We are a group of independent psychotherapists, counsellors, and coaches in Ottawa who are experts in the treatment of mental health (anxiety, depression) disorders and provide counselling for stress management and burnout recovery. If you are overwhelmed by life’s challenges or have reached the state of burnout, know that you can recover and enjoy life once again. We encourage you to read the following general information about stress & burnout and to book an appointment.
What is stress?
Stress is a normal biological reaction to challenging (perceived threatening) situations. We may experience elevated stress when our interpretation of a situation becomes unmanageable and overwhelming (e.g. school or work related difficulties, relationship issues). Positive and negative life events as well as changes in routines can trigger stress (e.g. getting married, moving to a new apartment, unemployment). Stress is often manifested in changes of behaviours, thoughts and feelings. Excessive and prolonged stress can have negative impacts on a person’s physical and mental health.
Signs of stress
Major life events, long-term worries and daily hassles can trigger stress reactions. Stress symptoms can be exhibited in different ways. They may include cognitive (thought), behaviour, emotional and physical symptoms:
- Inability to concentrate
- Memory problems
- Agitation, inability to relax
- Rapid heartbeat
- Eating more or less
- Nervous habits (biting nails)
- Using alcohol, cigarettes or drugs to relax
What is Burnout?
Burnout occurs when a person is exposed to excessive and prolonged stress. It is commonly caused by work-related stress. A person who is burning out may describe being unable to meet work demands, feeling underappreciated and having no control over their work responsibilities. In general terms, burnout is associated with a feeling of emotional and physical exhaustion. Burnout can sometimes lead to depression and individuals are advised to consult a health practitioner to discuss their concerns.
Signs of burnout
Changes in behaviours, feelings and physical health may be indicative of symptoms of burnout. These may include but are not limited to the following signs:
- Increased fatigue and exhaustion
- Physical pain (frequent headaches, back pain)
- Change in appetite and sleep habits
- Helplessness and feelings of loneliness
- Loss of motivation
- Decreased satisfaction at work
- Excessive use of alcohol, food or drugs to cope
- Isolating oneself from loved-ones and colleagues
Stress Management and Burnout Recovery
Burnout and stress can often be managed by making lifestyle changes. Individuals can learn how to reduce stress by monitoring their stress symptoms and developing coping strategies. These strategies may include relaxation strategies, mindfulness skills, connecting with a support network, and creating new health habits. Sometimes learning new thinking skills can be another approach to manage stress and recover from a burnout.