The term burnout was coined a half century ago to describe the exhaustion, cynicism, and feeling of ineffectiveness experienced by those in the caregiving and human-service professions: doctors, police officers, social workers, etc.
Over the decades it has come to be applied to more and more professions and even unpaid work as well: professors are burned out; students are burned out; retail workers are burned out; activists are burned out; parents are burned out. People feel burned out on life, in general.
Yet while the application and discussion of burnout has greatly expanded, what burnout is, exactly, and what causes it has remained stubbornly difficult to pin down.
There is no clinical definition of burnout, no universally agreed upon yardstick for what constitutes it, no official diagnostic checklist as to its symptoms.
In the absence of this consensus, surveys that are administered on the subject each use various kinds of criteria and frame their questions differently, making it hard to accurately assess just how many people are actually experiencing the condition.
As Jonathan Malesic points out in The End of Burnout:
One meta-analysis found that out of 156 studies that used the MBI [Maslach Burnout Inventory — a standard burnout assessment] to examine physician burnout, there were forty-seven different definitions of burnout and at least two dozen definitions each of emotional exhaustion, cynicism, and ineffectiveness. It’s no wonder these studies produced widely divergent results, from 0 percent of physicians experiencing burnout, up to 80 percent.
An absence of consensus around burnout also makes it difficult to disentangle it from other conditions that manifest in similar ways. Are you burned out or just bored? When is burnout different from simple tiredness or stress? Is someone burned out, or are they actually depressed?
This murkiness doesn’t mean burnout isn’t real. There’s a reason the term has become so popular: it perfectly describes a common, intuitively understood experience — a state that can feel akin to things like straightforward exhaustion, garden-variety boredom, or clinical depression, but also feels qualitatively distinct. Even if it’s a varied, subjective thing, people often simply know it when they have it. Nonetheless, the murkiness around burnout should invite some epistemological humility into the discussion — a willingness to acknowledge that much about the condition remains a mystery.
That is equally true when dealing with what causes burnout. Because if we don’t have a clear definition of what burnout is, we’re equally confused about what drives it.
Burnout is most commonly associated with overwork. And yet there are folks working 80 hours a week who don’t feel burned out, and people working 30 who do.
Another popular theory is that burnout is a peculiar product of our modern world — something to do with its go-go pace, its atomization, its overstimulation. And yet, even if they did not yet have the word burnout to describe it, people have been complaining of burnout-esque conditions throughout history, especially since the dawn of industrialization. In 19th century America, folks called it “neurasthenia,” and thought it was caused by the rise of stultifying office work and the increasing speed of technological change. Add to this the fact that the strictest of monks, who lived a couldn’t-be-more stripped-down lifestyle almost two thousand years ago, experienced something akin to burnout too, and the idea that burnout is driven by our brain-fragmenting devices begins to seem more tenuous still. (More on those monks in a bit.)
Related to the modernity hypothesis, is the idea that burnout has to do with the increasingly blurry line between our work lives and our personal lives. But that line was arguably even blurrier in past centuries; you woke up, milked the cows, chopped firewood, planted and harvested on your property, mended things around the house . . . farmers were WFH-ing long before we were, with essentially no separation between their “work” lives and their “personal” lives (even explicitly dividing the two would have been a strange distinction to make).
Well, we then think, if burnout isn’t caused by the encroaching reach of modern work, then it is a result of the essential meaninglessness of that work. Modern work isn’t as directly connected to our survival as it
Sunday Firesides. Sometimes the Critic Counts
“It is not the critic who counts.”
If this line from Theodore Roosevelt’s famous “Man in the Arena” speech is taken to mean that the individual who takes action has far greater worth than he who merely casts stones from the sidelines, then it can be adopted as an unassailable truth.
If, however, it’s taken to mean you should never listen to your critics, then it’s a mantra that cannot be universally applied.
T.R., after all, was a critic himself, and when he called individuals “fragrant man swine,” “little emasculated masses of inanity,” and “beings who belong to the cult of non-virility” — you can bet he wanted to be listened to (and probably should have been).
While adopting a blanket “f**k the haters” mindset may anesthetize the pain of receiving negative feedback, it comes at the cost of two key things:
First, you surrender a potentially helpful perspective.
We’d all do well to heed our inner voice and scorecard over that of the crowd. But we can lose track of that voice or allow ego to convince us we’re doing a better job than we are, and it can take an external observer to point that out.
Second, you forfeit — at least if you apply the “never listen to critics” standard with integrity/consistency — the right to be heard yourself.
Because if people shouldn’t listen to anyone else’s opinions, they shouldn’t listen to yours, either.
Little credit belongs to the masses of heckling, grandstand-riding spectators, who nine times out of ten, have nothing valuable to say. But to avoid developing what Teddy called “a mind that functions at six guinea-pig power,” it’s wise to recognize that sometimes the critic can count: when he’s someone you respect; when he’s someone who also has skin in the game; when he’s someone who’s got, well, a point.
The post Sunday Firesides: Sometimes, the Critic Counts appeared first on The Art of Manliness.
How to Diagnose and Treat Heat Stroke & Heat Exhaustion
It’s been freaking hot around the world this summer. Here in Oklahoma we’ve had more than a dozen days in July alone with temperatures over 100 degrees.
The chances of suffering a heat-related illness like heat exhaustion and heat stroke go up during extreme heat. According to the CDC, between 2004 and 2018, an average of 702 people died annually from heat-related causes, and thousands more ended up in the hospital. Small children and adults over 65 are most susceptible to heat-related illness. However, it can hit anyone who works or exercises vigorously in the heat. In fact, heat stroke is one of the three most common killers of soldiers and athletes in training.
Below we share how to recognize heat exhaustion and heat stroke and what to do to treat both conditions.
How to Recognize & Treat Heat Exhaustion
Heat Exhaustion Symptoms
Heat exhaustion occurs when your body can no longer cool itself down through sweating due to a loss of water and electrolytes. Heat exhaustion needs to be treated as soon as you recognize it in yourself or others. Left untreated, it can develop into its more severe sibling: heat stroke.
Symptoms of heat exhaustion include:
Heavy sweatingCold, pale, and clammy skinFast, weak pulseNausea or vomitingMuscle crampsTiredness or weaknessDizzinessHeadacheBrief fainting (passing out)
How to Treat Heat Exhaustion
The goal of treating heat exhaustion is to cool the sufferer down and restore their fluids.
Move to a cool room. If you don’t have access to an air-conditioned room, at least move to a shady spot.Take a cold shower or bath. If that’s not possible, drape (do not tightly wrap — this will trap heat) cool, wet towels/cloths on the body. Turn a fan on these towels if you can. Remove extra clothing.Sip cool fluids, like water and Gatorade.
If heat exhaustion symptoms continue for an hour despite your treatment, seek professional medical assistance.
How to Recognize & Treat Heat Exhaustion
Heat Stroke Symptoms
Heat stroke is the most serious of heat-related illnesses. With heat stroke, the body has lost its ability to cool itself down, resulting in a dangerously high internal body temperature (above 104 degrees Fahrenheit). High internal body temperature is potentially life-threatening as it can cause seizures, organ failure, and rhabdomyolysis. Even if you recover from heat stroke, you can still suffer long-term damage to your heart, brain (creating cognitive deficiencies), kidneys (requiring lifelong dialysis or a transplant), and liver (also requiring a transplant). Heat stroke victims often die months after they’ve “recovered.”
To guide me on the intricacies of identifying and treating heat stroke, I talked to Dr. Sean Langan, a research assistant at the Korey Stringer Institute at the University of Connecticut. The Korey Stringer Institute specializes in research in preventing heat stroke deaths among athletes.
Heat stroke symptoms include:
Central nervous system (CNS) dysfunction:ConfusionAggression/agitation (Dr. Langan says you frequently see heat stroke victims bite and punch people)DizzinessFaintingSeizuresVery high body temperature (104 degrees F or higher)Red, hot, dry skin (no sweating). Sean notes that you rarely see dry skin in people with exertional heat stroke (caused by exercising or working in the heat). Those exerting themselves in the heat may still be sweaty, and you’ll need to be on the lookout for other symptoms, particularly CNS dysfunction.Throbbing headacheNausea/vomitingRapid breathingRapid pulse
According to Dr. Langan, the critical heat stroke symptom to be on the lookout for is CNS dysfunction:
You can have really fit people who have an internal body temperature of 104 degrees Fahrenheit at the end of a marathon who are fine. Their body is adapted to having that high of an internal temp so they don’t have any CNS dysfunction and they cool down quickly after they finish their race.
You can also have someone who has an internal body temperature of 103, but they’re experiencing CNS dysfunction. This person has heat stroke and needs to be treated.
If you see someone who’s been in the heat who’s showing signs of CNS dysfunction, your best bet is to start treating that person for heat stroke. To confirm, take their temperature with a rectal thermometer (it will give you the most accurate reading)
Podcast #678 Physical Benchmarks Every man should meet at every age
As men, we all want to be physically capable. We want to be able to save our own life in two ways: in the more metaphorical sense of wanting to preserve it in healthy, fit form for as long as possible, and in the more literal sense of being able to make it through an emergency unscathed. How do you know if you do possess that kind of lifesaving physical capability?
It’s time to do more than wonder, and really check in with yourself. My guest today has some helpful benchmarks that guys from age 8 to 80 can use to see if they’ve got an operative level of strength, mobility, and conditioning. His name is Dan John, and he’s a strength coach and the author of numerous books and articles on health and fitness. Dan walks us through the fitness standards the average male should be able to meet from childhood to old age, beginning with the assessments he gives to those who are 55 years old and older, which includes carrying their body weight, a long jump, and something called “the toilet test.” We then reach back to childhood, and Dan discusses the physical skills kids should become adept in, which were inspired by a turn-of-the-20th-century physical culturist who thought every individual ought to be able to save his own life, and which can be broken down into the categories of pursuit, escape, and attack. We end our conversation with the physical standards those in the 18-55 range should be able to meet, including how much a man should be able to bench press, squat, and deadlift, and the walking test that’s an excellent assessment of your cardiovascular conditioning.
Resources Related to the Podcast
My first and second interview with Dan“10 Things Every Lifter Should Be Able to Do”AoM Article: Don’t Just Lift Heavy, Carry HeavyAoM Article: Take the Simple Test That Can Predict Your MortalityAoM Article: The 10 Physical Skills Every Man Should MasterAoM Podcast #663: How to Achieve Physical AutonomyAoM Article: The History of Physical FitnessAoM Article: Every Man Should Be Able to Save His Own LifeAoM Article: 12 Balance Exercises You Can Do on a 2×4Shaker PlateAoM Podcast #508: Break Out of Your Cage and Stop Being a Human Zoo Animal
Connect With Dan John
DanJohnUniversity.com Dan on IGDan’s website
Listen to the Podcast! (And don’t forget to leave us a review!)
Listen to the episode on a separate page.
Download this episode.
Subscribe to the podcast in the media player of your choice.
Listen ad-free on Stitcher Premium; get a free month when you use code “manliness” at checkout.
Click here to see a full list of our podcast sponsors.
Read the Transcript
Brett McKay: Brett McKay here, and welcome to another edition of The Art of Manliness podcast. As men, we all want to be physically capable. We wanna be able to save our life in two ways. First in the more metaphorical sense of wanting to preserve it in a healthy fit form for as long as possible. And second, in the more literal sense of being able to make it through an emergency unscathed. How do you know if you possess that kind of life-saving physical capability?
Well, it’s time to do more than wonder and really check in with yourself, and my guest today has some helpful benchmarks that guys from ages eight to 80 can use to see if they’ve got an operative level of strength, mobility, and conditioning. His name is Dan John. He’s a strength coach and the author of numerous books and articles on health and fitness.
Today on the show, Dan walks us through the fitness standards the average male should be able to meet
Fashion2 years ago
Steampunk Clothing & Jewelry
Trending Stories2 years ago
Dior Homme Cologne Men’s Fragrance Review
Motor2 years ago
2022 Infiniti QX55 Carigami Can Be Yours
Fashion2 years ago
Best Timepieces To Buy For The Holiday Season
Sports2 years ago
Best Christmas Gift For Your Golfer Co-Worker
Fashion6 months ago
Julian Schneyder Relaxes with Man About Town
Outdoors7 months ago
California Fishing Season. All You Have to Know
Baller Awards11 months ago
Hugh Grant dismisses those ‘Doctor Who’ rumors