Maria Ergül is the Founder of Vägra Väggen, a non-profit in Sweden that helps people manage stress and recognize fatigue to help avoid burnout. Vägra Väggen raises money for research; creates social impact; works to remove the stigma associated with fatigue; and distributes grants to provide opportunities for recovery. In 2019, Maria received the Everyday Hero Award for raising awareness of mental health issues in Sweden.
From athletics to her career, Maria has always been a high-level performer – successful, driven and recognized for her accomplishments. The catalyst for Vägra Väggen was Maria’s own experience with a high-stress job that ultimately led to her burnout. Working 70-hour weeks, overseeing 400 employees, and operating at an intense level – something had to give. When she resigned from her job, she looked for support and assistance, but was unable to find an organization to help her recover from fatigue and manage stress. The idea for Vägra Väggen was born.
Chelsea and Maria talk about what led to her burnout, her recovery, and how she now manages and transforms stress. Maria shares with us the importance of listening to our bodies, working smarter, and separating work life from personal life during lockdown.
Maria is also an independent HR consultant, winning HR Profile of the Year in 2018. And this April, Maria’s first book will be released. In it, she provides concrete tools and methods to avoid burnout.
You do not have to go through burnout alone. If you are suffering from burnout, stress or fatigue, would like to gain access to tools and resources, or to purchase Maria's book launching in April, 20201, please visit Vagravaggen.se, @Vagravaggen.
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