What is burnout?
Burnout Prevention & Treatment
The term ‘burnout’ was introduced in 1974 by psychologist Herbert Freudenberger, and refers to a state that it’s more than just feeling a little “stressed out”. Burnout is a state of physical and emotional exhaustion that occurs when someone experiences long-term stress, leaving the person feeling inadequate, not in control of their lives, and with a sense of reduced accomplishment and loss of personal identity. Although it is closely related to problems at work, it can also appear in other areas of life, such as parenting, caretaking, or personal relationships. Recent surveys reveal that the pressures in the working environment, combined with the additional pressures brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic are having a big impact on our wellbeing and often lead to burnout.
In 2019, ‘burnout’ was recognised by the World Health Organization (WHO) as an ‘occupational phenomenon’. Job burnout is not simply a result of working long hours or having to deal with too many tasks; although these two factors severely contribute to it. It can result from many factors such as, lack of control, unclear job expectations, dysfunctional workplace dynamics, lack of social support, or work-life imbalance.
A recent report from Indeed mentions that employee burnout is on the rise: 52% of all workers are feeling burned out, up +9% from a pre-COVID survey. According to the same survey, 67% of all workers believe burnout has worsened over the course of the pandemic.
The three main characteristic of job burnout are:
- Lack of motivation
- Lack of pleasure in your job
- Lack of belief in your ability to complete tasks
How do you know if you’re burned out?
If you’re wondering whether or not you’re beginning to burn out, ask yourself the following questions:
- Are you having more bad days than good days at work?
- Do you drag yourself to work and have trouble getting started?
- Have you been having trouble focusing on work or understanding what is expected of you?
- Do you find it hard to concentrate?
- Are you having stomach aches or/and headaches more frequently than usual?
- Do you lack satisfaction from your achievements?
- Do you think about quitting your job almost constantly?
- Are you feeling too exhausted to do anything fun when you’re not at work?
If you answered positively to most of these questions, then you are probably experiencing job burnout and should seek support.
How to deal with Job Burnout
Although burnout is a rather overwhelming situation, here are some tips that will help you take action!
- Pay attention to your feelings
- Evaluate your options
- Build relationships with colleagues
- Share your concerns with your manager
- Try a relaxing activity
- Cultivate interests outside of work
- Ask for help (Ask your family, friends, colleagues, manager, etc.)
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Taking into consideration the high importance of early diagnosis and prevention, our team is currently working on the development of a tool that will help you detect early warning signs of burnout and consequently prevent and avoid stressful and overwhelming situations.
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