My Web Stats

Skip to main content

With the march of time and technology and a work anywhere, anytime culture, burnout can affect anyone from any walk of life. It is a ubiquitous condition, there is no medical definition of burnout or set of diagnostic criteria. There is no way of telling how many people all over the world suffer from the effects of burnout. However, the effects of prolonged stress are real and can affect your everyday life and relationships.
The term ‘burnout’ was first coined in the mid-1970s by professor of Psychology Herbert Freudenberg.  He used it to describe the consequences of severe or prolonged stress, often experienced by those in the helping profession. Common fields where burnout rates are the highest include:

  • Mental health
  • Teaching
  • Social services
  • Medicine and nursing
  • Law enforcement

However, burnout is not exclusively caused by work stress and can occur across a spectrum of circumstances where you feel ‘overworked and undervalued’.

Burnout is considered a syndrome. There is no more oxygen left in the tank, so to speak, you may be feeling emotionally, mentally and physically exhausted. You could be feeling as though you are no longer capable of caring. Several common feelings of burn-out include feelings of:

  • Exhaustion – at times feeling as though you cannot complete basic tasks
  • Listlessness – losing motivation or enthusiasm
  • Social Alienation – withdrawing from friends and family
  • Inability to Cope
  • Emptiness – feeling empty or lacking emotion
  • Reduced work performance (or a belief in reduced work performance)
  • Cynicism
  • Depersonalisation

Helping Yourself

  • Set boundaries – learning to say ‘no’ and being firm about what you can and can’t do will assist in easing stress and allow you to really focus on things that you would like to say ‘yes’ to.
  • Reaching out – communicating openly with family and friends about how you’re feeling.
  • Reframe your outlook on work – try to find value in your work by focussing on the aspects of your work that you enjoy or aspects that help others.
  • Self-care – set time aside weekly to de-stress and have some time to yourself, this will help you recharge. You can practice mindfulness and meditation, take some time away from your technology and social media or go for a leisurely walk.
  • Exercising – exercises is a powerful combatant to stress, exercising for 30 minutes a day is effective in increasing energy and lifting your mood.
  • Make a career change – explore career options that meets your interests and passions.

Worth the Watch:

Take some time out of your day to perform this short mindful breathing exercise. You can do this at your desk, on your lunch break, on your way to or from work or wherever else you please.

Useful Resources: