Sunday, May 9, 2021

Take time to rest during festive season to avoid burnout

After a long year of sleepless nights and hard work for the average Motswana, the holidays are upon us and it’s time to rest. Colloquially, Batswana use the holidays to catch up on chores that have been left behind, including farming and building. Of course there is continuous partying in the process because for Batswana the festive season is a time to be merry and have fun with family and long lost friends.

In the midst of catching up on their projects, there is very little time to rest. Most weddings, music festivals and traditional rituals are predominantly slated for the holidays, such that people are always busy and rarely have time to rest and recover from their strenuous daily routines. When the festive season comes to an end and work beckons, most people find themselves very fatigued from all the hard work and merry making.

Many find themselves going back to work fatigued and slightly lethargic. The implications of burning a candle from both ends are extremely dangerous and in some instances even fatal, which is why it is essential for people rest in order for them to function coherently. Ultimately this kind of lifestyle can lead to a condition that is known as ‘burnout’ which is a case of extreme physical, mental and emotional exhaustion.  If overworked, at some point the body will give in and slow down, resulting in lack of productivity. Burnout does not only affect people with blue or white collar jobs, it also affects housewives at home as they hardly get time to rest.

It is also important to note that burnout is not only caused by over working and not resting, as there are lifestyle factors and personality traits that can also contribute to it. People who have over active social lives and perfectionist personalities that render them unable to delegate can also be burnt out.

 “ HYPERLINK “https://www.psychologytoday.com/basics/burnout” \o “Psychology Today looks at Burnout” Burnout is not a simple result of long hours. The  HYPERLINK “https://www.psychologytoday.com/basics/pessimism” \o “Psychology Today looks at cynicism” cynicism,  HYPERLINK “https://www.psychologytoday.com/basics/depression/depression-and-society” \o “Psychology Today looks at depression” depression and lethargy of burnout can occur when you’re not in control of how you carry out your job, when you’re working toward  HYPERLINK “https://www.psychologytoday.com/basics/motivation” \o “Psychology Today looks at goals” goals that don’t resonate with you and when you lack social support. If you don’t tailor your responsibilities to match your true calling, or at least take a break once in a while, you could face a mountain of mental and physical  HYPERLINK “https://www.psychologytoday.com/basics/health” \o “Psychology Today looks at health” health problems,” says Psychology Today.

Burnout does not happen overnight; it’s a gradual process that starts off with subtle symptoms that gradually get worse as time goes by.  There are physical symptoms which include being constantly tired, head and muscle aches and a change in appetite and sleeping habits. There are also emotional signs like lack of motivation, being detached and having an extremely negative and cynical outlook on pretty much everything. Others include significant changes in behaviour which can lead to skipping work, use of drugs and alcohol, withdrawing from friends and family and taking out frustrations on other people. Once you are burnt out, the road to recovery entails slowing down, getting the necessary support and ultimately reassessing your goals and priorities. It is imperative that in between responsibilities and social activities, one rests the body and the mind to avoid getting burnt out.

Sources:  HYPERLINK “https://www.psychologytoday.com/basics/burnout” https://www.psychologytoday.com/basics/burnout

 HYPERLINK “http://www.helpguide.org/articles/stress/preventing-burnout.htm” http://www.helpguide.org/articles/stress/preventing-burnout.htm 

RELATED STORIES

Read this week's paper