“Ah boy ah! Must study hard and become doctor or lawyer hor!”
Singapore is known to be a fast-paced society; especially when we are raised with kiasu (Hokkien: afraid of losing) ideology.
Remember when you were young, how many tuition or enrichment classes did you have to attend every week?
Or how about the multiple scoldings you would get for not finishing up your homework and/or assessment books?
When I was younger, I always looked forward to being an adult, no more classes, no more assessment books.
But that’s when I realised there was something far more terrifying than school …
Of course, I’m not saying I hate my job, I love writing articles for all of you reading them, but sometimes things do get overwhelming for me too.
That’s where the concept of burnout comes in. No matter how much you love your job, things are bound to get tiring and pressuring at some point in time.
See, here’s the thing, burnout doesn’t just impact your mental and physical health. It actually puts a toll on your wealth as well!
Hence, we’re here to tell you more about burnout and how you can avoid getting burned out at work.
TL;DR: How much you need to pay to treat burnout
Those of you familiar with Greek Myths might know the story of Icarus, the boy who flew too close to the Sun and fell into the ocean.
Striving to be the best at work is a great thing, but not when it comes at the cost of your mental and physical health.
Take care of yourself at work!
What is burnout and what contributes to burnout?
We are all familiar with stress since young, aren’t we?
The pressure to get good grades, to be able to commit to multiple things at once, to meet deadlines, etc. etc. The list is never-ending.
But what happens when your stress is constantly piled on, and you have no way of relieving that pent up stress?
That’s when burnout occurs.
Burnout is a state of emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion caused when excessive stress builds up and with no proper outlet present for relieving that stress .
Unlike stress, which comes suddenly as a response to pressure, burnout is built up over a long period .
Burnout causes the person suffering from it to feel easily overwhelmed or a lack of interest or joy in their daily tasks.
Knowing the difference between burnout and stress helps you know what type of help you should be getting.
Potential costs you can incur to treat burnout
Burnout can lead to a severe drop in the sufferer’s productivity.
If not handled properly, you could find yourself losing your job and costing you your monthly salary.
Besides your monthly salary, you could find yourself burning a hole in your bank account and perhaps your retirement savings which you’ve worked too hard to get to treat burnout.
According to a research study conducted by a group of scientists in 2012, they found out that multiple mental health issues, such as increased depression, anxiety, insomnia, impaired memory, and alcohol usage were closely related to burnout.
Along with the high cost of mental health treatment in Singapore, you certainly do not want to incur this additional expense.
Here are the costs of seeing a psychiatrist in Singapore:
Especially with the high costs of living here in Singapore, you definitely do not want to set yourself back, especially if you’re planning to retire here in Singapore .
How to avoid getting burnout at work
As the old adage goes, “Prevention is better than cure”.
Knowing how to manage or relieve your daily stress, you can prevent burnout instead of paying to cure it.
Here are some ways you can better cope with the stress from work:
1. Learning to identify sources of stress
Stress is caused by multiple factors, and knowing where it originates can help you find ways to relieve the stress and prevent it from building up.
Perhaps the multiple deadlines to meet at work are causing you stress, then it’s time to reorganise your schedule.
Maybe dealing with demanding clients is overwhelming you, and you need a break from interacting with them for a while.
Depending on what’s causing that stress, there’s always a different solution.
Journaling with mental health apps can be an excellent way to identify what causes your stress. Why not download one and give it a try!
2. Seeking fulfilment at work
It’s time to change how you think about your work in your daily life!
Sometimes, work can be really tough, and you find yourself doing task after task every day, each day seeming longer than the last.
But it’s possible to find satisfaction and fulfilment in your work through a concept called ikigai.
After undergoing a lot of self-exploration, self-reflection and deep-diving, you can find your ikigai, and achieve fulfilment in your life too.
ALSO READ: Seeking help for burnout is 'not weak'
3. Exercise and living a healthy life
Feeling tired from work?
Time to do some exercise!
Before you look at me like I’m a crazy person, I’m here to tell you that regular exercise can actually help you feel less tired from work!
This is because your body releases endorphins when you exercise, which is essential in helping your body to reduce stress and boost your mood.
Worried that a gym membership would put a dent in your wallet?
Check out this list of free online and virtual classes to help you get moving and become more fit!
4. Building a support network
We’re not omnipotent. Sometimes all of us need a little help when doing our work.
It’s the same when taking care of one’s stress levels.
Talk with your colleagues and get to know them better, or just spend a little more time with your friends and/or family!
This way, all of you can help keep an eye out on each other if any of you act differently because of stress.
As an added benefit, building rapport with your colleagues can create a positive environment to work in and may even lead to a boost in productivity!
Working life is definitely not easy, and Covid-19 has certainly made things worse.
But ultimately, it is our job to take care of ourselves to ensure that we can keep going in the long run.
Being hardworking is a good thing, but certainly not at the expense of one’s physical or mental health, so make sure you take enough breaks every now and then at work.
With the new year approaching, you can even start planning how you will be spending your holidays in 2022 now!
This article was first published in Seedly.