Burnout is a tremendous problem in American society. The capitalist ethos of exchanging your time and life energy for the almighty dollar has been ingrained into our collective psyche for more than a century. During the roaring 1920s President Calvin Coolidge once stated, "the business of America is business." We work hard in exchange for a paycheck. We convince ourselves we need a luxury car, a beach home, and an expensive vacation. We compare ourselves to others and feel it is a badge of honor if we can be first into the office and the last to leave. Working hard and paying ones dues in a job is an important part of life. Money is certainly important. Enjoying the finer things in life is important, and that often requires money. However, how much is enough? How much of your life energy are you willing to trade for a job that would drop you the minute your productivity declines? How much of your precious personal and family time are your willing to sacrifice?
Unfortunately, there is a dark side to overworking. Its side effects can take a toll on our mental and physical health and can make us feel less compassionate for others, fatigued, anxious, irritable, apathetic, and difficult to be around. It can also severely impact our ability to sleep taking us down the rabbit hole of using sleep aids, alcohol or other substances to help us get to sleep.
If you feel physically and emotionally exhausted from a lack of work-life balance then please reach out. There is hope for a more fulfilled life that will bring you greater happiness.
Post by Stefan C. Dombrowski, Ph.D.