So far with the popularity of the insomnia post I confess I’m a bit saddened by research – both friends, scientists, health community – and recently someone that I love – in the game of millennial burn out.
It is a thing.
It is severe, it has consequence and it impacts on everyone plus it’s still not acknowledged as status quo these days –
Contributing to online food, clothes, equipment, in general loads of general online sales.
No one wants to head out, not even me, where they have to pull masks and this greatly worries me.
We are living in a whole new age where so many important things remain unaddressed.
Burnt out: what the heck is it and why does it require so much time to recuperate?
Why do you become different and why does it impact on relationships?
What really bugs me – is that this article mentions an umbrella of terms that are vague as hell and yet so real.
For example: If you have a cold, then you have a cold. If you have a fever, then you have a fever.
Here it’s like – is it normal that I stopped caring about small things I used to care about?
You google the symptoms and the smart-ass screen goes: you might want to see a psychologist, mate. Cuz you don’t sound like a normal functioning adult.
And you go: what is that even? Why am I getting condescending and negative sounding vibes from the screen. Why do I feel like I couldn’t run a mile without an astronaut picking me up?
Here’s a girlfriends recount of burn out issues I can relate to:
Just wanting to relax at home. Constant pressure to perform even if you like your job, salary being the only incentive to keep working – always on the edge thanks to the above. Sleep deprivation and not taking any leave.
Burn out for teachers: suffering from the effects of demoralisation. Job not appreciated enough, not valued enough, too much workload and panic – stress – chronically applied over time.
I know another guy who, after 6 months of intense negative news exposure and workload, was diagnosed by healthcare professionals as burned out. He took 2 weeks sick leave, left for his country to hang with family and take photographs by day. Relatively low stress compared to his toxic working environment and retarded management practices. I think a lot of us can relate to this. But it didn’t stop me from venting my frustration over chat. It was not until 3 months later, that it hit me how severe and long term the damage from burn out is.
… and how special it was that one individual across three oceans and two seas decided to tell me his troubles. And tactfully shut me down when I tried to give advice. Many articles argue that for a person to trust another about something as personal yet profound as a burn out, all you need to do is let them talk and vent.
I guess that’s what I did. Saving lives, covertly.
Even if you get better and healthier, you change in the way you manage work and your tolerance threshold changes forever.
Just like I experienced in my late 20s. Sitting down at my desk once upon a time in Zurich at 9.30am on a Thursday, I knew one thing very well.
I was tired – very tired.
I was in essence, mildly burned out. My motivation to work was zero, I took naps before showering. I was drained. And I couldn’t wait to finish my internship. In trying to prove myself, I was also mistreated and exploited. A couple of years down the track, I see others having the same experience – maybe more extreme, but it dawned on me that this can’t be it.
My personality changed a little, my total careless attitude for some aspects of corporate life are evident to me. The way I identify toxic work environments and bosses has become sophisticated. I used to think I was being weird and lazy with not fulfilling some essential tasks but then noticed on a guy that I care about – that not getting around to most simple tasks, point to a deadly situation.
When you have to see doctors, psychologists, take time out for yourself, change behaviours and your perception of workflows. When it wreaks havoc on your relationships.
I was not being weird. I was naturally responding to a very widespread, common thing going on that no one outwardly wants to acknowledge.
And that is the deadliest part, because we are morally obliterated by the extremes of the modern day.
Running around being everything for everyone.
The modern workplace with ‘efficient workflows’ when we are confronting reality – tighter financial pockets, outsourcing, deadly bosses with short term mindsets and simply lack of boundaries that no one wants to acknowledge because then we are ‘uncool’ or something ridiculous.
These elements get together:
Constant, chronic stress
pressure to perform
no incentive except salary
always on the edge
constant negative news
possibly never taking leave
taking on too many jobs
over scheduled living
not feeling like you achieved anything
chronic stress and anxiety
Getting your nerves fried; by definition, killing yourself and then putting on a mask saying you’re OK, is apparently status quo for many of us. Then people wonder why you won’t take certain jobs, need more sleep, relaxation or medication. Or how it is you have changed.
Hello this is burn out!
This seems to be such a new phenomenon for us that I believe just like I mentioned in this post on depression, this goes beyond science communities and doctors. In the event that we want to change our treatment of such situations and actually empower each other to talk about these experiences and come alive again.
Do we want to put value on our lives or something else?
I am not new at all in what I’m saying. Many posts on self-care come up talking about needs, taking time out, boundaries and celebrating the self.
But it has really become a thing.
Health is a major issue these days. And because we are living in the status quo of baby boomers no one wants to yell out when they’re about to give up. It’s basically seen as a sign of weakness in an era of corruption, performance and no one wants to look like a loser even if it is a totally reasonable thing in an unreasonable situation.
As to the real questions of ‘hey Anna, how did you get around all that fatigue and stress?’
I am not proud of all my strategies but I will state thus:
Quick weekend getaway
Barbeques with people my age, socializing – some playful banter and cooking
3 hours in the nature – whatever the activity is
Napping on the train and bus
drinking sparkling wine on the train home
making fun of people’s dramatic corporate attitudes at work (but being subtle)
making Friday night out a sacred night out
Pretending I was working when by 2pm, I was totally out of steam.
You keep quiet about the fact that the total mismanagement and miscommunication of a department in a large company affects you to the point of illness. Because it’s like – can’t you handle the job? – again, the condescending nature of today’s world.