Burn Bright, Not Out

I have good news and bad news. I'd ask which you want to hear first, but blog posts don't really work like that.

First the bad news: work is a hotbed of potential stressors (but you already knew that). In white-color jobs, that might manifest as unrealistic deadlines, or added responsibilities without added $$$. Maybe it's also unhelpful or back-stabby coworkers (yes, the acupuncturist just said back-stabby like it's a bad thing). Blue-collar jobs share the above and, "lucky" them sometimes also add things like unpredictable scheduling and or concerns about safety.

According to the CDC, work-related stress is the leading workplace health problem and a major occupational health risk, ranking above physical inactivity and obesity. And it's gotten worse. Today's New York Times reported that "the General Social Survey of 2016...found that 50 percent of respondents are consistently exhausted because of work, compared with 18 percent two decades ago."

There are more scary stats, but I think we can skip to the good news.

The same Times article featured ways to recognize burnout from Dr. Maslach (creator of the Maslach Burnout Inventory Manual) and ended with tips that workers and companies can do to prevent burnout.*

That may not sound like great news, but the important thing is that the conversation is happening. Employees are getting smarter about their own needs and evaluating jobs, at least in part, based on protecting their own well being. Companies are doing a better job (pun intended) at promoting health, sometimes through health fairs or outings, sometimes by paying for gym memberships, sometimes (good idea alert) by inviting people like me in to give stress talks and ear acupuncture demonstrations (#don'tliketonamedrop #wework #foursquare #MUFG Bank).

Let's hope this trend continues, so we can reverse the disturbing trend of extra stress and exhaustion reported on above.


*Deep breathing was (correctly) mentioned as something that helps your parasympathetic system. Acupuncture is a much better way to activate your parasympathetic system.


Alaethia Doctor