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This is How You Transfer Millions Of Bacteria To Your Eyes

This is How You Transfer Millions Of Bacteria To Your Eyes

Ouch! We all know that irritated dry eye feeling that comes along with staring at a screen for far too long. Hey, I’m dealing with it right now as we speak (or as I type?). Our eyes strain to stay focused on the artificially illuminated images and it takes a toll on our overworked eyeballs. For those who work full time on their laptop, they’re spending about 8 hours a day staring at a screen. If that isn’t enough, the average person spends at least 2 hours scrolling through their phone, staring at yet again another screen. That’s 10 full hours of staring.

Not only that, but then we have to deal with commuting. Again our eyes have to stay focused for extended periods of time. Often resulting in tunnel vision and burning, sleepy eyes.

Your eyes need a break!

Instinctively, when your eyes start to feel a bit irritated you rub them for relief. While that might alleviate the situation momentarily, you could actually be making the situation worse.

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If your eyes feel itchy or irritated, it’s because they’ve been dried out or may have something in them that shouldn’t be there. The only thing that will every solve this problem is lubrication. Rubbing is never the answer. In fact, innocently rubbing your eyes to rid yourself of an itch is opening your eyes to a multitude of issues such as:

1. Scratched corneas

Your eyes may be bothering you due to particles that made their way in. And when you scratch, you are rubbing those particles into your eyes and could actually cause them to scratch your eye. This happened to me a few years ago on the beach. Some sand blew into my face, I rubbed my eyes to get it out, and ended up severely scratching my cornea. By rubbing my eyes, I made the situation much worse.

2. Darker circles around the eyes

Those dark circles around your eyes aren’t actually caused by sleep deprivation. They are actually the result of the tiny blood vessels around your eyes breaking and rising to the surface, mostly due to accidental eye rubbing during your sleeping hours.

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3. More itching and possible Infection

Think about what you’re using to touch your fragile eyes with. More likely than not, you’re not washing your hands before you give your eyes a good rub down. Your fingers are crawling with bacteria. And now you are transferring that bacteria into your eyes, opening yourself up to infections such as pink eye (yuck!) And if you happen to scratch your eye with your dirty hands, then you’re putting yourself at risk for some serious long-term damage including impairment or loss of eyesight.

Most importantly, rubbing your eyes might feel good at the moment, but you really are making the situation worse. Rubbing causes your body to release more histamines, which ultimately causes more itching.

What reasons do we have to rub our eyes?

You probably do it more often than you realize. Once we identify the reasons and moments that we may be touching our eyes, the better we will become at avoiding this dirty practice.

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Staring at screens for too long

As I’d mentioned above, many people don’t have a choice in this matter. It is literally their job to work in front of a computer screen, so their eyes are exposed every day for long periods of time. The brightness from the monitors causes the eyes to strain and dry out.

Wear contact lenses that dry out your eyes

More and more people are taking off their glasses and switching over to contact lenses. At the forefront, this is an issue because they are blocking their eyes from receiving the oxygen they need. And as for the rubbing, there is already a large foreign object lodged in their eye. And when they scratch, that object is getting rubbed up against their cornea. This is opening up a huge opportunity for scratches and infections.

Everyday irritants that you cannot escape from

Sometimes your eyes just itch. Be it from allergies, tiredness, or attack of the traveling itch (we’ve all been there.) And if there’s an itch, you just want to scratch it. Every once in a while you’re going to subconsciously do it. But don’t make a practice of it. Make a point to consciously remind yourself not to rub your eyes.

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If you want to keep looking, you better not touch!

Now you know all of the horrible things that can happen to your eyes if you touch them. Itching can be annoying, but on the grand scheme of things it’s not so bad. Imagine losing your eyesight due to an infected scratch, something that could have totally been avoided. So it’s better to just not, right?

But don’t worry, I won’t let you suffer. You do have alternative options to alleviate your itch.

Always have your eye drops with you

Since many itches are caused by tiny particles floating into your eyes, keep saline solution or lubricating eye-drops on hand. If your eyes start to feel a bit dry or irritated, give them a good flush. This will resolve your issue and revitalize your eyes.

Use tissue if you really have to

Don’t touch with your hands! They’re dirty! Instead, keep a pack of tissues within reach to tap your eyes instead of rub. This way there is no direct contact with the bacteria on your hands, and you are less likely to cause any damage to your cornea. Don’t think you’re in the clear because you’re using a tissue though. Still don’t rub them! I said tap!

Treat your eyes with the utmost care, and they will continue to expose you to the beautiful sights of this world. Don’t risk your vision by the instant gratification that comes with rubbing an itch. Take the necessary precautions. And look out for your eyes.

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Jolie Choi

Having experienced her own extreme transformation process, Jolie strongly believes that staying healthy takes determined and consistent action.

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Last Updated on October 13, 2020

How to Spot a Burnout And Overcome It Fast

How to Spot a Burnout And Overcome It Fast

Burnout at work is an issue that most people who suffer from it, suffer unknowingly.

Have you ever felt that you can’t start an assignment, have an immense urge to Netflix binge, or couldn’t get yourself to wake up on time even though you have a lot on your plate? The cause for these might be burnout.

According to Deloitte’s report, “many companies may not be doing enough to minimize burnout.” This is to say that the responsibility is not only on the employee. According to that report, nearly 70 percent of professionals feel their employers are not doing enough to prevent or alleviate burnout within their organization, and they definitely should.[1]

Too many companies don’t invest enough in creating a positive environment. One out of five (21%) said that their company does not offer any programs or initiatives to prevent or alleviate burnout. It is the culture, not the fancy well-being programs that would probably do the best work.

This is a significant problem for individuals and companies, and it’s also an issue on a macro level. A Stanford University research found that more than 120,000 deaths per year, and approximately 5%–8% of annual healthcare costs, are associated with the way U.S. companies manage their workforces.[2]

It is both the employee and the employer’s responsibility—and the latter can certainly take more responsibility.

In this article, I’ll guide you on how to know if you suffer from burnout and, more importantly, what you can do about it.

Who Are Prone to Burning Out?

For starters, it is a good thing to know that you’re in good company. According to a Gallup poll, 23% (of 7,500 surveyed) expressed burnout more often than not. Additionally, 44% felt it sometimes. Nearly 50% of social entrepreneurs who attended the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in 2018 reported having struggled with burnout and depression at some point.[3]

According to Statista (2017), 13% of adults reported having problems unwinding in the evenings and weekends. According to a Deloitte survey (consisting of 1,000 full-time U.S. employees), 77% of respondents said that they have experienced employee burnout at their current job.[4]

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Burnout is not only an issue of the spoiled first-world. Rather, it is a serious matter that must be taken care of appropriately. It affects so many people, and its impacts are just too significant to be ignored.

Some occupations are more prone to burnout, such as people who deeply care about their jobs more than others. According to the Harvard Business Review, “Passion-driven and caregiving roles such as doctors and nurses are some of the most susceptible to burnout.”

The consequences can have life or death ramifications as “suicide rates among caregivers are dramatically higher than that of the general public—40% higher for men and 130% higher for women”. It is also the case for teachers, non-profit workers, and leaders of all kinds.[5]

Deloitte’s survey also found that 91% say that they have an unmanageable amount of stress or frustration. Heck, 83% even say that it can negatively impact their relationships. Millennials are slightly more impacted by burnout (84% of Gen Y vs. 77% in other generations).

What Is Burnout Syndrome?

So, what is it, exactly? Burnout was officially included in the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) and is an occupational phenomenon.

According to the World Health Organization, burnout includes three dimensions:[6]

  1. Feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion;
  2. Increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job;
  3. Reduced professional efficacy.

The 5 Stages of Burnout

At this point, you must have a clue if you’re at risk of burnout. There are different methods for understanding where you are on the burnout syndrome scale, and one of the most common ones is the “five stages method.”

1. Honeymoon Phase

As you may remember If you’ve gotten married, there’s always the honeymoon phase. You’re so happy and feel almost invincible. You love your spouse and at this stage, you’re very excited about everything. It’s the same when it comes to taking on a new job or role or starting a new business.

At first, most of the time, you’re hyper-motivated. Although you might be able to notice signs of potential future burnout, in most cases, you might ignore them. You’re highly productive, super motivated, creative, and accept (and take) responsibility.

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The honeymoon phase is critical because if you plant the seeds of good mental health and coping strategies, you can stay at this phase for extended periods.

2. Onset of Stress

Let’s continue with the wedding metaphor. Now that you’re happily married for some time, you might start noticing certain issues with your spouse that you don’t like. You might have seen them before, but now they take up more space in your life.

You might be less optimistic and feel signs of stress or minor symptoms of physical or emotional fatigue at work. Your productivity reduces, and you think that your motivation is lower.

3. Chronic Stress

Let’s hope you don’t get there in your marriage, but unfortunately, some people get there. At this stage, your stress level is consistently high, and the other symptoms of stage 2 persist.

At this point, you start missing deadlines, your sleep quality is low, and you’re resentful and cynical. Your caffeine consumption might be higher, and you’re increasingly unsatisfied.

4. Burnout

This is the point where you can’t go on unless there is a significant change in your workspace environment. You have a strong desire to move to another place, and clinical intervention is sometimes required.

You feel neglected, your physical symptoms are increasing, and you get to a place where your stomach hurts daily. You might obsess over problems in your life or work and, generally speaking, you should treat yourself.

5. Habitual Burnout

This is the phase in which burnout is embedded in your life. You might experience chest pains or difficulty breathing, outbursts of anger or apathy, and physical symptoms of chronic fatigue.

The Causes of Burnout

So, now that we know how to identify our stage of burnout, we can move on to tackling its leading causes. According to the Gallup survey, the top burnout reasons are:[7]

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  1. Getting unfair treatment at work – This is not always something that you can fully control. At the same time, you should remember that even if you’re not calling the shots, it doesn’t mean that you have to accept unfair treatment. The consequences mentioned above are just not worth it in most cases.
  2. Workload – Another leading cause of stress according to dozens of interviews conducted before writing the article. According to Statista, in 2017, 39% of workers said a heavy workload was their leading cause of stress. We live in a busy work environment, and we will share some tips on how to manage that.
  3. Not knowing your role – While not something you can fully control, you can, and probably should, take action to better define it with your boss.
  4. Inadequate communication and support from your manager – Like the others above, you can’t fully control that, but as we’ll soon share, you can take action to be in better control.
  5. Time pressure – As mentioned, motivated, passionate workers are more in danger of experiencing burnout. One of the reasons is that they’re pressuring themselves to do more, sometimes at the expense of their mental health. We’ll address how to work on that as well.

How to Overcome a Burnout

After going over the stages of burnout and the leading causes of becoming burned out, it might be a good time to let you know that there is a lot you can do to fight it head-on.

However, let’s start with what you should not do. Burnout cannot be fixed by going on a vacation. It should be a long-term solution, implemented daily.

According to Clockify (2019), these are the popular ways to avoid burnout:

  1. Focus on your family life – 60% of adults said that stable family life is key to avoiding burnout. Maintaining meaningful relationships in your life is proven to reduce stress (instead of having many unmeaningful relationships).
  2. Exercising comes in second, with 58% reporting that jogging, running, or doing any exercise significantly relieves stress. Even a relatively short walk might improve your body’s resilience to stress.
  3. Seek professional advice – 55% say they would turn to a professional. There are online websites where you can speak with professionals at reduced costs.

Aside from the three most popular ways of avoiding burnout, you can also try the following:

1. Improve Time Management

Try understanding how you can use your time better and leave more time for relaxation. That’s easy to say (or write) but more challenging to implement. It would help if you started by prioritizing yourself. Understanding the connection between your values and your everyday tasks is a tremendous help. You can use proven methods to improve the relationship between your vision and goals to your daily life tasks’ lists. Check out the Horizons of Focus or V2MOM methods to get started.

2. Use the P.L.E.A.S.E. Method

The P.L.E.A.S.E. is a combination of things you should do to be at your best physically. It means Physical Illness (P.L.) prevention, Eat healthy (E), Avoid mood-altering drugs (A), Sleep well (S), and Exercise (E).

3. Prioritize

You don’t have to say yes to everything that comes across your way at work (or in other aspects of life). You’d be surprised how easy it can become once you start saying no. Some might even describe it as exhilarating.

4. Let Your Brain rest

Culturally, most of us are already wired to think that hard work is essential, and while that’s true in most cases, we sometimes forget that our brain needs to rest for it to recharge. Seven hours of sleep are essential (depending on your age). Meditation might be helpful, too.

5. Pay Attention to Positive Events

According to Therapistaid.com, we tend to focus on the bad things in our lives. However, by focusing on positive things, we can change our mindset. One way to practice this daily is by writing three good things about your life every morning or evening. It’s been scientifically proven that doing so for a few months can help rewire your brain.

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6. Take Some “You” Time

A Netflix binge is not always good for you, but it might be in some cases. The better the leisure time is, the better you’ll feel in the long term. It’s usually better to read a book or start a new hobby that requires more cognitive skills than just lying on the couch. But as long as you feel good watching a movie, that might be a good start.

7. New Technologies Might Be Helpful

There are tons of self-help apps such as Fabulous, Headspace (meditation), Noom (diet and exercise), and others. They’re good to use, but you should also be careful not to run away from your problems only to watch social media for hours. It’s not real, and no one’s life is perfect (even if their Facebook or Instagram feeds might seem so). You should also be aware not to be in an “always-on” mindset.

Bottom Line

Whether you’re at the first or the fifth stage of the burnout phases, the goal of this article is to show you that there are always ways to fight it. The first thing is self-awareness—knowing that there’s a problem. The second step is to decide what to do about it.

You can also consider using Lifehack’s community. You’re more than welcome to share your burnout story on our Facebook page.

Bonus: Rebound from Burnout in 8 Hours

Watch what you can do to rebound from burnout quickly in this episode of The Lifehack Show:

https://youtu.be/MNnyqQWK_zg

Featured photo credit: Lechon Kirb via unsplash.com

Reference

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