How to get rid of Karoshi

How to get rid of Karoshi, if we can say such a thing… what’s Karoshi?

August 14 – I apologize for the silence this week, but life just took hold with a vital academic project for me and I worked on it last week! Soon I’ll visit your blogs! Thanks for bearing with me!


Karōshi (過労死) means death by overwork and it has been recognized as a cause of death since the 1980s, in Japan. People are concerned about the rapid growth of it. “The number of resulting compensation claims reached a record high in financial year 2015″. Karoshi is also widespread in South Korea – gwarosa (과로사/過勞死) and in China, guolaosi (过劳死) (source here).

Japan is trying to battle it with the Premium Friday – employees would finish work at 3 p.m. on Fridays. The government is worried about its economy, but hoping people consume more, keeping a certain balance then. It’s a serious subject – more sources here, here, here and here.

I used to work for international banks in foreign trade, imports and exports and I remembered once I worked – alone in the bank – up to 1:30 am and at 9 am I had to be at my desk again. Long hours everyday. Every week I had medical appointments, with all the sorts of pain. Doctors would ask for further investigation and after results they’d tell me “there’s nothing wrong, all psychological”. After many years this way, I decided to change careers. I had an excellent professional status, but that’s not all in life – I NEVER  regretted my decision.

How to battle karoshi? How do you battle stress at work?

Not so easy, but studies suggest “don’t eat lunch at your desk in front of your computer” – I am sure we have all done that :) Take breaks, vacations, naps. Create a good atmosphere in your bedroom to sleep well, have hobbies and… leave work at work, as much as possible.


Plaid tunic - a mini dress, actually. SimplyBe jeans, denim jacket

Plaid tunic, Asos – a mini dress, actually. SimplyBe jeans, Casagrande denim jacket

I really loved this top :)

I really loved this top :)


Brooches: from Bewdley Antique Shop, green with gold. The other, from Germany

Chanel nail polish

Chanel nail polish with some pearls glued – I loved the design :) Rings, emerald from England,  Live Love don’t rememeber, infinite symbol from Zoppini Firenze and Claddagh ring, Dublin. Watch, Swatch from Galway. Bracelet, don’t remember :)

Hamsa necklace, Manoa

Hamsa necklace, Manoa

Shoes, Asos

Shoes, Asos

So tired last week, I grant! Even I was tired of smiling, if it can happen! Earrings, a creation with crochetted flowers and glass earrings from Tenby, Wales. Scissors pin from Canada

So tired last week, I grant! Even I was tired of smiling, if it can happen! Earrings, a creation with crochetted flowers and glass earrings from Tenby, Wales. Scissors pin from Canada

Loved this bag

Loved this bag, a present from a friend

Butterfly bag

Butterfly bag

Finishing Touch and Mood of the Week


Wishing you a beautiful week with many smiles! Thanks for the sweet comments!

Bloglovin’ / Facebook Twitter Pinterest 

59 thoughts on “How to get rid of Karoshi

  1. Hi Denise. The Karoshi is really a very disturbing thing but, for me, it never was.
    I always quit work at work. I already took work home because I was a teacher, but I never absorbed in work to the point of not eating at the place to eat or to stop having fun. I love fun and I never let the work supplant it. When it was time to have fun, I always threw the work away. Reading and filmmaking have always been my favorite amusements and they have always been more important than the work. Today, already retired, I sent the work away and I do not want it closer to me. I’m just interested in having fun today.

  2. That’s so important! Luckily I work in an environment where the wellbeing of staff is taken seriously and viewed as a priority. Change of jobs definitely sounds like the right option.

    I love the plaid print on you, I always want more of it in my wardrobe. Amazing detailing such as your shoes.

  3. Hello my beautiful blogger friend. Your quote is my motto. You look divine, Denise. Love about everything, that bracelet………………..awwwwww And again the nail design is awesome. I think if you really like or even better love what you do for a living, there is no such thing as negative stress, but a lot of positive stress and that’s a good thing, at least it is for me. Happy new week, gorgeous.
    new look: In The Red

  4. Wow Denise I don’t know where to start…
    Love our outfit, the tunic over jeans is super cool. And I adore that bag and those tortoise heeled shoes!
    Yes, it Is important to keep work in balance with life, and difficult to do in so many places. I also worked very hard, had two children and then my health broke down, and I now battle autoimmune disease ..I am wiser now.
    Thanking for for taking on such a prevalent and important issue!
    Love you nails and jewelry, too.
    Impressed you had such a high powered job, and more impressed you left it it to start this wonderful endeavor! Your blog is very special !

  5. Hi Denise, I just popped in to see what you are up too and was super confused to see August 7th because it’s still the 6th in the States. I’ve never heard of Karoshi, but wow was this post eye opening. I’ve heard horror stories about people killing themselves from the stress of overwork. Wow, your schedule to the International banks sounds long and tedious but I’m happy you never regret your decisions, but changing careers seems like the right move. I work from home so I’m alone all the time, I get crazy busy and stressed and I have to make myself relax. I’m all about taking regular breaks, vacations and I just started enjoying naps. I love that necklace, Denise :)

    • Dear Mary, this week I am under pressure to deliver something vital to my life! I will visit you later :) Thank you for your always sweet comments! I had no choice at the banks, but to accomplish deadlines, but I saw so much greed, that was not for me. When I said I never regretted my decision leaving the financial area, I meant only that decision :) Other decisions in my life I kind of regret – I don’t like to think this way, but being honest, if I could I may have changed something, when I now think of some impacts in the future. But all shape us, all is a lesson :) Hope you have a lovely day, dear Mary! XXX

  6. great advice! Karoshi does sound like a serious topic. I have read about how lack of sleep is one of the causes of early death….and often sleep deficit can be linked with work.

    As you say, professional status is not everything. If the work is too stressful for us, we should consider changing it. Nothing is written in stone.

    I do love this outfit. The details are so perfect. Wonderful bag and earrings. You look very pretty Denise.

  7. loving the jewellery! I too work in finance but I’ve told myself from the beginning that I would not be a workaholic. It is not worth it, my health, my family, my relationships are much more important and a balance is essential!
    Pam xo/ Pam Scalfi♥

    • Hi, dear Pam! Thank you a lot for the lovely comment! I agree with you, completely. I was never a workaholic, but I worked for some countries that demand blood, sweat and tears from employees… – I don’t want to generalise, so I won’t mention the countries now… there was no choice, either you accomplished what they asked or you would be sacked. Before I went crazy, I asked to leave. I knew many workaholics, but that is simply not for me :) Well done, dear Pam! Hope you have a lovely day! XXX

  8. the longest I’ve stayed at work was around 11 p.m., many years ago, but it was an exception. every day I finish at 5 p.m. and start walking home, on Friday it’s 14.30 p.m. because our lunch break is only 0.5 hours per day. okay, sometimes I also work at home but that’s when I do it for another company, not for the one I daily work at. I actually can’t imagine doing really long hours every day… who would take care of the house, garden, dog, family? I also need my “home time” to relax and gather strength for work. but I guess people are very different and I do know the ones who are true workaholics. I’ve worked for more than 8 consecutive years now and my longest breaks have been 2 weeks during that time. sometimes it can be hard but mostly it’s okay since I mostly like what I do. by the way, I’m glad you decided to change your job when it started to negatively affect your health. I know not everyone can or want to do it but it’s so important in the long term. interesting topic by the way, very important in today’s busy world. oh and thank you for the kind note you left me! I also wrote you a little reply there :) have a lovely day!

  9. Liebste Denise, wie schön Du wieder aussiehst! Ich wusste nicht, was Karoshi bedeutet, danke, dass Du mir wieder etwas lernst. Und ich bin gleich ganz bestürzt, dass es Dir so schlecht ging wegen der vielen Arbeit bei der Bank und bin sehr froh, dass Du dieses Ausbeuten schließlich beendet hast. All Deinen Tipps kann ich nur von Herzen zustimmen, hoffentlich lesen sehr viele Menschen diesen wichtigen Post!
    Liebe Grüße, Rena

  10. I remember this from our time in Japan. My husband’s company would actually turn the lights off in the building at 6 and make continuous announcements to tell their employees to go home. (Unfortunately, no one would, though.) So glad you made a career move that makes you happy! And beautiful outfit, Denise!

    I hope you’re having a lovely week.


  11. Ma che cosa terribile!!!
    Avevo sentito parlare di questo fenomeno, ma tu l’hai spiegato molto più dettagliatamente!
    Ok, è una cosa che è quasi del tutto estranea alla mentalità di un’Italiano (qui da l’idea di base è che si lavora solo per vivere, non si vive per lavorare), ma io dico, perchè queste persone non lasciano un lavoro del genere (come hai fatto giustamente tu)?
    Insomma, io capisco che sia necessario lavorare per poter vivere, è obbligatorio, ma se muori che senso ha? Allora meglio un lavoro meno pagato ma anche meno faticoso, non pensi?
    Io credo che i consigli che hai suggerito possano far molto poco sela situazione è così grave, l’unica soluzione sarebbe quella cambiare radicalmente stile di vita…
    Passando al tuo look: come sempre sei deliziosa ed originale, mi piace moltissimo l’abitino e trovo che ti doni molto sia come colore che come taglio, la borsa è un’amore ed il fermaglio a forbici è super carino! Ma la cosa più bella è quella fantastica collana! Ed il tuo dolcissimo sorriso naturalmente! :)
    Buon week end cara Denise!

  12. Due to similar reasons I change my career, after finishing architectural study I got a job in very good design office, but I was exhausted by this work which often lasted from 7 am to 10 pm (especially before submitting the project to the contest). I also have never regretted my decison.

    Very nice outfit, I like your plaid tunic and taht fabulous necklace! You look beautiful!

    Have a nice day!:)


  13. I think sometimes I have that, working from home you never really rest but I am trying to change my ways and my work routine..

    Thank you for your amazing and sweet comment on my dad , unfortunately I took a unexpected trip to see him…to say goodbye…hes still alive but barely responding so its only a matter of time :(

    You look amazing as always, love your lashes in the one pic xx

  14. When I was a working professional, I did indeed have lunch at my desk most days to keep working. I can’t recommend enough that people take that break and get outside (weather permitting). It’s good for the soul and will make you feel refreshed and ready to tackle the last half of your day.


  15. Hi Denise!!
    Yes you are soo right! its so important to be happy with your career and it doesn’t matter the status. if you are having so much distress and it shows as physical symptoms, its not worth it! I totally understand the dr saying its psychological – i feel like they said that to me too when I had a lot of pains and things – its frustrating but just shows you how your work can drain you mentally and physically! As always, love your outfit and accessories, hope you are doing well, friend! xo

    • Dear Andrea, so nice to have you here, thank you so much for such a lovely comment! I must say I am not performing those mentally draining jobs anymore, that was many many years ago! Thankfully I change my career path, because banking and importing/exporting areas show so much greed, and I am not that kind of person! Thank you again for your sweet comment, I hope you have a great weekend! XXX

  16. This is a really interesting post Denise and Karoshi is not something I have heard of before but I can understand why work related stressed can cause so many issues and leave people with health problems. It’s great that some countries are trying to tackle the issue :) x

  17. I read about the increasing number of karoshi in our local newspaper, and became very sad. I do think it’s a problem of the whole society. I used to work quite a lot before having my daughter, now I’m working shorter work hours, 6½ h per day and I must say that that is a great work / free-time balance for me. This way, I get to spend about 5h a day with my girl, and that makes me happy! When I’m with her, I don’t think of work either. But everyone needs to find the right kind of balance for themselves.
    Thank you for stopping by my blog, and leaving me such a kind comment!

    E from Helsinki, Finland

  18. I can definitely relate to this. I was so overworked and stressed out during my previous job that I get sick alot and was always stressed and in a bad mood. Leaving that job was the best decision I’ve ever made. Health is more important than career after all. I am glad my current company helps me with work-life balance more but there are times that it gets pretty hectic also but I just try to decompress whenever I can.

    That Hamsa necklace is just stunning btw <3

  19. You always give us good posts to think about Denise. Actually, at my work, there is a rule that everyone no matter what takes breaks throughout the day. I never eat at y desk even when we have chaotic days because of how I was raised.You must have balance so not overworking yourself is the best. I wish you a lovely week and hope you aren’t too busy soon. <3 xx/Madison

  20. Hi Denise! I’ve heard a lot about death from overworking, but I haven’t had idea that it’s called Karoshi, I always learn something new from your post, dear. When it comes to the stress from overworking, I dealed with it few years ago, when I got new duties at my work, but luckilly moth ago new director from my company noted that the duties were too overwhelming for one person and divided them into another person. But the two months, when I had to deal with myself were super stressful and they finished me mentally – literally because of overhours, I didn’t have time for myself. I’m pround of you, Denise that you chose to be quite your carrer in financial area – I guessed that you had to feel mentally exhausted. Moreover, I think that the best recipe for battle with stress at work are exercises – personally I prefer riding a bicycle, it always helps to clear my mind :)
    Futhermore,you have beautiful makeup, my dear and I really like your heels, they’re terrific <3
    Take care, my friend :)

  21. My husband is currently living in Hong Kong and it doesn’t surprise me one bit that the Chinese overwork. Almost all of the shops there are only closed on Christmas Day! It’s crazy! Often they are open for 18 hours a day. I don’t know how they do it.

    I used to overwork and stress more when I had my scrapbook manufacturing business. I had horrible back problems at the time. Now I try to keep more balance in my life and look after my health.


  22. Cara Denise,
    non ne avevo idea. In realtà qualcosa avevo sentito dire, ma finalmente ho capito bene la situazione. Hai ragione, quella non è vita ed importante cambiare totalmente modo di pensare. Il lavoro ti deve permettere di aver gli strumenti per migliorare la qualità della vita e non il contrario. Grazie per averlo spiegato, mi hai aperto gli occhi su molti aspetti.
    Ma parliamo di cose invece bellissime, ancora una volta con le tue foto mi hai riempito di allegria. Sei dolcissima, ma anche molto bella e femminile. Non smetterò mai di dirlo, ma vorrei tanto avere la tua eleganza e raffinatezza.
    Un bacione
    Maggie Dallospedale

  23. thank you so much for your comment. I think I noticed that you love folk clothes too. I know you love travelling and that you know a lot about other cultures- those two thing often go together. If someone loves culture, they usually love folklore too because folklore is a part of culture. When you put your outfits together, I can often see some ‘traditional’ touches, for example an ethnic bracelet or a pair of earrings….or a bag. I also love ‘folklore’ accessories.

  24. Hi my sweet and dear Denise, thx so much for dropping by, sorry I am still in a hurry, just wanted to get in touch with you. The project…..It’s about helping the under_privileged ones, Denise. You know I took up knitting last year, and how much I would like to try those patterns also I wouldn’t wear those, so I decided to give them away to some charity organisation, I talked about it on the blog, anyhow, last time I went there, I overheard some teenage girls talking about all the stuff there, how boring it was and how they wished they could wear some of the really fancy stuff and when they grow up they would make sure they would have the money to buy those fancy things. Anyway, I asked them to join me for a coffee and we got talking about what I accidentally overheard and I had an idea. I told them about my idea and asked them what they thought about it. They told me that would be a cool thing and I should please please go ahead with it. Well, I talked it through with my knitting pals and we decided to give it try. It’s kinda knitting on demand and it is only open for teenagers and for kids. Miss Arlene and my pals were looking for people who would like to join us because we can’t do it on our own. And there were so many sweet older people who said they would love to help and now we are almost done. Some of them even make toys, like stuffed animals. That will be nice for the younger kids. There is still so much to do and it will take time but it is coming along very nice and we actually do already some stuff for the kids. Anyway just wanted to let you know, my dear friend. God bless you.

    • Oh, dear Lenya, you tell me “God bless you”, but actually, I say God bless YOU, dear Lenya, with this enormous heart, doing this for people who need more! I would love to take parte, if we lived in the same country, but I will confess that I many times thought of doing something to give back all the luck I had in life, but due to the death of my parents in the same year, I don’ t feel emotionally strong, not yet, for that. Maybe in the future. I can only say that I admire you EVEN more now, and may you have all the best things in life, dear friend; you are truly inspirational! Your project is so beautiful, like only people with light in the heart could do! Many hugs!

      • Awww Denise, you are such a sweet and kind person. I am so sorry to hear about your losses (((()))) My heart went out to you. I’ll keep you in my thoughts and prayers. God bless you, Denise. Lots of hugs (((())))

  25. This is very interesting post, Im over worked this month because co-workers are on hollidays :-/ My boss sometimes is calling me to come to work when is my day off… You look wonderful in this outfit my dear, I love your bag :-)

  26. Wow those hours are insane, I am glad you got out of it. I work in publishing so I can relate. I leave my house at 7:35 in the morning and get home at 7:45 at night. The I do some work for the blog when I get home and of course all weekend. So yes serious burnout can happen. I try to take breaks but it is not easy.

    Allie of ALLIENYC

Leave a Reply to Suzanne Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

CommentLuv badge