By Laura Price, PhD
The headlines are screaming what we already know and feel: Too much work, too much pressure, and too little space to think, to play, and to love, is a recipe for burnout.
Consider this study from the World Health Organization and International Labor Organization published in May in Environment International. It is the first global analysis of loss of life and health related to working long hours:
“The study concludes that working 55 or more hours per week is associated with an estimated 35% higher risk of a stroke and a 17% higher risk of dying from ischemic heart disease, compared to working 35-40 hours a week.”
By Jennifer Newman, PhD
As a therapist I am in the unique position of getting to listen to many people reflect and talk about their lives. Often I am confronted with examples or ideas that seem to defy my own held beliefs. When this happens, I find myself reflecting on what I believe and why. This is a part of my job that I love because I am always learning -- learning something new about the patient in front of me, the world, or a new perspective on humanity, psychology, or myself.
A recent example of this came up in my work. Have you ever heard someone say, “You can move or go somewhere else, but your problems go with you?” I have. I think I have held this thought as a truth myself. And, logically, it does make sense. If you are depressed and you live in New York, and you decide to go to Canada, wouldn’t you still be depressed? I mean, maybe for a day or two you would be distracted, but wouldn’t it ultimately come back? You are still the same person in any environment, right?
Is it less or is it more?
By Jennifer Newman, PhD
Can you really find joy when you have no energy left to truly enjoy it?
Do you want to live in a constant grind, so busy you don’t have time to slow down and notice the daily pleasures that surround you?
As a young professional chasing more was the constant pursuit. Higher grades, advanced degrees, better jobs, higher salaries, more, more, more… Burning out in the rat race façade of success.
As a slightly seasoned professional I am on the constant pursuit of less. How can we, as a community, encourage each other to find balance and not reward overworking, work less. Not reward projects that are of no value to you, do less of what has no meaning to you. Not reward doing everything you can at all times, do less and have it be what you are really good at.
The constant pursuit of less means having to really figure out what matters, and spending your time doing that, and not finding excuses for why you are too busy.