Image courtesy of khunaspix / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of khunaspix / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Regenerative acts such as having coffee with friends can alleviate your stress.

Knowing the differences between stress and burnout will help you along the correct path to recovery, says wellness expert Andrew Garrison.

“Stress is all about having too much,” Garrison said. “Stress is the feeling that although I have too much on my plate, I believe I can get it under control and feel better.”

Burnout is the exact opposite, the feeling that your resources are depleted.

“You are empty, devoid of motivation and beyond caring,” Garrison said. “Burnout is like a destructive forest fire.”

Here are three ways to increase your adaptive capacity for stress and to determine whether you are indeed experiencing burnout:

1. Slow down: The act of taking it easy should be restorative; you should be concerned if you continue to suffer from a lack of energy or initiative.

2. Reach out: “Fight against your natural instinct to isolate yourself and protect what little energy you have left,” said Garrison. Identify the wellness champions in your life and surround yourself with their positive support.

3. Re-evaluate. Once you pinpoint your situation and still can’t find any positive inspiration, you may want to consider a change in workplace or career.

Garrison’s remarks came as part of an education-themed podcast on emotional and personal safety in the classroom sponsored by V-School (http://www.V-School.org). To listen, click here.

The podcast was released during summer break, a time that Garrison said teachers must use to unwind and recharge.

“We fight through a full school year engaged with our students, and we need to slow down,” he said. “We all need a time to de-stress, relax, play and focus on other priorities.”