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Your guide to self-care: How to guard against burnout syndrome?
Vikram, a small town boy worked very hard, establishing himself as one of the leading doctors of the country during the 90's. However, the scenario today is that the same person has become a drug dealer, being arrested at least 15 times. So, what happened to the man who worked his way to reach the top and helped many people lead healthy lives by performing successful surgeries?

When Vikram's case was handed over to a professional psychiatrist, he stated that Vikram was suffering from burnout syndrome, a deadly diseases that disturbs mental and physical health.

Not only Vikram, but 10 out of every 100 working professionals like doctors, lawyers, policemen, entrepreneurs etc. today suffer from burnout syndrome.

What is burnout syndrome?

Most consider both burnout and stress as synonyms. But in medical terminology, it's not true. Although burnout is a phenomenon caused due to stress, the patient suffering from burnout also shows symptoms of hopelessness. In simple words, too much stress leads to burnout.

Burnout is nothing but a disorder and the person suffering from it can be compared to a person with an injured brain. It makes a person vulnerable and he or she no longer seems to be the same person.

Co-relation between stress and burnout

Burnout can be detected by keeping tabs on our day-to-day life. Loss of appetite, sleeplessness, brain fog, anxiety, depression, frustration… there are so many symptoms for identifying whether one is suffering from extreme stress. The early stage of all these symptoms is considered as stress and if proper care is not taken then it could lead to burnout.

Professors from the University of Columbia say that all the symptoms concerning stress are inter-related and the different hormones causing stress act accordingly. Sleep and food are foremost factors that cause stress, which ultimately leads to burnout.

Loss of appetite

Stressed individuals suffer loss of appetite and due to less intake of food our body's metabolism slows down leading to fatigue. Many people consume drinks laced with caffeine and sugar to keep their bodies balanced. But higher intake of caffeine causes anxiety and anger.

At first, both anxiety and anger are not considered as problematic. But as the days pass without any proper treatment, it leads to burnout which magnifies the problem leading to violence and isolation both personally and professionally.


Lack of sleep is caused due to more stress. Doctors prescribe sleeping inducing pills to reduce this problem but according to the Institute of Medical Sciences, 70 per cent of the people suffering from sleeplessness avoid medicines which leads to other problems caused due to stress like faltering memory and poor performance. Long-term insomnia also leads to depression and hopelessness.

Is there is any way to minimise the chances of burnout? The answer is, yes.

Few things that should be kept in mind to avoid burnout syndrome are:

  • Dieticians suggest that proper intake of food containing the necessary vitamins and minerals required by our body is the first step to a healthy lifestyle. Whole grains, lean meat, egg whites; milk products like milk, ghee and curd; leafy and root vegetables; fresh fruits have to be taken in our meals daily to maintain good health.

  • Every one of us knows that exercise is needed for our body. It has been proven that taking a walk in fresh air along with 10 minutes of proper meditation keeps the mind fresh throughout the day. This reduces stress and makes our brain function properly.

  • The "early to bed and early to rise" concept has vanished from our daily lives due to hectic schedules. But still,try to maintain timings of sleep so that the body can get rest for at least 6 to 8 hours daily. Although, many people find it difficult to sleep for such long hours,but keep it in mind that mental relaxation can only be achieved through sleep.

  • Many psychiatrists suggest developing a hobby to distract yourself from mental tensions. Research says that most people find cooking and gardening as refreshing hobbies. Never consider watching TV, reading or writing as distractions because they put more pressure on your brain.

  • Spend some quality time with your loved ones. This is very important because a holiday with our dearest ones puts our tensions at ease.

  • Avoid consumption of alcohol and tobacco as they increase stress. Gambling is another major cause of stress which should be avoided by all means.

Another important thing to be keep it in mind is that a person should never allow stress to take over him or her.

How to deal with burnout?

Due to our busy lives many professionals suffer from burnout and out of them only a handful are successfully able to get cured.

Here are some techniques suggested by psychiatrists:

Anger therapy

Although, many ways are suggested by the doctors to deal with anger, but the most effective is letting out your anger. Suppressed anger leads to violence, so let it out. Some IT companies in USA have anger rooms where people can vent out their anger by destroy furniture etc.

Group therapy

Since, taking individual counselling is difficult, that's why doctors suggest group discussions where many people suffering from the same problem can share their views. Sharing helps to release emotions which in turn makes the mind fresh.


A friend is needed to share your thoughts. You could also socialise with co-workers at your work place and share your views.


Take time off from work and spend some time with yourself and with your loved ones. Spending such time helps us to rediscover ourselves.

Relaxation therapy

This consists of two parts, one is good sleep which will be difficult for people with burnout disorder. Doctor prescribed pills will help in such cases and gradually the dosage of the pills can be reduced.

The other one is relaxation treatment like body massage, taking bath using aromatic salts, listening to soft music etc.

Anti-addiction therapy

Self-positive-talk is the first step towards this therapy. Then, with the help of doctors and your well-wishers the therapy continues until you are free from addiction.

There are many spas which conduct anti-burnout programmes which are very effective. Psychiatric centers also conduct programmes for people suffering from burnout syndrome. Take some time off from your daily chores to seek solutions to your problem.

Also, physical and mental exhaustion can be minimised by following a healthy lifestyle. Though many of us know about it we just procrastinate which leads to aggravation of the problem. Seeking help from others is useful if you are already suffering from burnout. Always remember that prevention is better than cure.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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