What Employers Can Do to Help Addicts Avoid Burnout

Stressful Work Day

The stress of jobs and careers is a real problem that most people endure for years without help. Unfortunately, they often shrug it off as commonplace or normal, which to a certain extent it is. Others turn to short-term solutions for these feelings. Those feelings of stress and anxiety can pile up and get worse over time. Turning to alcohol and/or drugs is a negative way of dealing with stress from work and can cause dangerous consequences. Work stress and anxiety are often compounded by personal issues: financial troubles, family problems or lack of recreational fun. Seasonal depression is a common issue that can push employees towards burnout or substance abuse. Recovering addicts are especially at risk for relapse, work stress, and burnouts. It is important as an employer and employee to deal with work stress and potential burnout to recognize these situations and handle them appropriately.

What To Do After a Stressful Day

Stressful days can lead a person to a complete and total burnout. Everyone, at one point or another, has felt a burnout. It is simply a complete feeling of exhaustion, both mental and physical. Long periods of stress, anxiety and a feeling of being overworked can lead to burnout. People who have burnt out can shut down and be unable or unwilling to continue their job. It is important, therefore, to monitor employee’s behaviors and output to detect symptoms of potential burnout and stress. Those who could be on the path to burnout could exhibit low energy, depression, anxiety, irritability or aggression towards coworkers or friends, insomnia, overeating or not eating, illness, indigestion, and overconsumption of alcohol or taking drugs. These symptoms should be addressed immediately to prevent a more serious consequence.

When you have a stressful day at work it is important to have something to which you can find solace. Most people enjoy some sort of physical activity to work off that stress and give the body a chance to release natural chemicals that make you feel better, endorphins. Getting a good workout routine can make a world of difference. It is best to have a workout partner who can encourage and push you to hit the gym on those days where you are not self-motivated. Other physical activities like playing basketball, yoga, surfing or any other sport/activity you enjoyed in the past can help. It would be even better to find something that you have always wanted to try and get involved. New and exciting activities are great ways to relieve that stress.

Warning Signs of Relapse

When dealing with a recovering addict, catching the warning signs of relapse is essential. Many of the relapse symptoms are the same as those expressed before a person becomes burnt out. They can show anxiety, intolerance, anger, defensiveness, mood swings, and isolation. Isolation could be the most telling sign that a recovering addict is going to or has already relapsed. Employers should monitor a recovering addict employee’s work to ensure they are not on the precipice of relapse. Simply checking in on how they are doing could prevent relapse. Giving them subtle, slight encouragement or praise can help. If they seem overwhelmed or overly stressed from their workload it could be a good idea to try to lighten it or provide them with an extended deadline. Recovering addicts should have a strong support network to ensure they stay on task with their recovery. This network should check in with the recovering addict to ensure they are stable with their work, life, and recovery. A combination of healthy living, safe work environment, and open communication can keep a recovering addict from burning out and relapse.

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