Burnout is a part and parcel of work life. Every person reaches a point where it feels like work has taken over everything, and even the time away from work feels like just an intermission before the next day starts. However, times are changing, and so is the attitude surrounding a toxic and unhealthy work-life balance. More and more importance is being given to how to manage the stress that stems from not knowing how to make the best use of your downtime.
A lot of people don’t know how to step away from work, even when their clock has ended. Thanks to the digital age, work goes with them everywhere they go, and they find it difficult to switch it off and unwind. Recovery from work has become a national conversation as more and more people realize that working non-stop is not how they want to live. However, a lot of them also face the problem of being unable to unwind.
The Recovery Paradox
According to Sabine Sonnentang, a psychologist at the University of Mannheim in Germany, taking the much-needed recovery break is more difficult for the ones with high-stress jobs. Workers in physically demanding fields like construction find it much easier to wind down. The ones who have jobs that are mentally and emotionally draining find it harder to feel rested, even after a day off. Sonnentang further comments that this happens as the workers who stress and think a lot during their job find it hard to switch off after the work day is over.
The Road to a Better Recovery
Researchers have come up with two ways for an individual to better their downtime. These are relaxation and mastery. Relaxation, as the name suggests, is opting for an activity that reduces stress and calms down the mind and body when you’re in your downtime. These activities can be taking a walk in the park, reading a book, and rewatching your favorite TV show. The other option is mastery, which means trying to master (or become passable at) a new skill. Workers tend to find relief in their accomplishments and feel more energetic and enthusiastic the following day. You can choose any skill, from painting to learning how to do a handstand. The key is to figure out what you want to do and take a shot at it. The better rested you are, the better you’ll perform at your work too.
What would you say if you heard that the Babylonians used Pythagorean Theorem long before Pythagoras even existed? Before you say it isn’t possible, learn this – a Babylon-era clay tablet that is 3,700 years old has revealed that this theorem existed 1,000 years before the Greek philosopher’s birth.
This tablet, also known as Si.427, was said to be used by the ancient surveyors of the land to chart out boundaries accurately. The tablet is engraved with markings that provide instructions on how to make right-angled triangles. This is one of the earliest known applications of geometry. A French team excavated this tablet used by the Babylonians and it is now showcased in the Istanbul Archeological Museum. It belongs to an era between the dates 1900 B.C.E and 1600 B.C.E.
Mathematician Daniel Mansfield, from Australia’s University of New South Wales, stated, it is widely accepted that ancient Greeks used trigonometry to study the sky at night. However, Babylonians used this science to find solutions for measuring the land rather than the sky. As per Mansfield, the tablet is an example of The Old Babylonian period’s cadastral document used for defining boundaries on land. He said, “In this case, it tells us legal and geometric details about a field that’s split after some of it was sold off.”
Although 1,000 years may have passed since the invention of the tablets and Pythagoras’ birth in 570 B.C.E, experts have always known that these teachings were passed down to the Greeks by the Egyptians, who inherited them from Babylonians.
What Mansfield found surprising is how sophisticated the level of revelations was and that the Babylonians had discovered it so early on in human history. He concluded by saying that no one expected them to be using this logic and that it is akin to mathematics in its pure form, which was inspired by practical issues they faced back then.