How to Deal with Burnouts: Causes, Treatment, and Prevention (Podcast)

How to Deal with Burnouts: Causes, Treatment, and Prevention (Podcast)

    In the 9th episode of FP Guru Series, we chatted with Fleur Brunninkhuis, a Stress & Burnout expert and a Life Coach from Amsterdam.

    Millennials are considered a Burnout Generation. Julia & Una chatted to Fleur and asked her the most important questions regarding this relevant topic.

    What this podcast is about:

    ○ What actually is a burnout? How does it manifest itself?

    ○ Are there different types and intensities of burnouts?

    ○ What are the causes of burnout?

    ○ What are the early signs that you might be reaching a burnout?

    ○ How to deal with the social stigma related to burnouts (as it is still sometimes seen as something you should be ashamed of)?

    ○ If you feel overworked, what are the steps you can take to prevent burnout?

    ○ How to cure a burnout? What are the treatments?

    Listen to the podcast here:

    Podcast Transcription: 

    Una [00:00:00] Hello everyone and welcome to the Fashion Potluck Podcast session. Fashion Potluck is a social media platform where women can consume and create content. My name is Una, I'm the Content Manager Fashion Potluck. And I'm here with Julia, the Chief Marketing Officer of Fashion Potluck, and Fleur Brunninkhuis, a Stress Expert, Burnout and Life Coach. 

    Fleur [00:00:21] Yes! Haha. Good morning. 

    Una [00:00:23] Welcome! So today, because Fleur is a Burnout and Life coach, we're going to be talking, of course, about burnouts. But Fleur, can you first tell us a bit more about yourself? How did you get into this area? 

    Fleur [00:00:36] Yes. So, I have a corporate background. I actually started as a corporate trainee at Ahold Delhaize, that was in 2013. For two years I did that and then I became a marketing manager there and basically, just yeah, I had a picture-perfect millennial life. So, good CV, I studied in London and then in Utrecht. I studied social psychology and it was just sort of the most logical step to continue in a traineeship after that. And then I got a burnout in 2015. And that's actually when everything started to change for me and I started to, well, look and reflect upon my life in a very in-depth way. 

    And yes, I recovered, of course, and I continued my job and really had a nice job. I did marketing campaigns for Albert Heijn, Easter, Christmas, had really nice colleagues. But there was something deep inside of me, deep down, that started this sort of pull and whispered: "OK, you should do something with your experience and this is not any longer what you're supposed to be doing". 

    And of course, I tried to ignore that for a while because I was there and it was just a very nice job, which felt very safe, and comfortable, and very at ease. But I couldn't ignore it at some point any longer, so I decided to quit my job and start coaching millennials. Life coaching, stress burnout coaching, I also now give workshops at big corporate companies on these topics: wellbeing, mindfulness, stress, everything that has to do with mindful intuitive living basically. And to prevent burnout, prevent stress, and have people really live more from their hearts. 

    Una [00:02:40] Okay. And you're based here in Amsterdam. 

    Fleur [00:02:41] Yes I am. Yeah. 

    Una [00:02:43] Nice! But actually millennials are called the' burnout generation'. But can you tell us a bit more what actually is burnout? And how does it really manifest itself?

    Fleur [00:02:53] So in short a burnout occurs if you have been ignoring your signals, just symptoms, of your body for an increased period of time. So you have basically been moving too fast and taking too little rest. So if you can put it very simple, it's a balance. You know there's activity and inactivity, activity and relaxation, and you have been way, way, way too active and you have got too little stress relief basically. And at some point if that drags on for a long, long, long time, and so you experience chronic stress, chronic fatigue then that may result in being hypersensitive, all different types of physical symptoms such as headaches, stomach aches, panic attacks, anxiety, anything basically that is something that you notice is not normal or not balanced but you can't really find an explanation for it. 

    It's interesting to look at that and see whether it's stress related because stress has many many symptoms that you can't, you don't think of, you don't make the relation between stress and that symptom. And it can also be because now I just mentioned some more physical symptoms but also loss of concentration, less creativity,y being very sensitive you know, hypersensitive to things, less productivity. So it basically affects one another. It's not just a mental thing, or a physical thing, or an emotional thing, it all sort of impacts one another, and if you don't you know intervene in time, it gets worse, and worse, and worse. 

    Julia [00:04:39] You say like if you ignore it for an extensive period of time, and what is it generally? 

    Fleur [00:04:45] Yeah. So there are official definitions of burnout, and they indicate that you need to, or that definition indicates, that you need to have had these symptoms for at least half a year in order to call it burnout. But then that definition at the same time also is a mainly work-related approach or used in mainly work-related approach, so it ties these symptoms to work, and that's something I don't agree with because I think it's something that ties not just to work, but to every aspect of your life. 

    But if you really want to sort of make it very quantifiable, so for how long does it last, yeah it's been said half a year, but that's really different per person. Sometimes, you know, the symptoms have been going on for such a long time, but people just haven't noticed and it's been much longer than half a year. So the buildup has been much longer, but then maybe they're really like, the clear symptoms have only surfaced for half a year for example. 

    Julia [00:05:46] And when you reach this burnout, after let's say a half year of the symptoms,  how do you understand it's a burnout? Do the symptoms change? Do they take a shape of something else, or at some point, you just can't do anything anymore? 

    Fleur [00:06:00] So, if it really gets to burnout, because there are different phases leading up to burnout, right... 

    Una [00:06:07] Is there a trigger? A trigger which happens when you're in a stressful period and then you get a burnout? Or is it more like a phase? 

    Fleur [00:06:14] It's a buildup.  So you first say that you have stress, for example, let's say that the most ideal situation is you're relaxed.  Or your inactivity and your activity are sort of in balance, that's completely fine. Then you function really normally. Then you might experience some stress, OK, that happens to many of us. If you then reset and relax that's completely fine. Then if the stress prolongs and just sort of keeps on going, then it becomes chronic stress. Then you might feel as people call it, I think 'overworked' or 'overly stressed' or 'overly sensitive', you can say that that's already a symptom that you're not going the right way or direction that you're not heading in the right direction. And then it's someone if that sort of continues, then you might get into a burnout. 

    Listen to the full podcast in the player above.

    About Fleur: 

    Fleur is a burn-out & life coach for millennials who feel stressed or burnt-out and/or who are looking to live a mindful and purposeful life. She offers both 1:1 and corporate coaching, in English or Dutch. To learn more about Fleur, visit her Website and Instagram profile

    If you have any questions, feedback, or suggestions regarding our podcasts, email us at inspire@fashionpotluck.com.

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    *Disclaimer: The purpose of this podcast is to educate and to inform. It is no substitute for professional care by a doctor or other qualified professional. Statements made by Fashion Potluck's guests and speakers do not reflect Fashion Potluck's views and are shared as personal opinions of interviewed individuals.

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