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Take care of yourself

JOURNAL. "Journal about your fears and worries. Then process what you wrote, and put an action plan together about how you will cope with these emotions," an Inc. March 2016 article suggests.

JOURNAL. “Journal about your fears and worries. Then process what you wrote, and put an action plan together about how you will cope with these emotions,” an Inc. March 2016 article suggests.

It is a long weekend here in the Philippines because of Halloween, All Saints’ Day, and All Souls’ Day.

As a predominantly Roman Catholic country, these holidays are about remembering our dearly departed.

For some, they squeeze in some vacation time — which becomes stressful when they get stuck in monstrous traffic or their flight got delayed because of the influx of passengers these holidays.

Indeed, such happening is stressful. And we thought this is a long weekend. A break we were looking forward to before we head back to work by mid-week.

So I know some, like me, who chose to have a staycation, catch up on unfinished activities (yours truly will finish some readings, update my journals, plus complete household chores like changing the curtains and cleaning the room).

Not all are equipped to cope with stress. Some eventually succumb to burnout, or as Merriam-Webster defines, “the exhaustion of physical or emotional strength or motivation usually as a result of prolonged stress or frustration.”

Different companies in different countries are putting in place health and wellness programs to ensure the well-being of their employees.

However, such is not enough. Attitude also gets in the way if we stress over things that are beyond our control, which eventually would take its toll on us.

Don’t ignore the signs

So you want to know if you are experiencing burnout?

If you are exhausted, unmotivated, frustrated, cynical, and unleashing all the negative energy, then these are signs you are about to crash.

If you are starting to neglect yourself, that is also a sign of burnout.

If you are always online, responding to (or have no choice but to respond to) work emails or simply cannot put your smartphones down, then watch out.

And if you are dissatisfied with your job “in your 20s and 30s, [that] can lead to overall health issues just 10 or 20 years down the line, according to a new study from the American Sociological Association,” a September 2016 Huffington Post article noted.

What matters most

In Japan, there are reported cases of employees dying from karoshi or death caused by overwork or job-related exhaustion.

It does not have to be that way.

Your health matters.

Your life matters.

You matter to your loved ones.

And the path to death due to overwork or exhaustion can be avoided.

There are many ways to look after yourself.

For one, try to de-stress even at work. I remember me and my fellow IBMers would finish our lunch early so we can take a walk at a nearby mall and its mini-park for us to unwind, to recharge.

I also found journaling to be very helpful in managing my work-related anxieties; in acknowledging the signs that I was overextending myself.

Talking to my trusted circle of friends about what I was going through also helped.

At first, I was passively listening and I was choosing to go deep into my troubles.

It helped that some of my friends really are honest enough to point my wrongdoings; they gave me that kind of kick that helped me, and still helping me to stay above my demons.

So when you are feeling some of the signs mentioned, do not ignore them.

There is no shame to seek help.

And I hope you enjoy the rest of the long weekend.

Until next week for a new post. Email ma.lynda.corpuz[a] for feedback.

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