Burnt Out And In Korea

** This blog is focused on my own experiences but discusses several general elements of being overly stressed**

It is easy in todays 24/7 connected world to become burnt out or overwhelmed with the stress load we face.  In Korea the society and current culture is all about the go-go-go, and doing everything as fast as you can. A lot of the time it wasn’t about the quality, it was more about how much you can complete in the least amount of time. If you do a good job on something they reward you by giving you a larger workload.

According to the 2015 American Psychological Association America’s stress survey, 23% Americans reported that their health was “poor”, which is about 3% higher from 2014, based of of their stress levels. Being stressed out can burn you out. A few symptoms of being burnt out, according to Forbes are , exhaustion, lack of motivation, and cognitive problems. These were just a few of the symptoms that I had this past month or so in Korea.

So many people ALL the time.
So many people ALL the time. (I am sure this has something to do with me getting burnt out. 

March-May was a very busy month for my students and me. We had about 5 events do complete, apart from finals and graduation. By June, I was completely exhausted. There has never been a time that I can remember, where I was so tired that I actually fell asleep just blinking. I actually did not realize how burnt out I was until the last two weeks of school when my body decided to force me to rest. I became sick. The doctor just told me that it was laryngitis but it felt like death. I couldn’t do anything and I had a deep cough. I am pretty sure it was a sinus infection with the start of bronchitis. Either way the medicine didn’t seem to work and I ended my last year in South Korea sick and with hardly any voice.

Industry
Industry. Korea is industrializing an as such it isn’t always clean. It is easy for foreigners to get sick and have to work through the sickness. 

That illness made me realize that I was probably overworked and needed a break. After finishing out the year. The absence of stress allowed me too see just how stressed out I was this past year. While living through the year, I knew I was doing a lot. I tried very hard not to become stressed out. I worked out, took time to do things I enjoyed, rested whenever I could, had fun and planned my time tightly. I still became burnt out and was overworked. I think that the problem with what I did was that even though I had a great time this past year, I never slowed down. Sure, I rested but my resting time was scheduled and often times forced. In the long run that didn’t really give me the rest I needed. I needed to be able to go somewhere and not think about anything. Spend a few days doing nothing and thinking about nothing. In order to have prevented burning out, I should have slowed down and say no more.

If you are thinking of moving to Korea, then I want to let you know that t is a  fast pace and a quick moving society (from the Seoul area perspective). If you are simply finding yourself burnt out a lot of the time, then I encourage you to just take some time doing nothing, sure you can read, watch tv, play games and so on but don’t put a  schedule to it. Just enjoy sometime without worrying about where or what you have to do after this rest time.

Beauty is still there.
Beauty is still there. Even though, I definitely was burnt out by the end of my 3rd year in Korea, I still found beauty there. 

 

Sources:
www.apa.org
www.forbes.com

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