In 2017, Mar Cabra received the Pulitzer Prize, the most prestigious of journalistic awards, for the Panama Papers together with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. A few months later, after achieving “success,” she quit her job. The journalist acknowledges that, in her search for her triumph, she lost herself and ended up having burnt-out worker syndrome. She felt her life as an unequal equation: she was successful but unhappy. For this reason, she decided to move to Almería and take some time to rediscover herself. She realized two things: the first, her vocation for service; the second, the role that technology has in people’s lives. As a consequence, she created solutions aligned with her new way of living. She founded The Self-Investigation, a project to help journalists from the Philippines to the West Coast of the United States or Argentina to be healthy professionals and master the main resource that human beings have: time. In addition, she gives talks to companies that have wellness at their core and writes Tecnosaludables, a blog for El Confidencial on how to have a healthy relationship with technology. Today, Marella is better than ever, on a path to calm. The journalist Ella talks about her experience of burnout, the importance of establishing limits between private life and work, her relationship with technology and the tricks that help her recharge her battery. She went from winning a Pulitzer to being burnt out after achieving “success” she was on a wheel, she never stopped. There was always one investigation to do, then another and another. We published the Panama Papers and suddenly all the media wanted to talk to us. I went around the world, from Kathmandu to San Francisco. It is very cool to be there, but I began to notice that I was physically very tired. During the week, when I was working, I had a hard time finding focus, being productive and creative. For that reason, he put in many more hours than he had put in at another time. On weekends, when I didn’t have to work –because there were weekends that I did–, I felt completely exhausted. I was a vegetable on the couch who just wanted to watch Netflix on a loop. In addition, I began to notice myself very negative. She was very critical of everything, she was not a nice person to be with. At the moment when I started to see those symptoms, I said: “I don’t know what’s wrong with me, it could be that I don’t like my job anymore; But how am I going to leave this job, if I am at the top of my career? In retrospect, I have realized that these symptoms are clear burnout syndrome. It is less and less taboo to talk about it, being burned is fashionable. Passionate works and the importance of prioritizing oneself I have always gotten along great with technology. I prided myself on being able to do twenty things at once and still be productive. That was one of the main reasons that led me to burn out. Now that I’ve researched the subject, I know that almost no one can do multitasking well, that it wears us out and that being always available to other people makes us completely unproductive. On airplanes, they tell us: “If the cabin runs out of oxygen, put on the oxygen mask yourself first before helping others.” In passionate professions we have to remind ourselves of this a lot, because if we are not well we cannot help others and dedicate ourselves to our passion. I’ve always been told, and I’ve heard it many times: “Make your work your passion and that way it won’t be hard for you to work”. I think the phrase is very valid, but we have to add an addition: “But be careful, you need to be well to realize that passion, you should be your priority.” I think this is something that I have had to learn the hard way. Companies have to do things differently. They have a responsibility of care towards employees that they should start to take into account. And we, as people, can also do something. I think we have to begin to understand that it is possible to be a great professional, have a personal life and respect our moments of rest. Tips for establishing a healthy relationship with technology The vast majority of people do not need to be available 24/7. We have to learn to go against the constant connection, because it is not doing us good for our health as a society. These tricks have helped me set limits to the digital world: First, at night I put my phone on airplane mode so that whenever I wake up and have the urge to check my phone, I can decide if I want to see messages or not. Second, on my mobile I try to have as few social networks as possible: only Twitter and WhatsApp. Even so, I have them without notifications and, in addition, in a folder on the second screen of my mobile. On the other hand, I usually work with the phone locked, silent and turned upside down. Sometimes even behind the computer. Third, I check social media and email for blocks. That is, instead of being available to everyone all the time, I check the mail when I want, about three or four times a day. Meditate, “the days of the Sea” and avoid hyperstimulation It has been key for me to understand that I have to take care of my mind as much as I take care of my teeth. That is done primarily through meditation. The times I don’t meditate, I get upset, I get upset and I notice the difference. Sometimes I do “Sea days”. For example, on a Saturday I turn off my mobile and do what I feel like without any kind of commitment, I go in flow mode. Many times my friends who are mothers tell me: “I don’t have time for myself”. Find two hours in which you are the owner of your time and do what comes out of your nose, as if it is lying down all the time or watching Netflix. On the other hand, I minimize hyperstimulation. Being connected to social networks, watching a series or checking email hyperstimulates. What do I do between meeting and meeting? I go out on the terrace and look at the sea. That recharges me. You have to look at something that helps you have a wide and lost vision. It is scientifically proven that looking at nature lowers your stress levels. Sometimes I also start washing the dishes. There is research that shows that if you activate the senses other than sight, you lower stress levels. The scrubbing thing, which sounds like “Mari”, really is science. An ideal place to unwind Going on retreat helps me a lot. I do them every month or every two months. Sometimes they last for a weekend and on some occasions they have been 10-day retreats in silence, meditating. There is a place in Almería, near the Tabernas desert, which is an ashram, where I disconnect a lot and my internal battery recharges a lot.
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– Article Written By @Mar Manrique from https://smoda.elpais.com/belleza/bienestar/mar-cabra-la-multitarea-nos-desgasta-y-nos-hace-completamente-improductivos/