Burnout: The Effect of a Competitive Society

A soldier continues marching even if his head feels like it is about to drop. He continues marching on as his friends are caught in the crossfire, blown apart by bombs, or disappear. He continues marching on even if his heart feels as if it going to beat out of his chest. Even if his head hangs so low he has to drag it along.

We push ourselves to grind 24/7, no matter the circumstances. It is the mindset of our society. We cannot let a competitor beat us. Every moment of rest we take is a moment they may be working or pushing. Every moment that you lie down to close your eyes is another moment lost to be working or pushing.

The reality is that this is not maintainable.

Can a runner run for a week straight with stopping to rest his legs except for a short sleep at night?

The answer is no.

He will sooner collapse than finish his last 100th mile.

Humans are not wired to keep going. We require of ourselves an ambitious goal, and we push ourselves. We cannot afford to lose to another competitor; we must win. The mindset is good, but the end goal is not. Because we engage in relentless competition with everyone around us, and refuse to take a break, we eventually hit burnout.

What is burnout?

Burnout is caused by prolonged stress that results in an onset of depression, lethargy, and cynicism. They experience physical problems as well; heartache, fatigue, and other gastrointestinal symptoms constitute some of these symptoms.

High-stress jobs are more likely to cause burnout, as well as working towards a goal that does not resonate with you, or when you have no control over a prolonged situation. There is also parental burnout, relationship burnout, caregiver burnout, and non-work burnout.

How to deal with burnout?

Because prolonged stress is the main culprit of burnout, taking a break and engaging in practices that will help you de-stress will allow you to combat burnout.

Furthermore, since burnout is most often caused by a lack of control, taking time out of your life to reconsider your purpose and value in life will help alleviate the symptoms of burnout. If burnout related to work is plaguing you, consider drawing boundaries at work by voicing your concerns. Schedule regular breaks and minimize the number of tasks you are working on.

Keep your work life separate from your home life. Make it a fun challenge to not check your email while at home, or set out an hour of your day to just relax and watch television.

Self-care practices are also essential in combating burnout. Talk to someone you trust; often times, this will help alleviate the pressure on yourself. Take on yoga, meditation, exercise, or self-compassion. All of this will help you relax and take pressure off.

Burnout is a serious problem in our society. Our lives revolve around work and juggling responsibilities from home-life. Often times, we forget to take care of ourselves in the process and keep marching on, even when our body is telling us to stop. Engaging in self-care practices daily will help you recover from burnout and will hopefully stop you from being immersed in another burnout.

Lots of love, and practice self-care,

Jess

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