A break to enjoy the process, beyond the result
Updated: Jun 7
Article published in Forbes Colombia see the original article here By: Catalina Jiménez Combariza
This syndrome weakens people's productivity, mental and emotional health, and takes over the things that really make you happy.
It happened to me too. It happened one morning when at the end of a proposal that I was working on for a new client, without realizing it, I forgot certain words, then the name of the people who were with me. Extreme fatigue acts in this way, little by little it takes over pieces of your life, takes a couple of hours of sleep, a slight and constant headache accompanies you for endless days. You eat a lot, then stop for long periods, your eyes suffer and the light seems to be a relentless enemy.
The ‘burnout’ or burned worker syndrome is a picture of symptoms that is reflected in extreme fatigue and work stress, basically, you no longer have energy. Endless hours in front of the computer, connected from different devices and trying to recreate the other aspects of life digitally, cyber classes, cyber meetings with friends, online meditation, online yoga, etc. We pushed the boundaries, affected daily life, and postponed breaks. This syndrome weakens people's productivity, mental and emotional health, and takes over the things that really make you happy. It happened to all of us, during this last period we have stopped physically sharing with people we love, who make us laugh, we postpone many shared coffees, have a conversation looking into each other's eyes; We forget the pleasure of connecting with nature, breathing fresh air or feeling the sun on our shoulders, dancing all night or simply disconnecting and saying I'm not going out today, I'd better stay and do nothing. Our homes these days became a school, an office, an entertainment center ... my daughter called the living room ‘Paris’ and the studio "the cinema" and it was precisely in this place where my body protested.
It is ‘OK’ to turn off, to be able to recharge
The need to adapt to new work schemes, virtuality, and hyperconnectivity are part of the challenges posed by the pandemic, we cross some limits that make us dependent and make it very complex to let go of day-to-day tasks. We are terrified of missing any type of progress in the office, with a client, or in the decisions that are made within the company. The pandemic exposed the need for companies to stay connected with their public, transmitting the message that despite the distance we are still active and we understand what is happening. This call to empathy with our internal and external audiences must also be an urgent call to ourselves, "Hello Catalina, I understand that you are tired, you can take a break"; This time has served so that public relations are built with confidence, generating added value and caring for the other. That empathy and positivism must be applied without restrictions within us. You can be tired, raise your hand, look for friends, or just stop and breathe. When one is in charge of a team it is impossible to be oblivious to the difficulties experienced by the people who accompany us. Today it is common for someone to take a break during a work meeting by video call because their daughter has a problem connecting to virtual classes at school, or needs to attend an event that happens at home. Now we openly show that other face that was not usually perceived, we are great professionals, but we also stop asking for excuses because a noise sounds, we are women, mothers and we fulfill different roles at the same time. However, the reality that we live also exposed the immense difference that still distances us from gender equality and in the support that women give to society. The IDB (Inter-American Development Bank) in its report: Gender Gaps during Covid-19 , highlighted that the time spent on housework was even more unequal before the pandemic. The document showed that women bear most of the additional burden of caring for their children, where nearly 60% of those surveyed claimed to be solely responsible for these tasks at home, compared to 14% reported by men.
Breathing, to make clearer decisions
Once we understand the importance of slowing down at work, of being able to simply close the computer and enjoy the pleasure that it gives me to share with my six-year-old daughter, and enter her magical world in which we are both happy, creates a balance and a recharge to who we are as a person. Trusting the work team, delegating tasks, letting things flow, and find their own rhythm gives us all, and particularly to each woman, the possibility of knowing that we have all the possibilities to achieve what we set out to do, but also that we have the right to rest, to stop and to enjoy the process over the result I am fortunate to have a tremendous team that allowed me to hear the warning signs and walk away. Taking distance allows us to see the complete picture of what is happening in the professional arena, and show us what can be done differently. Knowing that my reality is not the only one that matters, that we are part of a society, and that without empathy for what is happening around us, it is impossible to see the correct path to follow. I am proud to run an agency with 17 years of background, to have a team of incredible and absolutely committed collaborators, also along this path I have been able to meet wonderful people who have facilitated my work as a mother, homemaker, and entrepreneur. I don't regret the extra effort this has cost me; But after having taken a breath and being able to see what was happening around me in perspective, I can also and want to value the spaces, the silences, and the pauses. Life, in the end, consists not exclusively of crossing to a goal; but in the learning and the satisfaction that the road leaves us.
* The author is founder and director of Sentidos Comunicaciones The opinions expressed are solely the responsibility of their authors and are completely independent of the position and editorial line of Forbes Colombia.