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Jamaicans Love Affair with Facing Hardships

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It has been said that we can be our own worst enemies; the absolute truth when you look at the state of things in society. Recently, the World Health Organization recognized the term ‘Burnout’, as a workplace condition. Burnout is defined as a “state of vital exhaustion”.

Burnout

In elaborating, the World Health Organization stated that-

“Burnout is a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.”

Stress is one of the key factors that are used to identify Burnout. The Verywell Mind team stated that-

“Employment burnout, also known as “job burnout” or just “burnout,” is a state where you lose all motivation or incentive, leading to feelings of depression or stress”

Unfortunately, many individuals are currently in this very situation. Many also choose to remain in this situation. There are several factors that can be owed to persons remaining in organizations and situations that are leading them to Burnout. Specifically in the Jamaican society, we seem to prefer the state of constant stress in an organization. Allowance can be made for the hard task of finding another job that offers the benefits and opportunities that are required. However, that should not be a reason to not try, to not start searching for a way out!

Toxic Environments

“Better to have a half a bread than nothing”

“Thank God yuh ave a job, some people have nothing”

“Better to inna frying pot than fire”

These are phrases that you are guaranteed to hear if you mention your need for a change, due to your reluctance to continue to withstand the stress of a toxic environment. ‘Gratitude is a must’ as Koffee said, but at what cost should we be thankful? Remaining in a state where you are severely uncomfortable only leads to stress, medical conditions and mental illnesses (a term that has not been given its needed attention in Jamaica).

This life should be one that we aim to achieve and fulfill our life purpose. Sadly, a lot of persons have regrets. In talking to the older generation in Jamaica, the missed opportunities of better jobs, free classes, different positions is a major topic of conversation. A careful look at the positions that many older Jamaicans currently hold, and the time frame that they had been in the same position is a testimony to the misery they are facing. The employers group of Jamaica have performed poorly with unlocking and magnifying an individual’s potential.

Tension and Stagnancy

In addition to the long period of being in the same position with the same duties, it is no wonder they are assumed to being closed off from interaction with young people. There is the belief that tension between the generations is common in organizations due to the differences in communication, work culture and ideals. The stagnancy that is experienced by many individuals must also be considered. For instance, it is the norm for office attendants to remain in the same position for an extensive time. We all know of a ‘Ms. Joyce’ that had been serving coffee for over a decade. Are they really happy? Maybe. Could the organization had performed a more active role in their upward mobility? Absolutely!

Jamaica needs to be a great place to work by 2030, and this is one aspect that needs to be paid attention to. Many Jamaicans are miserable due to the job that they are in. It is no wonder why they are many stress-related conditions that plague the nation. It should not come as a shock if persons simply want to change their jobs due to a desire for a change in scenery. We need to encourage this. Happy life makes a happy Jamaica. Let us get rid of the culture of toiling away until old age makes it difficult to work, until old age makes it difficult to enjoy ourselves. Let us start living in our greatness.

Shan Cousins is an avid volunteer, who finds pleasure in sharing and discovering new knowledge and experiences. Shan is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration at the University of the Commonwealth Caribbean. [email protected]

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Business

Modernising Jamaican Workplaces

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A lot of changes are being seen in Jamaica, which are steadily improving the economy and the standard of living of our people. A cultural explosion is happening; where our art, music, food and dances are being tapped into and used for various events and initiatives. As we are modernising in most aspects, the state of our workplaces and the archaic structures need to experience a fresh and invigorating renovation as well.

The world as we know it is actively changing. The development of technologies and the ease of accessing information are continuously being revised, improved and refined. Societies have come a long way due to the benefits of globalization and international trade.

Competing in the Global Arena

Recently, JAMPRO had a Future of Work Conference and it shed light on many things, in particular, our great need to change our structures. One of the speakers, Ms. Gloria Henry, the President of the Business Process Industry Association of Jamaica (BPIAJ), instilled that:

“We need to look at communities that support the wellbeing, the cognitive development, the lifestyles and the new mind-set that we are seeking to cultivate.”

This is a stark realization that Jamaica has a need to make changes within. This changing global environment has our current structures and processes seeming completely obsolete. We are no longer in a bubble, we are in a global arena, where our people have to compete with many others. Competition is fierce, and only the best of the best are drafted onto teams for many world-leading organizations.

Unlocking Our Potential

As the world is revolutionising itself, Jamaica needs to be adequately equipped to be on the track and not on the side-lines. Our potential for greatness is unmatched and we are truly a force. Jamaica is a blessed country with talented individuals who continue to make a mark on this Earth. A quick scroll through social media will see many Jamaicans flying the flag high in various countries, golden representations.

It is puzzling though how the Jamaican work environment remains stagnant with all these changes. The practices that we have are no longer serving us but drastically limiting us. The management of our organizations need to start building and not restricting individuals.

Structures such as flexi-work and work from home need to be implemented in order to contribute to our productivity, innovation and creativity. Employees need to start experiencing more autonomy and not be stuck at a role for years that doesn’t challenge them. Why are we moving at a snail’s pace with this needed change to our structures?

Building Anew

It is clear as day that employees have no need to remain in this strict nine to five atmosphere that is stifling creativity and creating misery. This traditional style of management is surely becoming a hindrance to our nation, and many young persons are voicing their displeasure. A work environment that is constantly being likened to slavery is a cause for concern. A look at the state of the actual environment is also a matter to discuss for another day, or at least another article, “Better Work Spaces, Increased Productivity“. Work is only one aspect of our lives, where we have to be juggling many other issues and situations, but the nature of work in Jamaica seems like a vise grip to many nowadays.

In shaping and changing our infrastructures and practices, the creation of a modern work environment will boast many benefits to our standard of living and the way in which we do business. In defining a modern workplace, the website NH Learning Solutions remarked that “An organization must evolve into a flexible environment that allows for continued communication and collaboration.” The innovation and creativity of our organizations are guaranteed to also impact the society. A modern workplace will increase productivity and improve our work-life balance, where factors of health and wellness can be better adapted. Jamaica needs to enter this path of growth, our future leaders need it.

 

 

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Jamaica News

#BreastCancerAwareness

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October is a month of internal reflections and changes, and importantly, it is the month of Breast Cancer Awareness. Think Pink, this colour is being championed all over the walls and banners of organizations, who are actively pledging their support. Requests for donations in the form of cash or by purchasing items supporting breast cancer awareness are also being circulated in emails and across social media platforms. Breast cancer is a serious condition that affects many and support must be given to those that have been affected. It is a fight for life when one is diagnosed with breast cancer.

What is Breast Cancer?

This is a condition where the cells in the breast start growing out of control. This type of cancer affects both women and men, with women being the majority. In highlighting the severity of this condition, the cancerous cells can also be transported by the blood or lymph system, and as a result spreads throughout the body.

How does it affect the Body?

There are many ways in which breast cancer affects the body, which shows the true strength of all those who have been in this struggle. Ignorance of the effects still persists though there are numerous articles and television programmes that inform the public on how to identify breast cancer. The method of identification can be done by self-check, as well as doing the medical checks such as mammograms.

According to Healthline, “Breast cancer is a disease that affects both the body and mind.” The breast, being the main affected area, will experience many changes. These changes include the difference in size or shape, development of lumps, bloody discharges from the nipples as well as the difference in the skin. Fortunately, diagnosis and treatments are steadily advancing and it is no longer a death sentence for many that have been diagnosed. In order to fight the fight, there are many treatments but they also pose many issues such as a change in hormone production. Subsequently, the change in hormone production can affect fertility, and can also cause joint pain and hot flashes. Hair loss and weight gain can also be as a result of the treatments.

For anyone, hearing a negative outcome for one’s body can affect state of mind. This diagnosis has been known to be detrimental to one’s mind as it relates the severity of the condition and the expense of the treatments. The stress of everything can lead one to develop poor mental health and can further develop into mental illnesses.

#BreastCancerAwareness

It is truly a war with one’s body. Breast cancer does not discriminate and can affect anyone. With the information provided, support and understanding must be given to these warriors as they are in need. Donate and assist in whatever way that you can. If you are aware of someone battling this illness, please reach out and offer your support. Though this condition is recognized in this month, it must be noted that it is an ongoing issue for many, and while the pink banners and quotes change to reflect the trends of the time, the battle still goes on.

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Opinion

Developing Healthy Eating Habits

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Eating is a vital aspect of our day to day life. It is a very important thing that needs to be taken into consideration. What it all boils down to is that no amount of beautiful materialistic items can truly make us feel better if our bodies and minds are not in the best shape. Sadly, many of us have decided to dump any and everything into our bodies, with no thought to the later consequences. Excuses will be heard and excuses will be shouted. Possibly along the lines of, not enough money, too busy, healthy things taste awful, and the list continuously goes on.

This is not an article to berate and discourage junk eating. There are many such articles that can be found scattered all over the internet as it pertains to the consequences. This article will be an eye opener to the importance of certain meals as well as the ease in adapting certain habits. The main goal is to live a happy and healthy life, where we can spend valuable time with our friends and family in great condition. Making the decision to start the healthy habit of healthy eating is one core way to treat the body right.

Breakfast

Breakfast is the first meal of the day; doctors and nutritionists praise the importance of such a meal. It is for a valid reason. Breakfast is typically the meal that you should eat like you are a king due to the many benefits that it poses. The Better Health Channel remarked that “Breakfast is considered an important meal because it breaks the overnight fasting period, replenishes your supply of glucose and provides other essential nutrients to keep your energy levels up throughout the day.” It is the ultimate way to starting off your day right. Do not be too busy with all those paperwork and end up neglecting your body. Coffee is simply not a great fuel and though it worked for you when you were younger, it will not continue to work that way.

Start forming healthy habits for yourself. There are many easy breakfast options available that do not take a lot of time, such as egg sandwiches, avocado sandwiches and yogurt parfaits. For those that are like road-runners, smoothie is a delicious meal that you can make jam-packed with fruits and vegetables. This leads to your body being fortified with essential nutrients and minerals. It does not take a lot of time either and can be securely poured in a bottle to bring along to wherever you need to be.

Lunch

In Jamaica, our typical lunch orders include fried food, a lot of gravy and a whole load of rice and peas. It absolutely gets us filled and it can be very delicious. Unfortunately, it is not very healthy for our being if we decide to eat it every single day. On the opposite end of the spectrum, there are individuals who completely forego lunch, which only makes it worst for the body to maintain its momentum. Schuna states that “Eating in the middle of the day, several hours after breakfast, re-energizes your body and can raise blood sugar levels when focus and concentration are flagging.” Lunch is essential to keeping you on task, and though the work might seem too much, the break is much more effective.

Lunch also does not need to be boring and unsatisfying. Even the tasty lunch meals from restaurants nearby our workplaces can tend to get dull and repetitive. Bring some excitement to your lunch, homemade is technically better as you are aware of the exact ingredients that you are putting in your body. Start to prep lunch meals beforehand to make it easier and healthy lunch ideas can include pastas, filling salads as well as baked chicken or fish meals with lots of vegetables.

Snack

Issa snack, not the soca song, but it a very important filling between the main meals. It maintains our energy levels and makes it possible to consume the daily amount of nutrients and minerals. Snacks can be a handful of nuts, and there are many to choose from such as almonds, pistachios, cashews and even pecans. It simply depends on your preference. Fruits are also wide in the list of options, and can be easily bought from the market vendors, fruit carts or at supermarkets.

Dinner

In considering the amount of hours that our bodies will go without eating or drinking anything, as we will be sleeping for hours, dinner is another royal meal that we need. The body is complex and there are a lot of things that happen due to our eating habits. Foregoing a healthy dinner can lead to problems sleeping and mood disturbances.

Dinner plans can be made to make it easier to create something, such as prepping vegetables and staples, preparing sauces, as well as marinating different types of meats. It will make it much easier to get a healthy and satisfying meal in less than an hour. As many persons tend to work late hours and can barely find the time, it can be a task to choose to eat healthy instead of simply buying a number 1 from our favourite fast food restaurants. Again, this is the time to think about the consequences.

Developing healthy eating habits is very important to this society, so that persons can live a happy and healthy life. The Health Ministry also sends out many broadcasts to show the importance, as it is a fact that a lot of the non-communicable diseases are because of our eating habits. Choose to live right and enjoy your life. 

Check out this article, ‘Summer Body On A Budget‘ for ways to maintain and keep your body fit and healthy.

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