The two B’s of business: busyness and burnout

The World Health Organisation has officially recognised Burnout as an “occupational phenomenon” – it is now listed in the International Classification of Diseases. 

This term has often been raised and discussed as a symptom of workplace stress and high pressure environments, but it hasn’t always been received as a legitimate problem, until now. 

Is it any surprise given the high value and importance we place on being busy, or that most of us have been raised to believe in working hard for what we want? 

On average, Australian’s are working 3.2 billion hours of unpaid overtime each year, we also have 134 million accrued Annual Leave days, and 3.8 million of us don’t even take a proper lunch break. Yes, close to 4 million Australians pull out their sandwich and dine at their desk. 
 
No wonder some of us are finding it hard to get enough sleep. But our constant need to be busy, to be efficient and to fill in all our waking hours, coupled with the fact we are always connected means we are struggling to disconnect and rest and take some much needed downtime to recharge. Some of us, are even becoming “Rest Resistant”

Personally when I started doing yoga, I found it SO hard to clear my mind. Thoughts would creep in about my day, dinner plans, or that unresolved feeling I had been pushing down into the dark recesses. I’m still not perfect at it, but I focus on my breathing and I find a way to feel still, even if just for a few minutes. 

We have a host of policies and practices in place at Kiandra to help our team get their work life harmony right. These are things we all need, for the here and now – and yes, I say now, because things change and just because life is that way now, doesn’t mean it will always be. 

Flexible Working practices, Working from Home/Anywhere, the Kiandra Health Initiative and Employee Assistance Programs, are all at our team’s disposable, as well as a friendly group of people who understand that if you don’t give yourself a break, give your brain a break, then you won’t be able to be your best self and that’s not good for anyone. 

We also understand that a high performing work ethic can be deeply ingrained, but we know it’s not sustainable. Resilience is not about ‘pushing through’, it’s about knowing your limits, what you need to do for self-care to avoid hitting the wall, and potentially what will happen when you do. When, and if, you get close to that wall, reach out, and reset that path.