Is New Work driving me into exhaustion depression? Episode 1

Corona, war, home office, office, family, friends, social media, that's our normal everyday life. "Help, this is too much for me" or "I'll just get on with it" - where do you put your cross? Do your head and gut agree on this? We want to find out what tends to push people into the group of the exhausted and what factors shape others into rocks in the job din.

Agile, ideal world ...

New Work thrives on creativity, mutual motivation, colourful events and activities. Flexible working, personal development, influence and design as well as a sense of purpose are at the centre of daily activities. Your fascination drives you and your topic forward, recognition and success are the purring drive for further challenges. It is precisely these intensively lived values that ensure psychological empowerment and thus a happy and fulfilled life. Thus energetically charged, surrounded by people, you also climb over the one or other branch or tree trunk that life throws in your way.

... or excessive demands after all

Wherever it is so bright and colourful, with more screens than lamps illuminating the room, there are also shadows. The Psychreport of the DAK-Gesundheit has just been published, which examined the data of 2.4 million employees in Germany for mental illnesses. It reveals another bitter record for 2021. 276 days of absence per 100 insured persons were caused by depression, adjustment and anxiety disorders in particular, and 39.2 days were spent away from work. This is 41% more days of absence than in 2011. These figures refer to all forms of work, the influence of new work models is unfortunately not shown in this report. Basically, everyday working life is characterised by a growing workload, staff shortages, restructuring, change processes and higher demands.

The Outside - Job, Work Environment, Mental Health

Required by the Occupational Health and Safety Act since 2013, spurred on by the pain of the many days of absence, companies are now also increasingly turning their attention to mental health. Yoga courses, fruit baskets, individual coaching with free choice of topics and coaches are a step in the right direction by creating offers. Opportunities for self-reflection, but also fraught with the danger of uncovering new self-optimisation and better coping strategies that can create pressure to perform even better.

Coaching and leadership - responsibility for employees

Modern leadership training operates on the hormone level by tracing the state of mind and behaviour back to stimuli and hormone releases. If, for example, an employee gives a depressed impression, this indicates a lack of serotonin, which leads to motivating and encouraging interventions.

It is undisputed that hormones contribute to emotions and burnout, but it remains to be seen whether the manager can cope with the complexity of the hormone balance with the toolbox of methods from a training course.

It is more helpful to turn one's gaze from the symptoms to the causes. Aren't the dangers lurking rather in a higher, faster, further, more successful, driven by euphoria and empowerment at the issue level? Where are appreciation, empathy, mutual support and protection from 7/24? The magic word is corporate culture, a word that has unfortunately long since lost its magic and is rather mutating into a non-word. Whatever we call it, it should serve to reflect on individual and common values, so that forms of modern and voluntary (self-)enslavement, excessive demands and disappear from our everyday lives.

The Inside - Resilience muscle training for more resilience

Gradually, the limits of resilience are reached before they lead to exhaustion depression. Let's take a closer look and be honest with ourselves. We all know what a bad day is like, but do we know how full our batteries are at the moment? At what charge level is the red line? How quickly will I be ready for action again? Consciously noticing limits is a first step towards cutting off the juice of anxieties or depressive moods at an early stage. Rolling around in bed for long periods of time without finding sleep and sitting tired at your desk is the beginning. When the tears roll faster and more frequently, when we throw up before we are on our way to the office, when panic attacks seek our home, then the clinic is no longer far away. Mindfully looking back at the difficulties and stressful situations you have already mastered, recognising strengths and turning them into resources trains our resilience.

The environment - Where we come from

Few things shape us as strongly as our origins and socialisation. With our mother's milk we imbibe the first beliefs that fuel perseverance, diligence, achievement, "always doing your best". It is not surprising that these values flowed into everyday family life, especially in Prussian-dominated areas, and in some cases still persist today with little questioning. Discipline, fear of disappointment and wanting to be the best are the personal drivers of self-exploitation. What used to be cold, wind and rough conditions or Charlie Chaplin in the film "Modern Times" tightening screws for 14 hours was someone else's responsibility. To what extent the working day flows into our everyday life, penetrates our soul life and blurs boundaries is something we can and must take care of ourselves today.

The conclusion and where we are going

Goals and visions motivate us to grow. Enthusiasm, recognised and perceived opportunities catapult us into exciting new projects and on the road to success. The more you are interested in, the more you initiate, the faster the number of your roles grows. In the rush of momentum, we ignore the ever-growing pressure, which, quite honestly, we can only handle gamely up to a certain level. Stop, but commitment and responsibility are needed here, as a person, as a team, as a company and community, so that we don't run into exhaustion depression.

In episode 2 there is "The recipe to try out", 5 practical tips to avoid running into exhaustion depression.

Annett Lossack

About the author

Annett Lossack is part of the REDEZEIT FÜR DICH blog team and is there to listen to all your and is there to listen to all your worries about your job, family and future.

As a coach and a source of momentum, she supports people in overcoming the hurdles of life and helps them to rediscover happiness. of life and helps people rediscover happiness. Words are undiscovered doors, her texts are the entrance to new information and open up new spaces for thinking and living.