At Iqaluit Dental Clinic, burnout is a serious mental health problem that occurs due to chronic stress, detachment, emotional exhaustion, cynicism, lack of accomplishment, and feelings of ineffectiveness. The signs and symptoms of burnout are easy to dismiss but if burnout is not managed properly, it can lead to serious physical and psychological illnesses such as depression, diabetes, heart diseases, and more.

Typically, burn is pretty common among professionals who have to deal with a high-stress work environment. These include doctors, dentists, first responders, nurses, and more. Now, let us look at the signs of burnout and how you can avoid burnout as a dentist.

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Burnout?

Almost anybody can suffer from burnout when the circumstances are appropriate. However, it can be difficult to notice the signs of burnout if you don’t have the correct knowledge. Here are a few signs to look out for if you believe you might be suffering from burnout:

1. Exhaustion – People who suffer from burnout often feel emotionally depleted and physically drained which makes them feel exhausted all the time. They may also notice changes in their appetite, and sleeping schedule, and suffer from stomachaches and headaches.

2. Escape fantasies – When you suffer from burnout due to the extreme demands at work, it is not uncommon to fantasize about leaving everything and going on a solo trip or a vacation. In extreme cases, people often turn to drugs, food, and alcohol to numb their emotional pain.

3. Isolation – If you feel overwhelmed all the time due to the pressure at work or life in general, chances are that you have started to spend more alone time and prefer isolation. This is a sign of burnout. Many people stop socializing with family members, friends, colleagues, and other people when they feel drained and exhausted.

4. Frequent illnesses – Long-term stress and burnout have been known to decrease the effectiveness of the immune system. As a result, people who suffer from burnout and stress are more likely to get ill and suffer from health conditions such as insomnia, cold, flu, and more. Plus, they are also more susceptible to mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression.

5. Irritability – It is common knowledge that people who experience burnout are more likely to get irritated at even the smallest stressors. For instance, if you feel agitated when preparing for a work meeting, working on normal household chores, or driving your kids to school, it is a sign that you are suffering from burnout.

How To Avoid Burnout as A Dentist

Avoiding burnout as a dentist is not that difficult when you have the right support and follow the correct tips. Here are a few tips you can follow to avoid burnout as a dentist:

1. Maintain a good sleep schedule – Most healthcare professionals including dentists are more likely to suffer from burnout and other health issues when they neglect to maintain a healthy sleeping schedule. It is crucial to sleep for at least 7-9 hours a day and ensure you experience high-quality sleep to maintain your physical and mental health.

If too much work pressure or other life activities are preventing you from maintaining a healthy sleep schedule, it is crucial to change that. It is also important to consult a doctor if you believe you are suffering from certain conditions such as insomnia, sleep apnea, sleep deprivation, and more that are preventing you from having a restful sleep at night.

2. Prioritize your physical and mental health over work – One of the best ways to prevent or cope with existing burnout is to take care of your physical and mental health. And you cannot do that if you prioritize your work over your health.

It is important to maintain a balanced diet and ensure you eat healthy and nutritious food to maintain your health. Consuming food rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as fish, walnuts, flaxseed oil, and more can give you a mood boost.

You can also start an exercise routine to keep fit and maintain your energy levels. Resistance training can also help to improve your memory, reduce stress, and boost your mood since exercising releases happy brain chemicals such as endorphins and dopamine.

It is important to practice mindfulness to maintain stable mental health. Mindfulness meditation and yoga can elevate your life by helping you to develop a calm and focused mind.

3. Establish a suitable daily routine – A suitable daily routine can help you effectively manage the chaos of everyday life that can otherwise quickly spiral out of control. In order to create a suitable routine, you have to evaluate your daily workload and ensure you don’t feel overwhelmed when working.

Be honest with yourself and learn to compartmentalize. There is no use trying to be a perfectionist or trying to handle all the responsibility yourself. Instead, you should strive to create an empowering work environment where you can assign tasks to employees or team members that excel at that work. It would also allow you to maintain a better work-life balance.

4. Ask for help if needed – Sometimes, it can be too much to handle everything on your own and it is one of the primary reasons why people suffer from burnout. However, you should always remember that you have your friends and family members to help you cope with any negative feelings. If you are not comfortable sharing your feelings with your loved ones, you can consult a therapist for advice and suggestions on how to cope with the daily stress of work life as a dentist.

Conclusion At Iqaluit Dental Clinic, we suggest you learn to relax and break out of your stress cycle to avoid potential burnout in the future. It is pretty demanding to be a dentist but sometimes, you have to take some time for yourself to relax and release any stress you have accumulated over time. You can hang out with your friends or loved ones after work or participate in a creative activity such as writing or playing a musical instrument to manage stress better and make life more enjoyable.