Burn, Baby, Burn
“It’s better to burn out than to fade away,” but I don’t think Neil Young had the kind of burning in mind our modern work culture has succumbed to. Why do we, with all our modern day luxuries and opportunities, continue to fall prey to a rising rate of burnout?
In a study from 2015, the Belgian human resource service Securex wrote that 2 out of 3 employees suffers from stress at work, an 18,5% rise from 2010. The study goes on to mention that not only has the pressure to perform and the workload grown, but the commute to work and back has become increasingly taxing. Spending more time at the office, as well as more time in traffic means we have less time for day to day errands, social activities, as well as quality time with friends and family. Which in turn places another kind of stress on us, the possible anxiety that we might be underperforming as a human being in our own life.
Burnout is a slow process; it doesn’t flow along the same eroded path for all of us. It’s also not something where you can point towards a single cause. Burnout is a culmination of contributing factors: Our relationships; our social obligations; discrimination; isolation; existential moments of crisis; toxic work culture; social shame; chronic and acute health issues; parenthood; instability; bad communication; acute loss such as the death of a loved one, divorce, the end of a long relationship; existing mental illness. The list goes on, and you might relate to some of these and not at all to others, someone’s path to burnout is their own, but there will always be aspects that overlap. A few of which I’d like to unpack...
R E A D M O R E
—written by @julie_smits for @fosburyandsons