The workaholic community consists of top-notch sprinters. While winning medals and fame, they never touch any track and field. Then where they run? Mostly, in the burnout circle, trying hard to avoid the finish line. Meanwhile, some of them are so peculiar that they run for 40 years, 20 years avoiding burnout, there are the not so awesome ones with a maximum of 1-2 years. Once in awhile the old stagers’ shoelaces get loose too and welter in the dust, but getting in the peculiar team is a noble goal.
But how do we get to the peculiar team?
I’m sure, you heard about stress before, maybe good and bad stress too. However everybody wants to get into the good stress team without effort, sadly, resilience requires a lot of work. To build it let’s check what kind of resources do we need:
- EQ – self-awareness, social skills, knowing yourself and others, giving feedback from your heart, listening to others
- Positive thinking – positive self-image – solution focus, building on your strength, optimism, trust, humility
- Growth mindset – openness for new challenges, believing in ourselves
- Agility – spiritual peace, adaptiveness, flexibility, versatility
- Energy – knowing our limits, maintaining balance, recharging
- Ready to change – Being prepared for losses, ability to learn quickly
- Willpower – self-control – perseverance, discipline
- Stress management – being aware of our stress factors, managing stress, letting go of our beliefs
- Clear vision – having our own goals and missions
- Authenticity – being honest and being you
- An environment that supports us
That’s a hella lot of skills, and you can add to this list and read more about it on positivepsychology. There are many self-help books, coaches, training, and courses that can help you find these resources in you. (If you subscribe to our newsletter, then our workbook can be a help too.) In reality, being the perfect human in today’s society is nearly impossible. Regardless, we can be in a constant fight for our well-being, and why not? First, we have to know our enemy.
How do we know that we are sliding down?
The Mental health continuum mentions 3 main phase at this rollercoaster and there is one additional
- Stable mood
- A calm and peaceful state of mind
- Contentment with life
- Physically healthy
- Constant worry
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Doubt causing anxiety
- Always tired, lack of energy
- Persistent sadness and irritability
- Lack of motivation for new challenges
- Apathy and unexplained fatigue to perform daily duties
- Losing personal and professional relationships
- Restlessness and irritability
- Lack of empathy
You go girl and see a specialist phase if
- Social isolation, social anxiety kick in
- You have sleeping and eating disorders, headaches, change in blood pressure
- Have extreme mood swings
- Inability to perform daily responsibilities, including basic self-care
- You get memory losses, concentration problems
- Have self hurting thoughts
How do we get the burnout symptoms?
We have many alternatives. I believe everybody can list one or two things that’ll toss them into that deep loop. Regarding me, overworking, losing control, lack of money, lack of self space and just breathing can make it difficult. So I don’t really have to look for it in the hay.
Burnout jumps out of the bush as a monster in a category ZS movie. You know it’s coming however you don’t want to believe in it and hope that it won’t see you. Just try to hide your face with your palm. Did it help?
If not then here are some category zs monsters, Beck’s cognitive distortion squad, that can make our problems bigger:
- All or Nothing Thinking: The basic perfectionist. Just peeking back to the past, you will see awkward moments and failures. And the future? Oh, it’s much darker.
- Overgeneralization: If it rains now then we’ll never see the sun again, won’t we?
- Mental Filter: A single negative detail can kill a day altogether. Maybe staying in bed is the best, forever.
- Disqualifying the Positive: Winning the Olympics is basic, you trained for that for your whole life. It’s just expected. It doesn’t count.
- Jumping to conclusions: The negative mind reader and fortune teller. Do you know this joke?
- Bunny is walking to Bear to borrow his chainsaw. Bunny is constantly thinking during his journey. After 1 km he thinks: “Maybe Bear doesn’t want to lend me his chainsaw.” Takes 1 more km: “He wasn’t that nice last time.” At the last km: “He didn’t lend it to Fox the last time and he was ranting about it in the tavern.” Then he arrives at Bear’s doorstep and knocks. Bear opens the door with a smile and Bunny angrily shouts in his face: “F*** you and your chainsaw!” and goes home.
- Magnification: The impact on the world. To be precise the impact of your awkward moments in the world.
- Emotional Reasoning: Mastery is a mindset. If you want to be the master of self-sorrow, then you sure can be.
- Should Statements: You should have done that, and today it shouldn’t have rained. Sadly, it did.
- Labeling and Mislabeling: The extreme form of overgeneralization. You attach a negative label to yourself and the Pygmalion effect gets the work done.
- Personalization: The penguins die because of you. Maybe you can do something about it, but thinking that it’s entirely is your fault is a bit cocky, don’t you think?
Okay, we know most of the horsemen of the apocalypse now, but how to fight them?
How to delay the burnout apocalypse?
There are 3 different life orientations that narrow your options when you have to choose your life goals. Everybody lives their life in the mixture of these three but as you know if you are a conflict seeker or you hide from them, you can tell which suits you the best. What happens if you decide on one of these? Nothing. But if you are a hedonist, then joining a cult isn’t the best for you. (Therefore you can find that specific cult)
The pleasant Life – The hedonist
- Searching and finding the positive side of life. Being happy, living life with delight without worries.
- In a working environment, loving your work because it’s fun or helps you to do fun things.
The meaningful Life – The believer
- Working toward a higher purpose and never stopping.
- In a working environment, loving your work because it helps people or you can save the world.
The engaged Life – The flow searcher
- Searching for flow-eliciting activities.
- In a working environment, loving your work because you can get into the flow. It’s kind of hedonistic, right?
Knowing which path is the most accurate for you, can help you to make the right decisions when you try to stay out of the burnout zone. If you are the believer type, then earning more money is nice, but if there isn’t any higher purpose, then you will hate your job. If you spend most of your day in the right state, then you’ll be more resilient. Don’t forget that work can be a tool too and not just the end-goal. But to work at a shitty place for a bunch of money, you need some extra happy, out of work activities to recharge. The more you drain, the more happiness you need to recharge.