Corporate burnout is now a global epidemic and as I stated in my book Holistic Wealth: 32 Life Lessons To Help You Find Purpose, Prosperity and Happiness, the annual cost of depression and anxiety in the workplace is $1 trillion per year globally. The World Economic Forum estimates that the global mental health crisis could cost the world $16 trillion by 2030 – and these estimates were released prior to COVID-19.
The World Health Organization and the International Labour organization have reported sufficient evidence of higher risks of heart disease and stroke among people working long hours (I.e. more than 50 hours per week), compared with people working standard hours (35-40 hours per week). Globally in 2016, 488 million people were exposed to long working hours, which significantly increases the risk of burnout. It is estimated that long working hours killed nearly 1 million people in a year.
On the Holistic Wealth podcast, I interviewed Kristina Shea, Founder of BlueSkysLife. Kristina suffered from corporate burnout and collapsed at work in the Toronto Financial District, on her way to meet a friend for lunch. She woke up in the hospital room with temporary vision loss. Prior to that incident, Kristina worked 60-80 hour weeks as a widowed single mom trying to provide for her daughter. She recalls dropping her daughter off at daycare at 6:00 AM and running to catch the train to get to downtown Toronto for work. This routine lasted for years and she did this while juggling grief and pain due to the loss of a spouse. Kristina realized that a holistic approach to wellness was needed to overcome her burnout and to improve her overall health and well-being. Here are 3 symptoms of burnout that you should never ignore:
1. You Are Unfulfilled and Unhappy at Work
You dread going to work in the morning and you are losing sleep at night. After work, you find yourself irritable and unhappy all the time because of sheer dread and worry. If your life is characterized by unhappiness and dread resulting from work and other lifestyle stressors, you may be suffering from burnout.
2. You’re Constantly Exhausted
Constant and unrelenting exhaustion is another symptom of burnout. Lack of motivation to spend time with family and friends is a sign that something is wIf you find that your weekends are not sufficient to get the rest you need and even when you take a vacation – you go back to work tired and exhausted – its a symptom of burnout. A two-week vacation will not end burnout. “I feel like I’ve been hit by a truck”, – is a common statement from individuals who suffer from exhaustion and burnout.
3. Your Thoughts About Work Are All-Encompassing
You have difficulty thinking about anything else but work – even on weekends and vacations. You are in a constant cycle of dread because the stressors in your life have interfered with your ability to recover and to renew yourself. In order to recover, you need time to yourself after the task stops, and you also need to stop thinking about the task altogether.
In order to cope with burnout – a range of tools and strategies are needed. It may mean that your overall lifestyle and career are out of alignment with your true desires and goals in life. If you are working long hours – try to cut back in order to prevent the situation from getting worse. Look at your current lifestyle and goals to figure out the best way forward. Prioritize daily habits that add to your health and well-being. Think about your mission in life, and try to evaluate what’s best for you.
Everyone should have a Holistic Wealth Portfolio outlining their mission and goals. At the Institute on Holistic Wealth, a range of tools and resources are also available to help you achieve your goals. If you want to start a Holistic Wealth Project Group, to help keep you on track, contact us for a free Holistic Wealth Project Group Starter Kit.
Feel free to book a Holistic Wealth Strategy Session to discuss your goals.