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Knowing the signs, and what to do when things get too much

Signs to recognise when your job might be getting a bit too much and how you can manage how you are feeling.

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Following a shock announcement this morning, Nicola Sturgeon is stepping down as First Minister of Scotland. 

After serving in the role since 2014 the leader of the Scottish Nationalist Party has said that the decision came as she felt she had less energy to give to the job, and wanted to spend more time with her family. 

During her speech, she also noted that leading Scotland through the Covid-19 pandemic and other challenges over the past few years, is one of the toughest things she had to do, with the weight of responsibility having taken its mental and physical toll on her. 

The announcement comes after Jacinda Ardern also announced her resignation from her role as Prime Minister of New Zealand last month, citing burnout and also not having ‘enough in the tank’ to do the job justice anymore. 

While experiencing burnout and mental exhaustion from a highly stressful role are not uncommon, knowing when things get too much can sometimes be hard to recognise. 

With this in mind, Martin Preston, Founder and Chief Executive at Private Rehab Clinic Delamere has explained signs to recognise when your job might be getting a bit too much and how you can manage how you are feeling. 

What are the key signs of burnout in the workplace? 

Burnout is recognised in three signs; feeling exhausted, negative feelings about your job role and reduced effectiveness. The key component to preventing burnout is identifying the symptoms as early as possible before the demand becomes too much, leading to depression. 

Feeling worn-out is quite normal, but it’s easy to recognise when you or a colleague are beginning to display symptoms of burnout.

  • Feeling exhausted 

Employees on the verge of burnout, due to either stress or increased workload, can begin to experience and display emotional and physical signs of exhaustion. 

People begin to feel a lack of physical energy, but they also develop feelings of being emotionally drained and depleted. A common sign of exhaustion is the lack of motivation to get out of bed in the morning, or day-to-day work life becomes more challenging than normal. 

Over-exhaustion and extreme tiredness can result in sickness among employees. The shortage of energy from burnout can lead to common colds and cases of flu. 

  • Feeling sensitive and irritable 

Aggressive behaviour is also a common indicator, this could be both within the workplace and outside of office hours. Irritable employees may experience a level of sensitivity and aggression towards their family, friends and colleagues. 

While everybody experiences some negative emotions within their job roles, it’s vital to recognise when these feelings are becoming unusual. 

  • Feeling unmotivated

Employees may begin to feel more socially withdrawn and find themselves disconnecting within the workplace. This could be recognised as not getting involved with colleague discussions, negative attitude towards work and slipping job performance. 

Changes to work motivation can lead to employees having additional days off or turning into work late. This is something employers should look out for before it becomes untenable. 

How can you deal with burnout in the workplace? 

Recognising the three key signs are crucial, but there are five strategies and tools you can use to avoid burnout even before you’re burnt out. 

1. Finding the root of the problem 

Burnout is a response to stress, increased working hours, changes to the work environment and increased workload. But finding where the issue has stemmed from can be beneficial in helping you deal with the situation.

For example, if you are faced with unrealised working hours, it may be that you need to speak to your employer about decreasing your overtime and taking extended annual leave. 

2. Ask for help

Getting external advice can give you a different perspective on the situation. Counselling can provide you with a solution to the problem before it develops and help you to discover what is causing the burnout you are experiencing. 

If counselling isn’t an option for you, reaching out for help to your friends and family during stressful times can benefit the situation. Your employer may also be able to provide you with the support you need

3. Eat a balanced diet

Healthy body, healthy mind. Eating the right food, drinking water frequently and keeping a balanced diet is one step in the right direction. Foods are fuelled with natural vitamins and minerals that can give your mind and body a boost. 

4. Exercise and keep active 

Keeping active and regularly exercising can give you a physical and emotional boost. Take a short stroll during your lunch hour or spend 15-minutes stretching after work. You don’t need to hit the workout machines to feel motivated and enthusiastic, it’s as simple as heading outdoors for some fresh air. 

5. Correct your sleeping habits 

A lack of sleep or too much sleep can cause exhaustion and fatigue in the workplace, breaking out of this pattern can drastically improve your day-to-day mood and motivation. 

Drifting off at bedtime is a challenge for most people all around the world, during this unprecedented time. But there are simple ways you can improve your sleeping habits, try switching your nightly scroll on social media for a relaxing book or cut out coffee before bedtime. 

Martin and the team of experts at Delamere are also available to give exclusive commentary and interviews around this topic, if there is anything additional you need. 

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Pru Life UK agents, customers, executives celebrate Year of the Wood Dragon

The insurer maintains its top position in New Business Annual Premium Equivalent & total Premium Income from Variable Life Insurance products according to the Insurance Commission’s Life Insurance Sector Quarterly Statistics for Q3 2023.

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With a strengthened commitment to providing better financial protection for every Filipino, Pru Life UK celebrates the start of the Year of the Wood Dragon. Over 200 Pru Life UK leaders, agents, clients, and employees joined and wished everyone PRU Love during the festivities held at the heart of its Escolta branch in Binondo Manila.

The insurer maintains its top position in New Business Annual Premium Equivalent & total Premium Income from Variable Life Insurance products according to the Insurance Commission’s Life Insurance Sector Quarterly Statistics for Q3 2023.

Pru Life UK’s products are made accessible through its over 42,000 digitally-empowered agency workforce and like-minded partners.

The Company recently launched PRULove for Life – an affordable, limited-pay, whole-life participating plan for as low as Php 87 per day* with lifetime coverage up to age 100 and flexible payment terms of 5, 10, 15, or 20 years to pay. To know more about PRULove for Life, talk to your Pru Life UK agent today or visit Pru Life UK’s website.

Pru Life UK is also committed to driving up financial awareness, literacy, and inclusion in the country by leading industry discussions and programs for the community. Its PRUBabies campaign seeks to protect 175,000 newborns with free insurance coverage against select infectious diseases such as Dengue, Typhoid, Measles, and Malaria.

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Eating too much protein is bad for your arteries, and this amino acid is to blame

Consuming over 22% of dietary calories from protein can lead to increased activation of immune cells that play a role in atherosclerotic plaque formation, driving the disease risk.

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University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine researchers discovered a molecular mechanism by which excessive dietary protein could increase atherosclerosis risk. The findings were published in Nature Metabolism.

The study, which combined small human trials with experiments in mice and cells in a Petri dish, showed that consuming over 22% of dietary calories from protein can lead to increased activation of immune cells that play a role in atherosclerotic plaque formation, driving the disease risk. Furthermore, the scientists showed that one amino acid – leucine – seems to have a disproportionate role in driving the pathological pathways linked to atherosclerosis, or stiff, hardened arteries.

“Our study shows that dialing up your protein intake in pursuit of better metabolic health is not a panacea. You could be doing real damage to your arteries,” said senior and co-corresponding author Babak Razani, M.D., Ph.D., professor of cardiology at Pitt. “Our hope is that this research starts a conversation about ways of modifying diets in a precise manner that can influence body function at a molecular level and dampen disease risks.”

According to a survey of an average American diet over the last decade, Americans generally consume a lot of protein, mostly from animal sources. Further, nearly a quarter of the population receives over 22% of all daily calories from protein alone.

That trend is likely driven by the popular idea that dietary protein is essential to healthy living, says Razani. But his and other groups have shown that overreliance on protein may not be such a good thing for long-term health.

Following their 2020 research, in which Razani’s laboratory first showed that excess dietary protein increases atherosclerosis risk in mice, his next study in collaboration with Bettina Mittendorfer, Ph.D., a metabolism expert at the University of Missouri, Columbia, delved deeper into the potential mechanism and its relevance to the human body.

To arrive at the answer, Razani’s laboratory, led by first-authors Xiangyu Zhang, Ph.D., and Divya Kapoor, M.D., teamed up with Mittendorfer’s group to combine their expertise in cellular biology and metabolism and perform a series of experiments across various models – from cells to mice to humans.

“We have shown in our mechanistic studies that amino acids, which are really the building blocks of the protein, can trigger disease through specific signaling mechanisms and then also alter the metabolism of these cells,” Mittendorfer said. “For instance, small immune cells in the vasculature called macrophages can trigger the development of atherosclerosis.”

Based on initial experiments in healthy human subjects to determine the timeline of immune cell activation following ingestion of protein-enriched meals, the researchers simulated similar conditions in mice and in human macrophages, immune cells that are shown to be particularly sensitive to amino acids derived from protein.

Their work showed that consuming more than 22% of daily dietary calories through protein can negatively affect macrophages that are responsible for clearing out cellular debris, leading to the accumulation of a “graveyard” of those cells inside the vessel walls and worsening of atherosclerotic plaques overtime. Interestingly, the analysis of circulating amino acids showed that leucine – an amino acid enriched in animal-derived foods like beef, eggs and milk – is primarily responsible for abnormal macrophage activation and atherosclerosis risk, suggesting a potential avenue for further research on personalized diet modification, or “precision nutrition.”

Razani is careful to note that many questions remain to be answered, mainly: What happens when a person consumes between 15% of daily calories from protein as recommended by the USDA and 22% of daily calories from protein, and if there is a ‘sweet spot’ for maximizing the benefits of protein – such as muscle gain – while avoiding kick-starting a molecular cascade of damaging events leading to cardiovascular disease.

The findings are particularly relevant in hospital settings, where nutritionists often recommend protein-rich foods for the sickest patients to preserve muscle mass and strength.

“Perhaps blindly increasing protein load is wrong,” Razani said. “Instead, it’s important to look at the diet as a whole and suggest balanced meals that won’t inadvertently exacerbate cardiovascular conditions, especially in people at risk of heart disease and vessel disorders.”

Razani also notes that these findings suggest differences in leucine levels between diets enriched in plant and animal protein might explain the differences in their effect on cardiovascular and metabolic health. “The potential for this type of mechanistic research to inform future dietary guidelines is quite exciting,” he said.

Additional authors of the study are Yu-Sheng Yeh, Ph.D., also from Pitt; Alan Fappi, Ph.D. and Vasavi Shabrish, Ph.D., both of the University of Missouri, Columbia; Se-Jin Jeong, Ph.D., Jeremiah Stitham, M.D., Ph.D., Ismail Sergin, Ph.D., Eman Yousif, M.D., Astrid Rodriguez-Velez, Ph.D., Arick Park, M.D., Ph.D., Joel Schilling, M.D., Ph.D., Marco Sardiello, Ph.D., Abhinav Diwan, M.D., Nathan Stitziel, M.D., Ph.D., Ali Javaheri, M.D., Ph.D., Irfan Lodhi, Ph.D., and Jaehyung Cho, Ph.D., all of Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis; Arif Yurdagul Jr, Ph.D., and Oren Rom, Ph.D., both of the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center; and Slava Epelman, M.D., Ph.D., of the University of Toronto.

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IRONKIDS Cebu in Lapu-Lapu partners with RLC Residences

This April will be the first event of the partnership as the brand extends their support for the budding young athletes. The aquathlon will see participants from ages 6 to 15 years old complete the race happening at The Reef Island Resort in Mactan.

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The IRONMAN Group Philippines and RLC Residences have announced in 2023 a new partnership—as the residential brand of Robinsons Land Corporation, RLC Residences becomes the title sponsor for IRONKIDS Lapu-Lapu and IRONKIDS Davao for 2024.

This April will be the first event of the partnership as the brand extends their support for the budding young athletes.  The aquathlon will see participants from ages 6 to 15 years old complete the race happening at The Reef Island Resort in Mactan.

RLC Residences Head of Brand Management Mr. Dan Carlo Torres shares his enthusiasm towards the event. “We are very excited to see this partnership unfold. We’ve been very supportive of IRONMAN, especially IRONKIDS because we also believe in the importance of promoting an active and purposeful lifestyle at such a young age and we hope to continuously be part of IRONMAN as we create more vibrant opportunities for our future triathletes,” he added.

“As we aspire to live our best lives, we work to inspire the wider community,” said Ms Princess Galura, Regional Director of the IRONMAN Group Philippines.  “For 10 years, the IRONKIDS has been a part of the Cebuano youth’s stepping stone to either a future in sports, representing the Philippines in international events, as well as planting the seeds of a healthy, sporty lifestyle.  Our partnership with RLC Residences allows us to do so and we are excited to hold the festivities for our youth once again in Lapu-Lapu this April,” she added.

The IRONKIDS event in Lapu-Lapu will feature age group categories for the 6 to 8 years old, 9 to 10 years old, 11 to 12 years old and 13 to 15 years old.  Relay categories are also available for mixed team relay for 6-10 year-olds and 11-15 year-olds. 

Swim and run courses, the transition area and finish line will be at The Reef Island Resort, which is conveniently located in a gated community.  Families who are checked in during race weekend can enjoy amenities of the resort –  including the beach, lap pool and game room.  The resort’s restaurant is operated by Cebu-based top tier chain, Abaca.

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