I was speaking to an executive recruiter friend of mine recently, who redirected me to the topic of ‘burnouts’ once again.
As a yoga practitioner and teacher who still intends to help bring yoga into the workplace as pre-emptive therapy to corporate people everywhere, (for obvious reasons that doing yoga significantly improves health and thus prevents the onset of burnouts, thereby saving companies loads of money), the concept of burnouts fascinates me.
Despite the rise of and attention to government funded vitality programs to help aid the situation, in the Netherlands alone, there has been a 6.4 percent increase in women and 3 percent increase in men experiencing burnouts, from 2013 to 2017 .
Why have burnouts cases increased then?
Based on a study conducted by Nyenrode University that surveyed 72,000 Dutch employees, recently, people feel great pressure due to job insecurity that comes with temporary contracts, which causes them to undergo psychological and physical manifestations of stress that then lead to burnouts. Another factor results from a significant boost in the Dutch economy, which naturally creates more work per employee.
So, now that we’ve seen the big picture, how can we address the problem?
It is clear that government policy so far hasn’t addressed this ‘burnout’ issue from a deeper level, as in from a more ideological angle, rather than making economic roots and effects the central focus of the problem. Let’s be honest that as a human race we are just not there yet.
This doesn’t mean, random people like myself and Simon Sinek are not going to talk about how we can change this current reality or mess (so to speak).
Management theorist and marketing guru Simon Sinek, along with Oprah Winfrey, Seth Godin, and others implore that we ALWAYS ASK WHY FIRST.
Why are you doing the work you currently do?
Why are you putting up with ridiculous hours behind your desk, at the expense of your health and sanity?
Why have you taken up this temporary job at such-and-such company in the first place?
I am not saying quit. I am simply saying examine the deeper reasons behind the WHY you do what you do. Do a cost-benefit analysis, and see if the WHY is compelling enough for you to continue, or not.
Perhaps after examining your reasons, you realize that your reasons are just not strong enough.
And at the end of the day, no matter how ‘compelling’ your reason may be, please acknowledge the fact that without your health, you simply cannot work.
So, before you reach the point of almost no return in physical, mental and emotional exhaustion, where your body has given in to your mind’s irrational dictates, take the time and space for reflection and personal responsibility. Ask yourself ‘why’.
It is not the corporation that has bound you by chains to work like a dog until you can no longer do so. It is your own reluctance to take responsibility and ask your WHYs.
 Solanki, M. (2017, November 17). Sharp Increase in Burnouts in the Netherlands. Retrieved. Retrieved from https://www.iamexpat.nl/career/employment-news/sharp-increase-burnouts-netherlands 
 Source: Sinek, S. (2009). Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action. New York, N.Y.: Portfolio.
Copyright 2016 by Terra Education and Development Consultants