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    Executive Burnout, Luxury Rehab Center, Mental Health, Stress & Anxiety

    How taking an extended break from work can increase your productivity

    Published on April 15, 2023

    “Hard work is the key to success.” That’s the mantra many successful individuals live by.

    But what if you’re working so hard that you’re lacking focus? You’re making mistakes? Or your judgement is increasingly being called into question? These are some of the most common tell-tale signs of burnout.

    Increasingly these days, burnout is a genuine concern for those who work in high-stakes professions (such as healthcare, law and finance), which are characterised by high levels of responsibility, long hours, demanding workloads and dealing with high-pressure situations. 

    The constant need to perform at a high level and meet stringent deadlines can take its toll, leading to emotional exhaustion, depersonalisation and a reduced sense of personal accomplishment.

    That’s why, in such cases, it may be wise to take a step back. In this blog post, we’ll examine why taking an extended break from work can actually increase your productivity in the long run.

    Why is burnout so common among high achievers?

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    Burnout is a state of emotional, physical and mental exhaustion resulting from prolonged periods of stress. It usually manifests as a feeling of being overwhelmed and unable to meet constant demands.

    Symptoms of burnout may include physical exhaustion, insomnia, anxiety, lack of motivation and irritability. Living in such a prolonged state of tension can also eventually lead to serious health problems such as heart disease and depression

    Burnout is most common among high achievers because they often work in demanding environments that prioritise long hours over physical and mental well-being.

    High-performing individuals tend to take on more work than they can manage, mainly because of pressure (internal and external) to succeed. This is especially true for wealthy individuals who may feel their financial success means they must always work harder and achieve more.

    The effect of stress and burnout on productivity

    That said, consistently pushing oneself to the limit can actually lead to a decrease in productivity, poor decision-making and bad judgement – all of which can ultimately hinder future success. 

    Long-term stress can have a significant impact on productivity. This is because burnout leads to exhaustion, detachment and reduced performance, both in the personal and professional spheres.

    When someone is experiencing burnout, it’s difficult for them to focus, make good decisions, and put in the energy and effort required to successfully complete tasks.

    They can also become increasingly irritable and bad-tempered, impacting interpersonal relations.

    Why taking time away from work is important

    Taking an extended break from work could be an essential step for preventing burnout and increasing productivity in the long run.

    For several reasons, a break from work can be considered an investment in yourself. It can provide an opportunity to:

    • Recharge, disconnect, relax and rejuvenate.
    • Prioritise your mental and physical well-being.
    • Reconnect with family and friends.
    • Pursue neglected hobbies and other interests.
    • Examine your circumstances and recalibrate your work-life balance. 
    • Distance yourself from unhealthy behaviours or coping mechanisms.
    • Adopt new and healthier habits that can lead to long-term success and happiness. 
    • Refocus your energies so that you can come back stronger. 

    While some people may consider this a way of hiding or postponing their problems, taking extended breaks can actually promote self-awareness, boost creativity and fuel personal growth.

    Why taking time away from work is important

    Why some people struggle to take a break from work

    Taking an extended break from work can be daunting for some individuals, especially those who constantly check their work emails or stay late in the office. 

    These people often find it hard to take a break because of work addiction – a condition in which the individual becomes obsessed with their work to the point of neglecting their personal life.

    The fear of losing their job, responsibilities, or reputation can also be a significant factor that drives people to avoid taking a break. For instance, if an individual were on an extended break from work, they may worry about getting left behind in the company or losing out on partnerships or clients.

    Furthermore, some people fear losing face with family or clients. They might worry that taking a break may be viewed as weakness, incompetence, or even letting others down because they left unfinished work behind.

    However, it’s important to remember that taking a break from work is not a sign of weakness; rather, it’s a necessary step for maintaining good mental health and overall well-being. By prioritising self-care, individuals can ultimately become more productive in the long run.

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    The benefits of following a Wellness Program

    High-powered individuals are often travelling; taking their work with them wherever they go is typically a consequence of that. However, to truly disconnect, you have to be able to put the laptop or mobile phone to one side and focus on your well-being.

    For those who struggle to tear themselves away from work and disconnect, a residential Wellness Program, like the one offered at White River Manor, could be precisely what you need.

    Our program includes various therapeutic approaches which aim to get to the root of your long-term stressors and help you to develop coping strategies to better manage your workload and be more productive going forward.

    But it doesn’t stop there. 

    In our gorgeous surroundings in the heart of South Africa, we offer the ideal setting for complete restoration and rejuvenation. 

    At White River Manor, we understand that exercise is critical in reducing stress, improving mood and cardiovascular health, and increasing mental clarity. Regular physical activity can also promote better sleep, which results in higher productivity. 

    A balanced diet of nutrient-rich foods is also vital to maintaining high energy levels and promoting better sleep.

    Luxury cuisine - White River Manor

    A stay here can help you to learn to incorporate these practices into your daily life, improving your overall mental and physical health and creating a healthier work-life balance for lasting change.

    That’s why, in addition to our luxury accommodation, which promotes a complete recharge of the batteries, our wellness retreats are a perfect opportunity to get back in shape and look after your body too. Not only do we have a fully-equipped private gym, but our location in the heart of South Africa also presents many opportunities to get outside and active.

    At our premises, you can relax in the pool; take in the warm, sunny climate on a walk in our lush, 21-hectare gardens; follow any of our extensive trails; or get your blood pumping while out mountain biking, horse riding or playing golf or tennis.

    You can also enjoy a variety of fresh meal options prepared daily by White River Manor’s team of professional chefs.

    Return home refreshed after a stay at White River Manor

    At White River Manor, our Wellness Program provides a comprehensive solution for individuals experiencing burnout. Not only will you receive the necessary support for long-lasting change, but you’ll also have the opportunity to explore the beauty of South Africa.

    Your stay with us won’t be limited to just a wellness experience – it’ll be an authentic African adventure. Encounter majestic elephants, marvel at the stunning views on the Panoramic Tour, or enjoy the thrill of a Kruger Park safari, all while recharging and restoring your health and well-being. 

    Our multidisciplinary team at White River Manor has vast experience in treating burnout and understands the specific challenges faced by successful professionals. We offer tailored 7, 10, 14, and 21-day Wellness Programs to meet your unique needs. Plus, our rates are a fraction of what recovery centres in Europe and America charge.

    Get in touch now to find out more!

    About Giles Fourie

    Giles Fourie is the director and co-founder of White River Manor. He is dedicated to providing the best care for clients seeking recovery from substance abuse, anxiety, depression, or co-occurring disorders.