Little more needs to be said about the demand for a life-work balance, particularly when the term “workaholic” is added to someone’s personality. In today’s society, it almost is labelled as a credit to the profession. We are more and more aware of the damage a burnout can do.
This stigma has left quite a mark on today’s society with ambitious individuals believing they should be dedicating every hour of their day to work in order to succeed and be recognised for excellence within the workplace. This belief leads to longer working hours and poor work-life balance, which heavily impacts one’s well-being and, therefore, quality of life.
As a result, a rising number of cases of burnout have been reported, and in particular in South-East Asia according to a 2022 report from Research Bureau Mercer. While the number reached 63% in 2019, it has now skyrocketed to 81% (!) in 2022. It is merely one of the many reports out there showing how the pressure is felt through companies during these pandemic years.
But what is burnout, and how is it defined?
Burnout is a state of physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive stress. It can occur from working under conditions of high pressure over an extended period of time, or it can be triggered by an isolated event that results in an overwhelming feeling of exhaustion.
Symptoms include a lack of motivation, feelings of hopelessness, depression or anxiety.
With this, an incremental amount of additional stress to companies, particularly in South-East Asia, is adding fuel to the fire. Burnout has caused a drop in productivity, not only for the employee(s) in question but across the whole organisation, deteriorating mental and physical symptoms of deteriorating mental health, more sick leave, and lower retention rates across the whole line.
However you look at it, it is always a lose-lose situation for all parties involved.
The rising trend of corporate wellness strategies, post-Covid, is now making leeway. Employees are aware that new hybrid forms of work have put a heavy strain on the workforce, both on the floor and when working from home. Programmes to alleviate burnout and implement effective and supportive strategies are put in place to address this are on the rise.
The main obstacle still seen is the stigma surrounding the concept of mental health and energy management. For too many people, taking time off work is simply not an option due to a fear of their employer’s response to it or falling behind further with their workload.
Reports from highly reputable research bureaus acknowledge the trend of seeing too many employees ignoring the signs and continuing to plough on while deep down, they know they need a break. An accumulation of stress factors rises and the vicious circle is complete.
How to solve this rising trend of the impact of work pressure and the growing trend of corporate burnout? It is crucial to understand that burnout is a process, not a one-time event. It takes time to overcome burnout and you can’t just snap out of it. Those scattered days off are not the solution.
There are simply no quick fixes.
Instead, science has proven time and again that managing your emotional and physical health through responsible action is the key to turning around this wave of burnout.
A few solutions below
- Learn how to identify stress and manage stress. For many, they do not realise they are stressed until it hits the extreme of burnout. Being able to identify the signs of stress in the early stages can be the make or break of a burnout cycle;
- Take care of yourself. If you are not feeling well, take some time off. If you have been working too much and experiencing symptoms such as exhaustion or headaches, talk to someone about what is going on. Finding a safe space or person to talk to will enable you to offload and see things from a different perspective;
- Prioritise sleep! Sleep deprivation can cause a host of problems including cognitive issues like difficulty focusing, memory lapses and moodiness—not to mention that getting enough sleep may help reduce stress levels which will help lower blood pressure (amongst other things). Numerous methods to support quality sleep are available.
Most importantly, burnout can be reversed and can be conquered as long as you know how to take action. From exploring your creative side to exercise and movement, the various means available to pivot have shown to be extremely successful. All the focus on reversing the burnout symptoms is putting the focus on you first.
Denying you have burnout symptoms is not the solution; it will work as a catalyser. It is one aspect of the demands of modern-day life that can affect anyone, and it can take years to recover from. But the good news is that there are many ways you can help yourself get through burnout and back into your old self again! All you need to do is find something to re-energize yourself with.
At LHR Retreats, our number one priority is empowering individuals to take responsible health management. We understand that the world of health can seem daunting and misleading at times, which is why we serve to better educate, inform and improve the health of anyone who is ready to take positive action.
Our retreats are designed to keep things simple yet effective so that you can fully understand the tools required to make lasting changes. And in environments that do not associate with the stress factors of your daily lives.
We do not simply entertain you for a weekend and then send you back into the wild. We provide you with a compass to navigate the working world and execute the right balance of work and health priorities so that you can achieve long-term optimal health. All our coaches and personal trainers have turned around clients to the good side of a balanced life since 2003.
For more information on how we can assist you as an individual or a company, reach out to us