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The minute the clock turns 12.00 am on New Year's Day, the thought that usually runs through most of our heads is ‘how can I be productive this year’ or ‘what goals am I going to set this year’. Let me tell you that there is nothing wrong with setting goals but it is so important that you don’t set unrealistic expectations, particularly at this time with the unpredictability of life. If I were to have told you what my goals/expectations were for 2020, you’d have laughed at how unrealistic they were but also because of Covid, everything was halted. So, that being said I wanted to share with you some ways of how you can set goals in a practical and healthy way for your mental health.
1. I already mentioned this but make sure that your goals are realistic. What I mean by this is don’t set yourself goals that you know won’t happen/ are basically impossible for where you’re at right now. If you set unrealistic goals, you will end up feeling sad when they don’t happen and therefore this can have very negative effects on your mental health i.e. low self esteem.
2. A phrase that’s important to remember is ‘goals are a rough outline not the final thing’. In other words, it’s so important to just see your goals as a guide rather than something that you follow so strictly that you neglect your mental health. Goals are not ‘obligatory’ - they’re just there to help you feel more focussed in your life.
3. Goals take time to achieve. It’s okay if you set a goal and don’t achieve it within the first month. It may take you ten times before you fully achieve it. Like I said, your goals have to be somewhat realistic and the truth is, most goals that are set won’t be achieved the first time. An example that I think shows this perfectly is the goal to have ‘learnt to drive this year’. Whether it's something you want to start for the first time this year or even if you’re in the process of learning, getting your driving licence doesn’t happen instantly and takes a long time. Don’t stress on the timing/duration of your goals as you don’t know how long they will take to be fulfilled.
4. Set goals that are for YOU rather than someone else. You’d be surprised how many people tell themselves they have to achieve something because someone else told them to,in one way or another. Only set goals that are important to you and that matter to you, even if other people don’t understand them. Sadly comparison is something that is very prominent in today’s society and we often think we have to set a certain goal to fit in e.g. goals relating to health and weight. Take some time to really think about what you want to achieve this year. My goals are mainly focussed on my mental health because that’s important to me.
Overall, I personally believe that goals can be extremely beneficial to some people, particularly when someone wants to take a step forward in their life. That being said, it’s so important to not put too much emphasis on your goals. Achieving your goals in an unnatural way, can be harmful to your mental health. Make sure you take time to look after yourself this year!
~ Emily Green
Job burnout is a state of physical or emotional exhaustion that involves a sense of reduced accomplishment and loss of personal identity. It can be considered a prolonged response to chronic emotional and interpersonal stressors on the job, and is deﬁned by the three dimensions of exhaustion, cynicism, and inefficiency. Burnout can be caused by being overworked, understaffed, and misguided by management. There is an abundance of research on the topic of burnout and how it relates to employee engagement and work life balance. Like many things in an organization, it can have a dramatic impact on one’s mental and physical health.
Personality plays a key role in how well we manage our time and responsibilities. This suggests that a positive mindset and attitude can help reduce stress when under pressure. One study found that all five personality traits from the Big Five model were highly correlated with job burnout and turnover. The traits were found to be predictors of job burnout where individuals who were higher in neuroticism and lower in extraversion, conscientiousness, and agreeableness were more prone to experience job burnout. It seems that communication and collaboration with other team members can dramatically decrease the effects of burnout.
When an individual is overworked for a long period of time, they can experience chronic burnout. It has three components: emotional exhaustion, cynicism and detachment. It’s different from short term burnout due to the fact that it can result in serious health issues. Long term stress on a person’s body can affect mood, heart health, and more. On top of that, it can weaken the feelings of fulfillment from job rewards (i.e. paycheck), employee engagement, and job creativity. This would mean that there are virtually no motivators either external or internal that would drive an employee to continue the job. This is how high turnover occurs.
Fortunately, there are many ways to reduce burnout. Although personality cannot be changed, specific behaviors and habits can. Next time you feel stressed about a project, try reaching out to a coworker. Talking it out with someone can be beneficial for both problem solving and mental stability. We are all human, and sometimes we need a break. It’s important for organizations to schedule consistent breaks for their employees so that productivity can be maximized. It’s also crucial that employees’ personal lives be considered so that everyone can have a good work life balance. If a team member is not performing as well as they should, try to first consider what’s going on in their lives. They could be going through a personal issue and need some time off. All employees need to be able to feel that they have control over their careers. Without it, they can feel helpless, overworked and burnt out.
Healthy Emotion-focused coping skills
Just because a strategy helps you endure emotional pain, it doesn’t mean it’s healthy. Some coping skills could create bigger problems in your life. Here are some examples of unhealthy coping skills: