Friday, March 31, 2017

Burnout on the Job

Chronic work-related stress over time can lead to job burnout. Burnout is defined as a “prolonged response to chronic emotional and interpersonal job stressors.” Burnout is measured by symptoms in three areas: emotional exhaustion or feeling depleted, cynicism or a sense of detachment from others, and a sense of inefficacy, or not being effective at work.

Job burnout can cause emotional and physical fatigue, insomnia, irritability, and problems paying attention at work. The effects of job burnout can start to spread into your personal life outside of work. Chronic stress also contributes to medical illnesses like heart disease and diabetes. Stress accounts for over 60% to 80% of medical visits to the primary care doctor. When your job puts your mind and body into a constant state of stress, you can become worn out emotionally, physically, mentally. In this vulnerable state, even little problems start to feel weighty and insurmountable.

Is this Burnout? Ask yourself:
Ask yourself the following questions:
• Have you become cynical or critical at work?
• Do you drag yourself to work and have trouble getting started once you arrive?
• Have you become irritable or impatient with co-workers, customers or clients?
• Do you lack the energy to be consistently productive?
• Do you lack satisfaction from your achievements?
• Do you feel disillusioned about your job?
• Are you using food, drugs or alcohol to feel better or to simply not feel?
• Have your sleep habits or appetite changed?
• Are you troubled by unexplained headaches, backaches or other physical complaints?

1. Exhaustion
A clear sign of burnout is when you feel tired all the time. Exhaustion can be emotional, mental or physical. It’s the sense of not having any energy, of being completely spent.

2. Lack of Motivation
When you don’t feel enthusiastic about anything anymore or you no longer have that internal motivation for your work, there's a good chance you're experiencing burnout. It may be harder to get going in the morning and more difficult to drag yourself into work every day.

3. Frustration, Cynicism and Other Negative Emotions
You may feel like what you’re doing doesn’t matter that much anymore. You might notice that you feel more generally pessimistic than you used to.

4. Cognitive Problems
Burnout and chronic stress may interfere with your ability to pay attention or concentrate.

Ignored or unaddressed job burnout can have significant consequences, including:
• Excessive stress
• Fatigue
• Insomnia
• A negative spillover into personal relationships or home life
• Depression
• Anxiety
• Alcohol or substance abuse
• Heart disease
• High cholesterol
• Type 2 diabetes, especially in women
• Stroke
• Obesity
• Vulnerability to illnesses

1. The first step is to figure out if you are experiencing job burnout. Awareness that you are experiencing job burnout is an essential first step. Ask yourself the above questions or assess if you experience those symptoms.

2. Try to get more sleep. Getting too little sleep is a major factor in predicting burnout and a likely contributor to job burnout. Sleeping better is also an important sign that you’re recovering from burnout and ready to go back to work

3. Take breaks during the workday. Even small ones where you walk outside for a few minutes or sit and talk with a co-worker for 5 minutes about non-work related topics,

4. Put away your digital devices. Before the Blackberry/Smart phones era, leaving your work at the office was the default. That’s no longer the case. We are both psychologically and physiologically still attached. The remedy, is to actively limit your use of digital devices after hours. Place your smartphone in a basket or drawer when you arrive home so you’re not tempted to pick it up and check your email; or you might devise a rule for yourself about turning it off past 8pm. “

5. Do something interesting. Do not just focus on avoiding work or limiting your time thinking about work, do something interesting and focus on it.

6. Do cardiovascular exercise regularly. Cardiovascular exercise has been shown in studies to significantly reduce burnout symptoms in as little as 4 weeks.

7. Try mindfulness meditation. Mindfulness meditation is a technique that allows you to just be exactly where you are and observe without judgment.

8. Practice mindful breathing. Try a simple mindful breathing exercise, which is a form of meditation. Inhale for 4 counts of breath, and exhale for 4 counts.

9. Make time for other activities focused on self-care and self-compassion. Self-care and self-compassion is different for everyone and what you feels right can change day to day.

10. Talk about your situation with people that you trust. Talking with a trusted supervisor or mentor to explore options on how to modify work demands or achieve better work-life balance can be helpful. Many companies also have an employee assistance program which may offer confidential counseling. If things are not improving, you can treat burnout symptoms with the help of a mental health professional.

11. Don’t let the feeling of not having enough time stop you. The most common reason is that people already feel like they don’t have enough time. The paradox is that making time for yoga, meditation, additional sleep or exercise will actually give you more time.

Burnout can happen to everyone and at different times for different reasons. Burnout can impact a person physically, cognitively, behaviorally and psychologically. It can have short term and long term impacts if not treated. Remember, if you think you might be experiencing job burnout, don't ignore your symptoms. Consult your doctor or a mental health provider to identify or rule out any underlying health conditions

Monday, February 27, 2017

“Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” – Mark Twain

Random Acts of Kindness
Random Acts of Kindness focus of performing random acts of kindness for others. Why? Research supports that people on the receiving end often become motivated to pay it forward and so begins the domino effects of unprompted acts of kindness. It also states that kindness feels better for the giver and can improve our moods and improve our beliefs about ourselves. Ever had someone pay for your coffee or your meal unexpected? How did it feel?

Research also demonstrates that if you perform random acts of kindness for two minutes a day for 21 days, you can actually retrain your brain to be more positive. Studies such as this show that when your brain is more positive you are more likely to be creative, intelligent and productive. These attributes can spin into what we perceive as ‘quality of life’ attributes - job success, wealth, healthy relationships, and better health. This adage, that “happiness breeds success,” think about that for a moment.

Kindness is a simple concept, yet so very impact. It can make the world a better place, you never know what other people may or may not be battling. Kindness has the power to drastically improve our own well-being as well as that of our families, friends, acquaintances, and strangers. The act of expressing graciousness to one another can improve our relationships within the workforce, kindness towards one another can inspire employees to be more productive and make businesses more profitable and within our communities, kindness contributes to safer schools and neighborhoods.

Easy ways to perform random acts of kindness:
Be generous with compliments (what they are wearing, their hair, smile or what
they are doing);
Return a shopping cart;
Help someone load or unload their groceries;
Make someone laugh;
Thank your employees/coworkers;
Give your seat to an elderly person;
Make eye contact and smile at others;
When waiting in line for a cup of coffee, offer to pay for the stranger’s coffee in
line in front of or behind you;
Put snacks, travel sized toiletries, a pair of warm socks and warm mittens in
Ziplock bags and pass them out to the homeless;
Volunteer to serve a meal at a local soup kitchen or volunteer your time at any
Organization that is meaningful to you;
Donate used books or puzzles to your local library or school;
Bring a few winter coats that your family has outgrown to a nearby shelter;
Bring a dozen donuts to a nearby fire station or police station and thank them for
their service;
When you see someone in a military uniform at the airport or in a mall, thank them
for their service and express your wish that they stay safe in their endeavor;
If you pass a parking meter that’s about to expire, put change in it;
Send someone you care about a text, e-mail, or card and let them know you are
grateful for having them in your life; who does not like a card;
Send an anonymous card saying something positive about them in the mail.

Random acts of kindness do not have to be big, and can be incorporated into your everyday life. Just a few moments here or there. Try with some small acts and then try some bigger ones. Try it for the week or the month and see what happens! You never know how you will impact someone else!

“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” (Aesop)

“Remember there’s no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end.” (Scott Adams)

Monday, January 30, 2017

Signs of Insecurity

Do others appear more self-confident than you? Do you feel you could be insecure? Do you feel you could be more self-confident? What are some signs related to insecurity?

In particular, some people appear to have all they need to have power to give them the sense that they could accomplish anything. Some people feel they will never be able to accomplish their goals. What are some signs or causes of insecurity?

Everyone has some form of insecurity. It’s almost impossible to be 100% free of doubt. Confidence is usually a gradual process. It often comes with age and wisdom (although some people never find it).Insecurity can be highly destructive.

Signs of Insecurity:

A person becomes overly selfish

A person becomes overly accommodating. Once again, this form of insecurity. An overly accommodating person attempts to gain the approval of other people by bending over backwards for them.


Insecure people tend to be very sensitive to critique and respond with defensiveness.

Struggle with Silence

Excessive Joking/Sarcasm



Overly Competitive Competitiveness is part of a healthy emotional makeup, but over-competitiveness is a sign of a problem. Someone who can’t take losing by making a big emotional display lacks confidence.

Insecurity in Relationships. Insecurity tends to be amplified in relationships. In this situation, there is a constant struggle for control and energy.

Ways to Work on your Self-Confidence:

Focus on finding positives for the day.. everyday has at least one positive (even if it is you brushed your teeth)
Identify 3 positive affirmations, write them down and repeat them to yourself out loud looking in a mirror
Journal each day about two positive things that day and then identify one positive thing you can focus on tomorrow
Surround yourself with positive people who lift you up
When you find yourself engaging in negative self talk, re frame it to positive self talk.
Do not look at failure as failure.. look at it as learning opportunity and an opportunity to do it different next time
Be ok with being "ok" at some things and excellent a few things
Write down all the things you you are proud of and thankful and put that list somewhere you can see daily!
You are not perfect you are human and you just have to be the best version of you for that day!

If someone you know or if you are experiencing difficulty let them know they are not alone and you are willing to assist them with finding the help they need. Sometimes just knowing you’re not alone is powerful in helping others seek the help they need. Psychological Health Roanoke has qualified and experienced clinicians available to help you and your family.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Our Health Magazine Bedside Manner Awards 2016

We would like to let you know that

Steve Strosnider got 2nd place!

Emily Defrance and Jackie Wilkerson got Honorable Mention!

Thank you to all of you that provide the feedback and we would like to encourage all of you to continue to give feedback!

Happy 2017!

Monday, December 19, 2016

The New Year

“If I continue to think as I have always thought, I will continue to act as I have always acted. If I continue to act as I have always acted, I will continue to get what I have always gotten. Change the thought, changes the behavior and leads to new results”
– Robert Ellis

With the New Year, we often reflect on the past year, set goals and look for ways to make change in the new year. We often make “resolutions” that range from focusing on family, changes in our health, work, how we manage stress, and family and friends.

Reflecting on our past and setting goals is healthy, the desire to change is healthy, and the desire to want better is healthy. When setting these goals or “resolutions” it can be easy to make some lofty or unrealistic ones, however that often will lead to frustration, disappointment and anger in ourselves.

It is important to remember that life is a journey, some days will be a sprint, but most of the time, life is a journey that takes time, thought and being active. Change will take time, it will take effort, and being mindful. If you want different results then you need to change the effort.

How to make your goals or changes stick?
1.Write down your goals. Studies have found that if you write down a goal, you are much more likely to achieve it. In addition, tell as many people as possible about your goals. When you share your goals with others, you are more likely to fulfill them.

2. Establish priorities. If you could only do three activities for the rest of your life, what would they be? Start paring down the activities that are bringing you down. Take a hard look at where you spend your time. Are you getting a return on your investment of your time, money, and energy? Or are you reaching a dead end? We outgrow activities and even people as we have more life experiences. It's not good or bad, it just is. If you are having a difficult time saying "no" to people or activities that no longer serve a purpose for you, see #1 on this list.

3.Make the goal specific
The more specific your goal is, the easier it is to make sure you’re making progress. Instead of “I want to work out more” try “I will run or boke every day for 30 minutes.” Makes it easier to execute and measure.

4. Prepare in Advance. Do not pick your goal the day you want to start or the day before. Spend time in advance picking and thinking about your goal. Research your goal and make a plan.

5. Make an Action Plan. This step is often missed in the process of goal setting. You get so focused on the outcome that you forget to plan all of the steps that are needed along the way. By writing out the individual steps, and then crossing each one off as you complete it, you'll realize that you are making progress towards your ultimate goal.

6. Stick With It! Remember, goal setting is an ongoing activity not just a means to an end. Build in reminders to keep yourself on track, and make regular time-slots available to review your goals. Your end destination may remain quite similar over the long term, but the action plan you set for yourself along the way can change significantly. Make sure the relevance, value, and necessity remain high.

7. Set a date. One of the best ways to knock out a goal is to put it on your calendar. If you put a stake in the ground and impose a date on yourself, you’re much more likely to reach it.

Change can happen. Goals can be achieved. It does not have to be difficult or overwhelming. Focus on your goals and changes one day at time. Be mindful and present. Be engaged in your life and in your goals. You can do it! Celebrate your successes and do not dwell on what you do not succeed at for that day. Tomorrow is a new day!

Monday, November 28, 2016

Holiday Season is upon us

Does the holiday season bring you stress? anxiety? depression? frustration? You are not alone!!!!

It seems as if the holiday season—that time-honored mixed bag of pleasure and pain—starts earlier and earlier each year, bringing with it a flood of emotional baggage many of us would prefer to leave behind. If you harbor memories of Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, or other holiday celebrations filled with disappointments and dread, you are not alone. This year holiday related items were up before Halloween!!!

If you experience excessive anxiety and foreboding at the first sight of holiday paraphernalia in the department store:

1. Consider relaxing your expectations
2. Shifting your mindset
3. Engage in relaxing and mindful exercises
4. Write a list of what you are thankful or have gratitude for and refer to that list often
5. Give the gift of love, time and your listening skills, make others feel important
6. Focus on giving to others rather than focusing on receiving

These changes help make it possible to survive—and even thrive—during the stress-filled weeks from late November until early January.

“Everybody can be great...because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.” ― Martin Luther King, Jr.

Here are a few list of ways to be grateful during the season

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Out of The Darkness

September 2016 was also known as National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month which helps promote resources and awareness around the issues of suicide prevention, how you can help others and how to talk about suicide without increasing the risk of harm.

To help promote awareness about Suicide and Prevention, there are ways one can get involved. Out of Darkness Walk Events is one way. A few weeks ago some of the PHR clinicans participated in a local Out of the Darkness walk.

Linda Snead stated, "Considering the weather, we had a favorable turnout. With all the glass, this facility provided the sense of outdoors, but we were dry. All the speakers were passionate regarding the mission of this event, to encourage people out of darkness & hopefully away from suicide Much appreciation to Nancy & Katlin for their time & expertise to represent PHR at our information table." Quite a few clinicians also donated to the cause.

Suicidal thoughts can affect anyone regardless of age, gender or background. Suicide is the third leading cause of death among young people and is often the result of mental health conditions that effect people when they are most vulnerable. Suicidal thoughts and suicide occur too frequently but should not be considered common and can indicate more serious issues.

Know The Warning Signs

Threats or comments about killing themselves, also known as suicidal ideation, can begin with seemingly harmless thoughts like “I wish I wasn’t here” but can become more overt and dangerous
Increased alcohol and drug use
Aggressive behavior
Social withdrawal from friends, family and the community
Dramatic mood swings
Talking, writing or thinking about death
Impulsive or reckless behavior
Is There Imminent Danger?

Any person exhibiting these behaviors should get care immediately:

Putting their affairs in order and giving away their possessions
Saying goodbye to friends and family
Mood shifts from despair to calm
Planning, possibly by looking around to buy, steal or borrow the tools they need to commit suicide, such as a firearm or prescription medication
If you are unsure, a licensed mental health professional can help assess risk.

Risk Factors For Suicide

Research has found that about 90% of individuals who die by suicide experience mental illness. A number of other things may put a person at risk of suicide, including:

A family history of suicide.
Substance abuse. Drugs and alcohol can result in mental highs and lows that exacerbate suicidal thoughts.
Intoxication. More than one in three people who die from suicide are found to be currently under the influence.
Access to firearms.
A serious or chronic medical illness.
Gender. Although more women than men attempt suicide, men are four times more likely to die by suicide.
A history of trauma or abuse.
Prolonged stress.
Age. People under age 24 or above age 65 are at a higher risk for suicide.
A recent tragedy or loss.
Agitation and sleep deprivation.
Can Thoughts Of Suicide Be Prevented?

Mental health professionals here are PHR are trained to help you or someone you might know understand their feelings and can improve mental wellness and resiliency. If you or someone you know wants support and help please contact us at 540-772-5140

Crisis And Information Resources

National Suicide Hotline 1-800-273 TALK (8255)
Connect 540-981-8181 or 1-800-284-8898
Respond 540-776-1100 or 1-800-591-9992