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职场健康:如何知道自己身心快被“掏空”

更新时间:2019/6/15 10:45:08 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

How to tell if you’re close to burning out
职场健康:如何知道自己身心快被“掏空”

If you said you were suffering from ‘burnout’ in the early 1970s, you might have raised some eyebrows.

如果你在上世纪70年代初说,自己受到过劳状态的折磨,一些人可能会对你这种说法感到惊讶。

At the time, the term was used informally to describe the side effects that heavy drug users experienced: the general dimming of the mental faculties, for example, as was the case with many a party animal. However, when German-American psychologist Herbert Freudenberger first recognised the problem of burnout in New York City in 1974, at a clinic for addicts and homeless people, Freudenberger wasn’t thinking of drug users.

在那个时代,这种表述被非正式地用来描述吸毒成瘾者所经历的副作用:包括比如通常出现的智力迟缓,就像很多热衷派对聚会者出现的情况。1974年,美国德裔心理学家赫伯特·弗罗伊登伯格(Herbert Freudenberger)在纽约市为吸毒成瘾者和无家可归者开设了一间诊所。他那时首次认识到身心耗竭的问题时,并没有想到吸毒者。

The clinic’s volunteers were actually struggling, too: their work was intense, and many were beginning to feel demotivated and emotionally drained. Though they had once found their jobs rewarding, they had become cynical and depressed; they weren’t giving their patients the attention they deserved. Freudenberger defined this alarming new condition as a state of exhaustion caused by prolonged overwork – and borrowed the term ‘burnout’ to describe it.

当时,诊所的志愿者们承受很大压力:由于工作很紧张,很多人开始感到沮丧和精神疲惫。虽然他们曾经一度认为工作很有成果,但随后开始变得愤世嫉俗和抑郁;志愿者们没有再给他们的病人应有的关注。弗罗伊登伯格将这一令人警觉的新状态定义为一种因长期过度劳累造成的疲惫状态,他借用了“过劳”一词来形容它。

Its popularity was explosive, and today burnout is a global phenomenon. Although statistics on the prevalence of burnout specifically are hard to come by, 595,000 people in the UK alone suffered from workplace stress in 2018.

“过劳”问题的增长是爆炸性的,今天它已经成为一种全球现象。尽管关于“过劳”问题的具体数据很难做出系统性统计,但仅在2018年,英国就有59.5万人遭受工作压力的折磨。

Sportspeople get it. YouTube stars get it. Entrepreneurs get it. Freudenberger himself eventually got it. Late last month, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that the trendy problem will be recognised in the latest International Classification of Diseases manual, where it is described as a syndrome “resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed”.

运动员会出现这种病症。视频网站YouTube的明星们会有这种现象。企业家们也会深受其害。弗罗伊登伯格本人最终也受到这种综合症的折磨。2019年5月,世界卫生组织宣布,在最新的《国际疾病分类手册》中确认这种流行病。该手册将其描述为因为长期工作压力未能成功控制而引发的综合症。

According to the WHO, burnout has three elements: feelings of exhaustion, mental detachment from one’s job and poorer performance at work. But waiting until you’re already fully burned out to do something about it doesn’t help at all –and you wouldn’t wait to treat any other illness until it was too late.

据世卫组织的定义,“过劳”有三个因素:疲惫感、思想上无法专注于工作和工作表现不佳。但要等你真正已经身心耗竭再试图对付它就为时过晚,就像你不会等到病入膏肓再去看医生。

Feeling the burn

“过劳”的感觉

So how can you tell if you’re almost – but not quite – burned out?

那么,你如何判断你是否几乎要——但还没有完全——“过劳”呢?

“A lot of the signs and symptoms of pre-burnout would be very similar to depression,” says Siobhán Murray, a psychotherapist based in County Dublin, Ireland, and the author of a book about burnout, The Burnout Solution. Murray suggests looking out for creeping bad habits, such as increased alcohol consumpution and relying on sugar to get you through the day. Also watch out for feelings of tiredness that won’t go away. “So that even if you do sleep well, by 10 in the morning you’re already counting down the hours to bed. Or not having the energy to exercise or go for a walk.”

爱尔兰都柏林的心理治疗师索比安·穆雷(Siobhán Murray)女士是《过劳的治疗方案》一书的作者。他说,很多“过劳”的迹象和症状都与抑郁症非常相似。穆雷建议要注意那些逐渐增多的坏习惯,比如越来越贪杯,以及依靠甜食让你度过一天。他建议要注意那种无法消失的疲劳感。她表示,即使你夜里睡得很好,但到了早上10点前,你已经在数着钟点想着上床睡觉的时间了。或者,你没有精力去锻炼或去散步。

As soon as you begin to feel this way, Murray advises going to see your doctor.

穆雷建议,一旦你开始有这种感觉,你就要就医了。

“Depression and pre-burnout are very similar, but as much as there was a lot of enthusiasm recently that burnout has now become a medical condition, it is still not – it is still classified as an occupational phenomenon.” It’s important to get help from a medical professional who can distinguish between the two, because although there are many treatment options for depression, burnout is still best tackled by making lifestyle changes.

她说,抑郁症和“过劳”之前的情况非常相似,但尽管最近有很多人关注这个问题,认识到“过劳”现在已经成为一种疾病,但它仍然没有被归类于疾病,而是被归类为一种职场现象。她指出,重要的是要得到一位能区分抑郁症和“过劳”两种情况的专业医疗人员的帮助,因为虽然对抑郁症的治疗选择很多,但目前对“过劳”的问题,最佳方式仍是通过改变生活方式来解决。

And how do you know if you’re really on the cusp of burnout, or just going through a challenging month? “Stress is really important, and anxiety is what motivates us to do well,” says Murray. “It’s when we’re continually exposed to stress and anxiety, that we’re not letting go, that it starts to turn into burnout.”

那你怎么知道你是真的处于“过劳”的边缘,还是仅仅在经历了一个充满挑战的月份呢?穆雷说,压力确实很重要,焦虑是激励我们做好事情的动力。但当我们持续地面临压力和焦虑,以致于我们无法放手,它才开始转变成“过劳”。

Take that big project you’ve been working on. It’s normal to feel a kick of adrenaline when you think about it, and maybe it’s kept you up at night. But, Murray suggests, if you still feel restless once it’s over, it’s time to consider if you’re at risk of burnout. “It’s when you’re bringing that with you into the next stage of your day, and adding to it continually,” she says.

就拿你一直在做的那个大项目来说吧。当想到这个问题时,感觉到肾上腺素的刺激是很正常的,也许你因为压力大夜里难以入眠。但是,穆雷指出,如果项目一旦结束,你仍然感到不安,那么就该考虑你是否有“过劳”问题的危险了。她说,当你把这种状态带到你一天的下一个阶段,并一直难以放不下这个包袱的时候,这种危险就出现了。

Another classic sign of inching closer to burnout is cynicism: feeling like your work has little value, avoiding social commitments and becoming more susceptible to disappointment.

逐渐接近“过劳”的另一个经典迹象是玩世不恭:感觉自己的工作没有什么价值,回避社会交往和承诺,而且变得更容易失望。

“Someone on the brink will probably begin to feel emotionally numbed or mentally distant,” says Jacky Francis Walker, a psychotherapist based in London who specialises in burnout. “Like they don’t have the capacity to engage as much in the ordinary things of life.”

伦敦的心理治疗师杰克·弗朗西斯·沃克(Jacky Francis Walker)专门从事“过劳”问题研究。他说,处于“过劳”边缘的人可能会开始感到情感麻木或精神上的疏远,就像他们没有能力参与日常生活一样。

She also recommends looking for the final tell-tale sign of burnout, which is the unshakeable feeling that the quality of your work is beginning to slip. “People say ‘but this isn’t me!’, ‘I’m not like this’, ‘I can usually do x,y and z’. But obviously if they are in a state of physical depletion, then they aren’t in their normal range of capabilities,” says Walker.

他还建议,要注意“过劳”的最明显的迹象,那就是确信你总感觉工作质量开始下滑。他举例说,人们常说,这不是我做的,我不是这种样子,我通常总可以做甲乙丙丁。但很显然,如果他们处于“过劳”的状态,那么他们就不在能充分发挥作用。

If this seems less than scientific, look to the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI), a test designed to measure burnout. The most widely used is the MBI-General Survey, which measures things like exhaustion, cynicism, and some how well you think you’re doing at work.

如果这看起来还不够科学,那就看看马斯拉奇的“过劳”清单( Maslach Burnout Inventory, MBI)吧,这是一个旨在衡量“过劳”的测试。最常用的是MBI常规测试,它衡量的是疲惫,玩世不恭等心理状态,其中包括你认为自己工作表现如何。

First published in 1981, it has been cited hundreds of times in studies since. Although it’s typically used to measure burnout once it's in full swing, there’s no reason you can't apply it to see if you’re getting close.

这种测量标准是1981年首次公布,它在后来的研究中被引用了数百次。虽然它通常被用来测量完全陷入“过劳”状态的程度,但并不是说,你不能应用它来看看你是否越来越接近"过劳"。

You’re pre-burnout: What’s next?

你已经“过劳”,接下来怎么办?

The only way to stop burnout – and banish it for good – is to root out the underlying problem.

唯一办法就是要制止“过劳”,治本治标,将“过劳”永远从生活中根除。

“What do you have going on in your life that you can temporarily or permanently let go of? It might be [sleeping a lot] to recover from the physical signs of burnout, for example,” Murray says.

穆雷说,想想看,你的生活中目前有些什么事你可以暂时或永久地放下?比如说,多睡睡觉来恢复精疲力竭的身体。

Walker has a three-step programme, which includes figuring out why there is a mismatch between what a person can offer and what they feel they are being asked to give. “Sometimes it’s because they feel the need to be too perfect, or they might have imposter syndrome where they’re having to work very hard to cover up that they’re not quite as good as everyone thinks.”

沃克则有个分为三步的方案,其中包括分析一下,找出为什么在一个人的能力和他们觉得他们被要求取得的成果之间存在着不匹配。他认为,有时候,这是因为他们觉得需要过于完美,或者他们可能有冒充者综合症,他们不得不非常努力地工作,以掩盖他们认为自己并不像每个人想象的那么好。

However, sometimes the work environment is the problem. According to a 2018 Gallup study of 7,500 US workers, burnout stems from unfair treatment at work, an unmanageable workload and a lack of clarity about what a person’s role should involve. Workers were also stressed out by a lack of support from their manager and unreasonable time pressure.

然而,有时工作环境是问题的关键。根据2018年盖洛普对7500名美国工人的调查,“过劳”的原因是工作中的不公平待遇、难以管控的工作量以及一个人的工作权责不清。由于缺乏经理的支持和不合理工作时间的压力,员工们承受很大压力。

“Another issue can be that the values of the company are seriously at odds with the person’s own values, which creates a sense of strain and dissonance, because they’re doing something that they don’t believe in,” says Walker. In some cases, her clients can solve the problem by taking up something fulfilling outside work, but very occasionally they decide to make a more radical change, such as changing companies or even taking up a new profession.

沃克说,还有另一个问题可能是:公司的价值观与当事人自身的价值观严重不一致, 这就造成了一种紧张和不和谐的氛围,因为他们在做一些连自己都不相信的事情。在某些情况下,他的客户可以通过业余从事一些让自己感觉充实的工作来解决这个问题。但偶尔,他们也会决定做出更彻底的改变,比如跳槽或者从事新的职业。

Whatever the cause of your burnout, Murray’s top tip is to be kind to yourself.

穆雷表示,不管你“过劳”的原因是什么,最重要的一点就是要善待自己。

In Murray's experience, a key driver of the burnout epidemic is today’s culture of wanting it all. Often it’s just not possible to have a healthy social life and deliver on a big project, and meet all your personal fitness goals all at the same time. She says it's crucial to prioritise and not expect too much of yourself; when others seem like the perfect boss parent, fitness idol and friend all at the same time, they're probably misleading us – or at the very least getting a lot of help.

根据穆雷的经验,造成“过劳”现象很普遍的一个最大驱动因素是,当下一种什么都想要的文化。通常情况下,一个人不可能既有一个健康的社会生活,又能完成一个大项目,同时又满足你所有的个人健身目标。她说,至关重要的是做事要分清轻重缓急,不要对自己期望过高。当你感觉那些老板、家长、健身偶像和朋友看起来是总是那样完美,那是一种错觉,或者至少他们的成功其实得到了很多帮助。

If you feel that you might be close to joining the burnout club, take a step back, figure out what’s going wrong – and let yourself off the hook.

如果你觉得自己可能即将加入“过劳”俱乐部,那就应该退一步,找出问题所在,别让自己掉进这个坑。

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