If you’re an adult chances are you dread Mondays and absolutely love holidays. We all know why that collective hatred of Mondays and love for TGIF has become this iconic pop cultural reference that we all engage in on a daily basis.
For some, it might be because not everyone especially loves their job or because it’s fun to share memes about how much we love to hate the weekday and the only thing that keeps us going is the weekend. However, for others, this might be a bit more complex than that.
Sometimes, you don’t just dread going back to work after a long holiday, you find yourself physically unable to. The thought of it induces feelings of anxiety, of stress and the longing for more days off. Ever been in that situation? Well, then you may have experienced what some call a burnout.
As per the official WHO’s International Classification of Diseases (ICD) manual,
“Burn-out is a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed. It is characterized by three dimensions; feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion; increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job; and reduced professional efficacy.
It further states that in order to avoid misdiagnosis and misuse of these findings, “Burn-out refers specifically to phenomena in the occupational context and should not be applied to describe experiences in other areas of life.”
The ICD also stated that due to an unavailability of adequate data and information, the WHO was about to engage in the “development of evidence based guidelines on mental well-being in the workplace” in order to help employees and organizations better tackle this serious issue.
While it is great that being added into the medical discourse means that more work will be done on how to better understand and diagnose this workplace induced condition, for now, we are not equipped to be able to deal with this problem in a fruitful way as even if an individual can somehow ask his or her doctor to prescribe a day off, this might not register with the company’s policies. And even if the leave is somehow granted, just taking a day or two off might not successfully subdue the feelings of mental or physical exhaustion and the negative feelings might never end.
Why? Well, because the problem might stem from the nature of the job itself. In today’s capitalistic corporate jungle, an employee is considered valuable if they give more than they receive and in the rat race that is increased competition to get to the top, many go out of their way to appear efficient and valuable players.
According to the WHO’s research on the issue, they found that burnouts are more typically expected to happen in situations where employees are demanded more from but the rewards or benefits are lower. This in turn leads to a decrease in the employees goals of self actualization, growth and self attainment and therefore makes the work irrelevant.