Ruth Tongue and Lucy Faulks are co-founders of Elevate, a company which helps businesses improve the health and wellbeing of their workforce.
Both women say they experienced burnout in their former careers, and they’re not alone. In fact, it’s said that some 50% of UK workers feel they’ve experienced anxiety or burnout in their current job. Now in her mid-30s, Lucy says a decade ago she was completely miserable and overworked.
She’s keen to help other women spot the signs before things worsen.
“I wish I had known some of the techniques I teach now to prevent my burn out,” she says. “No one deserves to be in a position where they are working so hard they forget their self-care. I’m now passionate about educating other young professionals to look after their mental health and help them to understand the importance of nurturing emotional intelligence.”
In Ruth’s case, her chosen solution was drastic. “I quit my job and ran away,” she laughs. “I decided to move to the south of France and in my year there discovered a way of life that I thrived in – with freedom, simplicity and balance. I taught Pilates, ate healthily and healed. In the process I learnt that balance and a healthy lifestyle does not have to be complex, and I wanted to share these learnings with others.”
The pair say we should all be on the lookout for signs that work is taking favour in our bid for balance. They say to look for the following signs:
Digestive issues, skin conditions, frequent infections or illnesses, weight loss or gain, loss of libido and changes in menstrual cycle. Behavioral signs might include lack of sleep or oversleeping, being moody or irritable, having trouble focusing, detaching from social situations, over eating or loss of appetite, loss of motivation, lack of self-care and at worst, risky behaviour(drugs/alcohol).
And their advice?
1 Set boundaries around working hours
2 Say no to non-essential commitments
3 Create a clear and practical plan which will put you back in control and relieve feelings of overwhelm and panic
4 Take time for yourself
5 Heal yourself through good nutrition
6 Make sleep a priority
7 Rediscover your passions
Elevate offer workshops and consultancy around physical, mental and emotional wellbeing to businesses across the UK and Europe. This includes mindfulness, tech-life balance and productivity workshops, plus drop-in meditation sessions.