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From Burnout To Balance


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Xtraordinary Women is a platform that LEADS, INSPIRES, SUPPORTS & RECOGNISES Women Entrepreneurs in South Africa.

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TOPIC: FROM BURNOUT TO BALANCE by Educational Psychologist, Speaker & Director of Study for Success, Gill Molteno

Do you feel stressed, tired and overwhelmed at times as an entrepreneur? Are you worried that you may be heading for burnout? Do you want to learn more about how to achieve greater balance in your life? In her talk, psychologist Gill Molteno will discuss this often misunderstood and misdiagnosed condition, explaining exactly what burnout is and how one can identify the warning signs, and sharing practical tips for creating a more balanced and rewarding lifestyle.

About our Guest Speaker:
Our Guest Speaker is Gill Molteno. An educational psychologist, speaker and the director of Study for Success, Gill Molteno is passionate about helping children, teenagers and adults achieve their potential. Gill has an established private practice in Rondebosch where she conducts educational assessments and offers therapy. She also runs Study for Success Study Skills Courses for teenagers and adults, and works part-time as an in-house psychologist at a private school. For more info:

Published in: Business, Health & Medicine
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From Burnout To Balance

  1. 1. By Gill Molteno Educational Psychologist & Director of Study for Success Email:, Twitter: @Gill_Molteno
  2. 2. What is burnout? Burnout: extreme fatigue, manifested physically, emotionally & spiritually (‘The Joy of Burnout’ by Dr Glouberman)
  3. 3. Symptoms:  Extreme tiredness  Poor attention  An increase in TV, junk food, alcohol etc.  Closing down  An increase in physical problems
  4. 4. Burnout/Adrenal Burnout:  Adrenal glands secrete stress hormones (eg. adrenaline) to prepare body for acute emotional & physical stress  When you keep pushing yourself, adrenal glands will fatigue & won’t be able to produce enough adrenaline  Adrenal fatigue causes fatigue, cravings, weight gain, mood swings & other health problems
  5. 5. Pinktober  The immune system’s capacity to deal with cancerous cells is thought to rely on Natural Killer cells (the thugs of the immune system)  The level of these Natural Killer cells has been found to be low in those under acute psychological stress  Finding ways to express & deal with stress is crucial
  6. 6. A typical burnout candidate:  high energy & ambitious  often perfectionistic  a high need for approval & achievement  a tendency to put the needs of others first
  7. 7. The profile of an entrepreneur:  Driven & very ambitious  Often tries to do all aspects of the business very well  A high need to be successful: to pay bills & grow business  Female entrepreneurs: a tendency to put the needs of others first  …………….ie. a burnout candidate!
  8. 8. Arianna Huffington “The world goes about its business in all the wrong waysInstead of being indicators of ambition & success, 16hour work days, 7am meetings & Blackberry addictions are having a profound effect on people’s wellbeing & costing companies billions of dollars in absenteeism & below-par performances… The old model of success has led to a world fuelled by burnout, sleep deprivation & bad decisions” (The Sunday Times, “Zen and the art of working much smarter”, Sunday 13 October 2013)
  9. 9. Stages of burnout: Burnout Self-Test: (Go to ‘Stress Management’, then ‘Burnout Self-Test’)
  10. 10. Top 10 tips: Work boundaries: 1. Take a one-hour lunch break (& sit down to drink a full cup of tea/coffee mid-morning & afternoon) 2. Don’t work 3 shifts a day (ie. morning, afternoon & evening) 3. Set yourself strict work hours (take weekends off; apply working hours to when you check email & use Twitter)
  11. 11. Top 10 tips cont. Putting YOU first: 4. Put your well-being first (rest if you are tired; Is saying Yes to a person saying No to yourself?) ________________________________________________ 1 5 10  OK 
  12. 12. Top 10 tips cont. Putting YOU first: 5. Identify people who will support you to put yourself first (talk to them when you feel overwhelmed or stressed) 6. Self-talk. Remind yourself: You don’t HAVE to do anything & It’s OK if you don’t finish everything today or if you postpone a deadline
  13. 13. Top 10 Tips cont. Stress-reduction techniques 7. Have Downtime every day: 20-30 mins is recommended during stressful times 3 Types of Downtime: a. Rest: time when you just let yourself be (bath, snooze, listen to calm music on bed)
  14. 14. Top Tips cont. b. Recreation time: activities that recharge you & feel like fun/play (reading, cinema, walking in nature/neighbourhood, art classes, weekends away, cooking/baking, dancing) c. Relationship time: with family, friends & pets
  15. 15. Top tips cont. Stress-reduction techniques cont. 8. Abdominal breathing & Peaceful Scene & Progressive Muscle Relaxation
  16. 16. 10 Tips cont. Managing difficult situations: 9. When you have to deal with difficult clients/situations, sleep on it. It is often best practice to phone the person to address a difficult situation. 10. Avoid Energy Vampires
  17. 17. Resources:  The Joy of Burnout by Dr Dina Glouberman, Hodder and Stoughton, Great Britian (2003)  Tired of Being Tired by Dr Jesse Lynn Harley and Nance Deville, Penguin Group, USA (2001)  Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff… and it’s all Small Stuff by Richard Carlson, Hodder & Stoughton, Great Britain (1997)
  18. 18. Q&A ________________________________________________ Gill Molteno Educational Psychologist & Director of Study for Success Tel: 021 686 1231 Cell: 082 303 8616 Email: 2 Rose Cottage, Rouwkoop Avenue, Rondebosch Cape Town, South Africa