Are you on the edge of burnout?
Today is National Stress Awareness Day, and people who are severely stressed on an on-going basis burn out. Burnout is a major problem all over the world. Japan has a term called “death from overwork” (karoshi) and over 30,000 deaths have been attributed to it. Over 2000 Japanese workers committed suicide.
Americans work even longer than the Japanese. According to the American Psychological Association, 60% -80%of work absences are due to issues such as layoffs, longer work hours, stress and burnout. This accounts for over $300 billion of economic loss in lost productivity and health care costs.
Take this quiz to see where you are:
Check any that apply to you right now:
- You come home regularly dead-tired with little or no energy.
- You stay awake at night thinking about all the things you have to do.
- The concept of vacation is inconceivable to you- you have way too much to do to go away.
- You don’t have time to exercise regularly or participate in your favorite hobbies.
- You don’t have time for massages, haircuts, or personal care like doctor’s and dentist’s appointments.
- You snap at your loved ones and co-workers fairly often.
- You have very little patience with others and expect them to work as hard as you do.
- You are very critical, especially of yourself.
- You feel your life is out of control.
- You eat on the fly, often junk or fast food.
- You don’t like change and wish things were like the way they used to be.
- You feel unappreciated, unloved and undervalued.
If you checked 5 or more, you could be heading towards burnout.
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What to Do About it?
- Get help. See a counselor, therapist, or coach. Many of my coaching clients are hovering on burnout when I start working with them. Change takes awareness and having an accountability partner.
- Go away for a technology break as soon as possible- like this weekend. And plan a vacation within a month- again technology-free. Trade houses if you need to, just take at least 7 days off from work. Your brain and body need down time.
- Laugh as often and as much as possible. Watch funny movies, listen to comedy stations, ask people about their funny stories. One good belly laugh is workth 45 minutes of stress relief.
- Get more sleep- at least 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep in a cool dark room with no technology. (Are you sensing a theme here?)