Burnout remedies don’t have to involve quitting your job or escaping abroad to a tropical island. Practising effective self-care makes recovering from burnout possible, according to Pamela Scott-Gale from Solas Leighis Counselling. She explained burnout it is recognised by the World Health Organisation as an occupational phenomenon resulting from “chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed” but points out it is not classed as a medical condition. She added burnout is characterised by feeling drained, becoming less professionally effective and feeling negative, cynical or distant from your job. However, many people today use the term loosely to describe feeling overstretched and exhausted. “The way we counteract it is through ... the practice of taking action to preserve or improve one’s own health physically, emotionally, psychologically and spiritually,” added Ms Scott-Gale. Dunsborough local Jasmine Lawrence-Brown used her own experience as a burnt-out mum craving an easy break with friends to create her company The Holistic Hen in 2018, which offers short, all-inclusive breaks for women in dreamy destinations such as Rottnest, Dunsborough and Bali. Now turning over $1 million in revenue annually, The Holistic Hen’s holiday packages include healthy meals, accommodation and slow activities like yoga and mindfulness to help women restore their sense of balance. “All of the women I knew at the time were working, or were mums, or doing both and suffering burnout and that’s how the idea for my business got started,” explained Ms Lawrence-Brown. Research suggests burnout is more commonly reported by women than men, though it is unclear if this is due to such factors as women typically take on more mental load and men are more reluctant to admit they are struggling. Ms Lawrence-Brown said she had noticed a steady rise in women desperate to re-charge. “Different women have different ways of unwinding so some may choose a foodie holiday, some may want a wellness retreat but with our holiday packages everything is taken care of,” she added. Most are weekend retreats, with the option of adding extra days, so that women are not forced to take annual leave from work or carve out huge chunks of time away from their families. A survey of 500 Australian women for the Deloitte 2023 Women at Work report found 16 per cent left their jobs in 2022 — more than 2020 and 2021 combined — with declining physical health and an ability to switch off from work cited as contributing factors. Thirty per cent reported ongoing burnout, and 54 per cent cited an increase in stress levels from the previous year. Figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, published in 2023, showed one million Australians are working two jobs to make ends meet. The hours they worked also increased by 2.5 per cent to a total of 5.9 billion hours last year. This is on top of responsibilities outside the workplace. Ms Lawrence-Brown said studies have shown that even short breaks are beneficial to mental health, and the more connected we feel to others the happier we are. “Preserving mental health is so important and should be seen as necessary, not indulgent,” she added. “We host a lot of women’s bookclubs, mother’s groups, work colleagues, school mums and women celebrating milestone birthdays. “Women report back to us things like appreciating a decent night’s sleep away from interruptions by children while others just really need that distance from work and the relentless demands placed on them by others but ultimately it’s about women connecting with each other and investing in their mental health. “It’s been a really tough year for people generally with the cost of living crisis and many women working extra hours to make ends meet. “Our holiday packages are designed so that they can really switch off from all that stress and return to life feeling refreshed, calm and ready for whatever lies ahead.” Signs of burnout include: Fatigue Anger Frustration Negative reactions towards others Cynicism Negativity Withdrawal Source: Pamela Scott-Gale from Solas Leighis Counselling.