I went attended a work training recently and the facilitator said the following: “you don’t live to work; you work to live”, which is something I have been more conscious of these last two years. Many of us, myself included, tend to work so much that we almost forget to live. I experienced my first (and definitely my last) burn out in September 2016. It was when I was a full-time student and working a job that was quite demanding for 20-30 hours per week. I was expected to do work that was supposed to be divvied up between staff all by myself.
To be honest, I was afraid of losing a job that was helping me pay for tuition and bills so I kept silent. However, over time, I found myself very stressed and overwhelmed. One day, I got to my desk and had difficulty breathing. My vision was blurring, my chest felt tight and I could barely speak. After going to the hospital and visiting my doctor, turns out I had a panic attack before my body just crashed on me. The doctor placed me on medical leave. It took 3 weeks for me to get back to normal.
This is your friendly reminder to prioritize yourself. If you burn out, guess what? The business still goes on. Believe me, they will find someone else to do your work while you’re fighting to regain your energy at home. Yes, we need to work to make ends meet, but at what cost if we’re sacrificing our well-being?
Remember to pace yourself. Don’t take on more than you can handle. Make sure to take your breaks because there’s no sense of working through them; your work will still be there when you come back (plus you’re legally entitled to breaks!). It’s important to take a breather. Whether it’s stretching, playing a game or going for a walk, do something that makes YOU happy and relieves tension.
There’s only one you. You’re not a machine. Don’t let these corporations/employers drain the life out of you.
All the best,