Recovery

My Work is Driving me Crazy! 

Employee: People are not able to simply ignore stress, as such, recovery plays a vital role in dealing with stress reactions (strain). 

Employer: In the modern age, work-related interruptions (e.g. smart phones) constantly interfere with recovery. Therefore, employees are progressively less able to sufficiently manage day-to-day stressors and demands. 

 

When dealing with a long day of work full of stress, a person needs to recover to manage leftover strain. Recovery can take place after work or during work breaks, the recovery process is an attempt to return to a baseline (i.e. the state before they became stressed). If recovery is interrupted by work (e.g. emails), then workers will be reminded of work-related stress making the recovery attempts less effective. As such, they may carry leftover stress into the next working day. If left unchecked, strain can accumulate until an individual develops significant health concerns like burnout and depression. 

In order to have a successfully recover, you can use some of the following strategies: relaxation (e.g. vacation, sitting on the couch), sleep, preoccupying your mind with non-work-related matters (e.g. puzzles, sports), and social activities.  These strategies are effective for recovery; however, preoccupying yourself seems to be more important and less obvious. A balanced perspective should be maintained, however, voluntarily doing work outside the workplace and autonomy have been associated with positive outcomes. Thus, effective recovery is likely also influenced by an individual's control over whether they choose to access work outside work hours (e.g. to accommodate their schedule, or simply because they want to). 

© 2019 by The CN Centre for Occupational Health and Safety

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