A few days ago we knew that WHO had included burned worker syndrome - or burn out - in the list of occupational phenomena of high prevalence. Although the World Health Organization does not consider this syndrome as a disease, it does admit that it is the cause of numerous medical consultations.
This burn out it would be the cause of unresolved or well managed work stress. At the same time that this phenomenon begins to be recognized by the most important medical organizations, another term that also refers to the stress that can cause us some aspects related to work - in this case technological - is beginning to take relevance.
It is the term "techno-stress" and if you haven't heard of him yet, you're going to start doing it, and much.
Technostrés: when we make negligent use of technology
The technology He has given us and gives us advantages every day and wonderful advances. From being in daily contact with loved ones that you have far away, through preventing you from getting lost in unknown cities, to allowing us to work from home.
The reality is that, today, we would no longer know how to live without these technological advances. But everything has two faces and, in this case, it wasn't going to be different. These advances also allow us to be connected, localizable and available all the time.
Many of us already know what it means to leave work, but not really disconnect. Because you get a notification and you look at it, because you receive a work call on your mobile and even if you are not working during work hours, or because you have ever received a work-related WhatsApp at times you would not expect, and you have responded !
Psychiatrist Craig Brod was the first to use this term to refer to the consequences on our health that can have lack of ability to deal with new technologies In a healthy way. Indeed, the misuse or negative use of information technologies can cause us high levels of psychophysiological activity in addition to great discomfort.
Technostrés affects, especially, at work
Although technostrés can affect us in any area of our lives - and if you don't try to be 24/7 hooked on Instagram - the reality is that where its consequences are most observed is in the workplace.
Currently, a a large part of the population works through and thanks to technology. Who else and who least uses at least one computer to work, receives work emails whose notifications reach the mobile or have a WhatsApp group with their coworkers.
Being, as they are, technologies that facilitate many of our work, they can also be a tool to be all day hooked to work even if we are no longer physically there. This situation may end up assuming a work risk that affects our well-being, as indicated by some research in this regard, such as Bonilla Prieto.
This techno-stress can manifest itself in different ways: some people may develop great anxiety at the idea of having to use the technologies necessary for their work, even being able to end up drifting into an irrational fear that leads them to avoid technology and feel great rejection.
In other cases it may present as fatigue, mental fatigue, feelings of exhaustion at the cognitive level, etc., especially in the face of the use of these technologies. Finally, some people may develop the almost uncontrollable and compulsive need to be connected continuously, to the point that it ends up causing great discomfort to whoever happens to it.
How to combat technostrés this holiday
Given the consequences it has for our health, techno-stress should be fought every day of our lives. However, we know that when we are in a habitual dynamic, it is very difficult to hit.
Therefore, we can use the summer vacation period, in which we are not working, to gradually begin to disconnect and combat techno-stress. This way it will be easier than on the way back we have learned some technique to keep us and our physical and mental health safe and sound.
- Don't take work on vacation: "I do this to get ahead on vacation" is no longer an option. Work is left at our jobs and does not take our vacations in any of the cases. However small or insignificant it may seem to us, it is important that we do not do any work in those days.
- If you have a job that is only personal, it is the chosen one: Nothing to take your vacation work phone. This summer the only Smartphone you will need is the staff and only to take pictures of your holiday destination. Nothing to pass work numbers to your personal agenda.
- Disconnect receiving emails: Our email accounts have an option that allows us to notify those who send us emails that we are on vacation and not receive them until we return. Leaving guilt aside - vacations are a right - and activating this option will help us disconnect and not be aware of what they send us.
- Learn relaxation techniques: It is possible that during our working year we do not have so much free time as to dedicate it to learn to take care of ourselves. However, vacations can be the ideal time to start. Spending some time on these vacations to learn relaxation and breathing techniques, or to practice exercises such as Yoga or meditation can help us reduce our stress levels.
- Enjoy: This is probably the most important advice of all. These holidays have to enjoy the present moment and what is happening in front of us. We can choose to leave our phones in the hotel or the apartment and enjoy the food, the company, the views or the sun without distractions, being in the present moment. Anything that is happening on your Smartphone can wait.