January 13, 2020
Burnout is a very real issue for our health – and we’re only just beginning to understand the physical and mental consequences of it. 
Burnout Is Bad For Your Heart. Here’s How To Stop It
Last year, burnout was classified by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as an “occupational phenomenon”, legitimising the experiences of many who’ve fallen prey to the problem, also know as vital exhaustion.
“Burnout is a syndrome conceptualised as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed,” said WHO.
It’s characterised by three factors: feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion; increased mental distance or negativity surrounding your job; and reduced productivity.
And there are potentially physical repercussions of burnout, too. A new study has linked the issue to atrial fibrillation (AF) – an irregular heartbeat – which is a major cause of stroke.Related... A Heart Attack Can Happen Gradually – These Are The Symptoms To Look Out For For the study, more than 11,000 people were surveyed about burnout, anger, antidepressant use and poor social support. They were then followed over a period of nearly 25 years for the development of AF. Until now, the specific association between burnout and AF had not been evaluated.
Published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, the study found participants with the highest levels of vital exhaustion, or burnout, had a 20% higher risk of developing AF, compared to those with little to no evidence of burnout.
“Vital exhaustion, commonly referred to as burnout syndrome, is typically caused by prolonged and profound stress at work or home,” said study author Dr Parveen Garg, of the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.
While further research is needed to better understand the link between burnout and AF, Dr Garg believes there are two mechanisms at play. Vital exhaustion is associated with 1) increased inflammation and 2) heightened activation of the body’s physiologic stress response, he said. When these two things are chronically triggered, it can have “serious and damaging effects” on heart tissue, which could eventually lead to the development of AF. Related... Are You Dangerously Stressed? How To Recognise Burnout And What To Do About It No connections were found between anger, antidepressant use or poor social support and the development of AF. “The findings for anger and social support are consistent with prior research but two previous studies did find a significant association between antidepressant use and an increased risk of atrial fibrillation. Clearly, more work still needs to be done,” said Dr Garg.
Further research is also needed to identify concrete actions for doctors to help patients with exhaustion, he said.What do the study findings mean for us?What can we take away from this study? Mainly, that burnout is bad news and we should try to mitigate the risks where possible.
“It is already known that exhaustion increases one’s risk for cardiovascular disease, including heart attack and stroke,” said Dr Garg. “We now report that it may also increase one’s risk for developing atrial fibrillation, a potentially serious cardiac arrhythmia.
“The importance of avoiding exhaustion through careful attention to, and management of, personal stress levels as a way to help preserve overall cardiovascular health cannot be overstated.”
A previous study has also linked prolonged stress with a shrinkage of the area of the brain responsible for regulating thoughts and feelings, enhancing self-control and creating new memories. In addition, almost a third of people report having experienced suicidal thoughts or feelings because of stress, according to a survey commissioned by the Mental Health Foundation.How to combat stressIf you feel burnt out, the NHS advises against turning to unhealthy coping mechanisms like smoking or drinking alcohol – and instead doing exercise, taking control of the situation that’s causing you stress, practising self-care and helping others. In addition to these points, Dr Garg recommends getting a good night’s sleep and spending more time outside.You can measure your heart rate by feeling the pulse in your neck or wrist – use the NHS guidelines to do so. A normal heart rate should be between 60 and 100 beats a minute when you’re resting.Related... These Are The Physical Symptoms Of Stress You've Probably Never Heard Of Neil Shah, chief de-stressing officer for non-profit The Stress Management Society,previously told HuffPost UK that mindfulness could be beneficial to those who are stressed, to help them live more in the moment. If you’re mindful, he said, you’re more likely to pick up changes that are happening to your behaviour.Breathing exercises can also help, so take five minutes out of your day, sit comfortably somewhere and focus on your breath. There are a number of deep breathing apps you can download on your phone to help guide you. Yoga can also be great for unwinding after a stressful day, with a focus on breathing, stretching and being in the moment.If you get to the point where you can’t focus, both Shah and the NHS recommend speaking to friends, family members and work colleagues. Make a list of the people you would turn to in a stressful situation – whether that’s someone you need to have a laugh with, moan about your relationship with, or air your work woes to. “One person might feature multiple times,” said Shah.It’s important to talk through your worries with your support system, but with people living far apart and with increasing time pressures, it can sometimes be hard to know who to turn to. In this case, helplines and online support groups might help.If your stress is causing you a lot of distress and you have nobody to turn to, or if you’ve exhausted the above options, speak to your GP. You can also refer yourself for free psychological therapy through the NHS IAPT service.Related... What You Need To Know About Cholesterol – Whatever Your Age Is Dry January Good For You? Here's What Giving Up Alcohol Does To Your Body How To Get Through Work If You've Had A Terrible Night's Sleep The Scary Ways An All-Nighter Messes With Your Body And Brain 5 Confusing Ways The Cold Weather Impacts Your Body Men Are Reaching Burnout – Is Self-Care The Solution? Useful websites and helplines:Mind, open Monday to Friday, 9am-6pm on 0300 123 3393Samaritans offers a listening service which is open 24 hours a day, on 116 123 (UK and ROI - this number is FREE to call and will not appear on your phone bill.)The Mix is a free support service for people under 25. Call 0808 808 4994 or email: help@themix.org.ukRethink Mental Illness offers practical help through its advice line which can be reached on 0300 5000 927 (open Monday to Friday 10am-4pm). More info can be found on www.rethink.org.
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Star Wars Director Says It's About Time A Woman Makes A Star Wars Movie
Jan 02, 2024
Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Sharmeed Obaid-Chinoy is directing an upcoming Star Wars movie that brings back Daisy Ridley in the role of Rey. Obaid-Chinoy will become the first woman to direct a Star Wars film, dating back to the franchise's origins in the 1970s. Speaking about this, Obaid-Chinoy told CNN that she is "very thrilled" to make the movie and create something that is "very special.""We're in 2024 now, and I think it's about time we had a woman come forward to shape the story in a galaxy far, far away," she said.Obaid-Chinoy won Best Documentary, Short Subjects Academy Awards for Saving Face (2012) and A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness (2015).In 2020, Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy told the BBC that a woman would eventually direct a Star Wars movie, saying that would "absolutely" happen, "without question." Victoria Mahoney was a second unit director on The Rise of Skywalker, but a woman has never claimed a top directing credit on a Star Wars movie.On the TV side of things, The Mandalorian has featured a number of female directors, including Deborah Chow and Bryce Dallas Howard. Chow went on to direct the Obi-Wan TV series, too.Another high-profile franchise that has never had a female director is James Bond. Producer Barbara Broccoli and Skyfall director Sam Mendes have both said they want to see a woman direct a future 007 film.As for Obaid-Chinoy's Star Wars movie, little is known about it apart from the fact that Ridley will come back to play Rey. It is expected that this film will be the first of the three new Star Wars films to come to theaters, possibly releasing in December 2025.According to a report, Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight is writing the Rey movie, taking over for Damon Lindelof and Justin Britt-Gibson.
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NBA Names Clare Akamanzi CEO Of NBA Africa
Jan 02, 2024 15:29
The NBA named Clare Akamanzi – an accomplished business executive and international trade and investment lawyer – as CEO of NBA Africa. Akamanzi will start her position on Jan. 23, 2024, and report to NBA Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer Mark Tatum. In this role, Akamanzi will oversee the NBA’s business and basketball development efforts in Africa and will be responsible for continuing to grow the popularity of basketball, the NBA and the Basketball Africa League (BAL) across the continent, including through grassroots basketball development, media distribution, corporate partnerships, and social responsibility initiatives that improve the livelihoods of African youth and families. For the last six and a half years, Akamanzi was CEO of Rwanda Development Board (RDB), where she spearheaded Rwanda’s economic development by enabling private sector growth. Under Akamanzi’s leadership, RDB implemented several business policy reforms and initiatives that led to significant investment and development for the country, including through partnerships with the BAL, Arsenal FC, Paris Saint-Germain FC, FC Bayern Munich and TIME Magazine, among others. “Clare’s business acumen, international experience and familiarity with basketball and the NBA make her the ideal executive to lead our business in Africa,” says Tatum. “NBA Africa and the Basketball Africa League are well-positioned for continued growth, and under Clare’s leadership we believe these initiatives will transform economies, communities and lives across the continent.” “I’ve seen firsthand how sports can positively impact businesses, families and communities in Africa, and the NBA and the BAL are a perfect example of that,” says Akamanzi. “The NBA has done an incredible job growing basketball and the economy around it across the continent, and I’m excited about the enormous opportunities ahead to build on that momentum.” Previously, Akamanzi was Chief Operating Officer of RDB and Head of Strategy and Policy Unit, Office of the President of the Republic of Rwanda. She has extensive international trade, business and diplomatic experience, having previously worked for the Rwandan Government at the World Trade Organization in Geneva, Switzerland and at the Rwandan Embassy in London, England. Akamanzi has worked or studied in seven different countries and holds an honorary LLD from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, in recognition of her work in Rwanda. She earned a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she was the recipient of three prestigious awards for academic excellence and distinguished contribution to the community: the Lucius N. Littauer Fellows Award, the Raymond & Josephine Vernon Award and the Robert Kennedy Public Service Award. In addition, Akamanzi holds a Master of Laws degree in international trade and investments from the University of Pretoria in South Africa, and a Bachelor of Laws degree from Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. Akamanzi has served on several company boards, including the World Health Organization (WHO) Foundation, ECOBANK and Aviation, Travel and Logistics (ATL) company. She was recognized by Forbes as one of Africa’s Top 50 Powerful Women in 2020.
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