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Jan 17, 2021

Statistically, mental health disorders affect one in every four people in South Africa. This means that the daily lives of many more people than one would expect are affected in varying degrees. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on those with pre-existing mental health conditions and has also seen many more developing mental health issues due to financial stress and the uncertainty of what the future holds.

Burnout, which refers to mental and physical exhaustion, is a real syndrome. In May 2019, the World Health Organisation recognised it as an “occupational phenomenon” caused by chronic stress in the workplace.

What causes burnout?

Here are some of the leading causes:

– being overwhelmed by work responsibilities 
– work demands that consistently exceed the amount of energy you have available
– feeling deeply disillusioned by your efforts at work failing to produce intended or expected results 
– lack of a healthy work/life balance
– not feeling in control of your work
– monotony of work tasks

How can you beat burnout?

1. Manage the stressors:

Identify those things that are fuelling your burnout. Once you know them, you can begin addressing the issues.

2. Evaluate your options:

Discuss your concerns with your manager and find ways to manage expectations or reach compromises.

3. Adjust your attitude:

If you have become cynical and overly critical at work, consider ways to improve your outlook, such as taking short breaks throughout the day or rediscovering enjoyable aspects of your work.

4. Seek support:

Reach out to co-workers, friends or loved ones.

5. Assess your interest:

Introspection is key. Perhaps you should consider an alternative job, such as one that is less demanding or one that better matches your interests or core values.

6. Get some exercise:

There is no escaping this one, is there? Regular physical activity can help you effectively deal with stress. It will also help to take your mind off work and focus on something else.

7. Get more sleep:

Sleep restores wellbeing and helps protect your health. You should aim for at least 7-8 hours every night.

8. Get organised:

Clear your head. Put together a to-do list and give your mind the reward of ticking items off.

As of 1 January 2021, Bestmed partnered with the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG) to offer members a 24-hour mental health helpline, with the aim of supporting members who are experiencing mental health issues by managing its effects, providing additional support and improving quality of life.

This offering forms part of the Bestmed Tempo wellness programme offered to all registered beneficiaries across the 13 benefit options. Members will not incur any additional costs for utilising these services, unless consulting with a mental health professional on a personal basis or referred by a SADAG counsellor.

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