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LIFESTYLE

Burnout syndrome, when being a ‘workaholic’ starts to take its toll on you

Physical and emotional fatigue caused by work should not be normalized and must be named for what it is, burnout.

Nowadays we are used to a much faster pace of life than we were used to in previous generations, since, if you needed the resolution to a problem, there was no tool with which you could consult an answer immediately or that tool would allow you to communicate instantly with a person who would solve what you needed.

However, we know that with the development of technology, this is possible today, so if at any time of the day you need a quick answer, you will get it no matter the day or time, even if it is outside your working hours.

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Due to the flow of information, within the work-life have these tools of instant communication have become even more demanding, and are used in such a way that working hours have been extended to people’s homes despite the existence of office hours. If any work situation arises, it is so easy to fix it with a direct message or a call, but this already consumed part of the personal recreation time to which the worker is entitled. This is more evident in the wake of the pandemic.

This constantly demanding work pace has led many of the world’s workers to a syndrome known as “Burn out”.

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What is Burn Out?

This syndrome is the response that a worker gives to the constant demand of work and to the feeling that the time is not enough to carry out all the activities to be performed and to the expectation that the worker has of the work that he/she is carrying out.

Burn Out Syndrome has 3 stages

The whole process is divided into three stages: Stress, burnout, and finally defensive coping. Being in the stress stage, the worker does not have the emotional tools to understand that the issues that need to be addressed can wait; however, it is obviously not only the worker’s fault, but also the boss’s, out of respect for the time of all those involved in the work dynamics.

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How to know if you can be experiencing Burn out?

People who suffer from this syndrome, despite being a totally mental illness causing a constant feeling of sadness, detachment, sudden mood swings, excessive worry and reduced concentration, can also have physical repercussions, like sleep or stomachal problems or tics.

In addition, they often do not realize that it is a real disease, but when the first symptoms are a feeling of exhaustion, a permanent sensation of tiredness and constant fatigue, as well as problems falling asleep easily, which makes it dangerous since it can be confused with simple exhaustion or is related to the absence of sleep.

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However, it is important to know when stress and fatigue are highly dangerous. In many cases of burn out, people have reached the point of having facial paralysis, total inability to perform their work and personal activities, withdrawal from interpersonal relationships, etc.

Causes and duration of burnout at work

The main component of job burnout is the high work demands, the lack of respect for the workers’ time as well as the lack of recognition of the efficiency of the work performed, especially in jobs that require constant interaction with people.

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Unfortunately, there is no specific time in which burn out can be “cured”, it is a matter of each person who suffers from it taking care of their mental health, trying to reduce stress levels and if possible, reducing the workload; it is worth mentioning that people who have suffered burn out at work are more likely to continue suffering from it in different periods of their lives.

Over the years, the affectation of burnout on the worker has been increasing, this dictates that people involved in the management of jobs should seek the health and physical and mental well-being of their workers, in order to avoid excessive workload and thus, have better results in their area of performance.

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Story originally published in Cultura Colectiva in Spanish

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