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At a time when travel is rebounding with record sales and events are back in full swing, volunteer organization Let’s Get Uncomfortable is addressing the level of burnout that many across the industry are experiencing coming out of the pandemic.
“Because we are survivors, fighters, victors, dream makers and innovators, we are now expected to mentally rebound as fast as our recorded record breaking sales and be ready to service our clients and peers with pre-covid energy and stellar customer service. But we’re skipping a step,” LGU’s Shalene Dudley said during the first of a three-part event series on Confronting the Tourism Industry’s Mental Health Crisis. “There are no impactful or meaningful solutions being offered. Do I have the answer? Absolutely not but I think we should talk about mental health because no one else. Nobody is immune or safe from mental distress. If can happen to anybody but we often treat it like there is something shamefully wrong with us.”
Hassel Aviles, co-founder and executive director of hospitality non-profit global leader in mental health advocacy, Not 9 to 5, pointed out the key differences between depression, exhaustion and burnout.
“You can’t sleep your way out of burnout. You can’t self care your way out of burnout. It impacts you mainly in emotional ways,” Aviles said. “It’s often associated with a lack of support, appreciation, guidance in a workplace, could also be inadequate compensation. You’re working so hard, all these hours, all these expectations are demanded of you and yet you can barely live.”
Throughout the pandemic, Dudley said dealing with refunds was a huge source of burnout among travel advisors.
Aviles said burnout often needs to be addressed with lifestyle changes.
“Another similarity between burnout and depression is you can be high functioning,” she added. “You can experience depression and still be at work, smiling and making jokes with your colleagues, and same with burnout.”
Five causes of burnout:
For those who missed the session, here’s the recording.
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