Dr Chatterjee added that an inability to “gain pleasure from things that used to give you pleasure” could be another warning sign.
As could procrastination, when you know you should be doing something productive but, instead, you “feel a bit frozen”.
A lack of self care is also a sign of burnout, which can show up when you don’t go to bed on time, or you’re not eating right, or showering.
Then there’s physical exhaustion, which can be a sign of burnout, which you need to “pay attention to”.
“If it gets really bad, you would need to be signed off work,” said Dr Chatterjee.
But, by being aware of the signs of burnout, the doctor assures you can make subtle changes to help you bounce back.
“Do something you love each day,” Dr Chatterjee recommended, adding that pursuing joyful activities make us “more resilient to stress”.
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Activities could range from five minutes of dancing, to watching a comedian on YouTube – anything where “time stands still”.
Sharing his own little pleasures, Dr Chatterjee revealed he loves singing, playing his guitar, and playing pool with his children.
Other fun activities could include completing a jigsaw or a puzzle, and/or painting.
Dr Chatterjee also advised you can combat burnout by getting restorative sleep.
Getting “even 15 minutes of extra sleep makes a difference”, he said.
Dr Chatterjee compared people to rubber bands in that we can bounce back into shape from daily stressors.
However, if burnout appears, then you don’t snap back, unless you take the necessary steps to recover.
Hear more tips from Dr Rangan Chatterjee by listening to his weekly podcast Feel Better Live More.
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