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What is Burnout ?

In today’s fast life, work is a very important aspect of an individual’s identity. People are given tags and defined by their work in the society. There is a constant urge to move up in the hierarchy, take promotions and get salary increments even if the working environment is not suitable for the employee. All of these expectations lead to work-related stress.When work-related stressors keep on going continuously for a very long time in a person’s life, it leads to exhaustion and ultimately burnout.


Burnout is more than just stress, it is a state of physical and emotional exhaustion which reduces the working capacity of the person.

According to the World Health Organization, Burnout is a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed. It is not a clinical diagnosis itself but might lead to some psychological disorders like depression, anxiety etc.


According to the American Psychological Association's 2021 Work and Well-being Survey of 1,501 U.S. adult workers, 79% had experienced work-related stress in the month preceding the survey. Almost three-quarters of employees reported negative effects of work-related stress, such as a lack of interest, motivation, or energy (26%) and a lack of effort at work (19%). Meanwhile, 36% reported cognitive fatigue, 32% reported emotional exhaustion, and 44% reported physical fatigue, representing a 38% increase from 2019.(Abramson, 2022)


How to identify if you are in burnout stage

WHO has given three particular symptoms of burnout in their ICD-11. These are

● Feelings of exhaustion or depletion of energy

● Increased mental distance from one's job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism about one's job

● Decreased professional efficacy

If you are facing multiple of these symptoms, it might be a sign to take action for it.


Consequences of burnout

● Reduced work satisfaction

● Disturbed work-life balance

● Quitting the job

● Strained relationships with other people at work

● Mental disorders

● Chronic illnesses or even death


How to cope with burnout

Work-life balance- It is important to set healthy boundaries between work and personal life. Remember to keep work at the workplace only. This will help to build good relationships with the family members and ultimately you will feel a sense of belongingness.

Self-care strategies- While prioritizing yourself, practice selfcare like eating healthy, maintaining a proper sleep schedule, taking vacations from time to time. These small things will provide you with energy to keep working.

Relaxation- Make meditation a regular part of your schedule before sleeping or after waking up. Learning other mindfulness and breathing activities can be helpful too. They are usually the best medicines for burnout.

Professional help- If you feel that you cannot manage things by yourself, it is quite okay to look out for professional help- psychologists.

Micro breaks between work- Remember to take small breaks between your working hours and schedule your day in advance so that you can manage these breaks. It is most important for leaders of a company who have long working hours.


Final words

Burnout is a worksite phenomenon, but its effects can have a negative impact on your personal and family life. Don't underestimate the power it has in your life.

However, don't underestimate your capacity to act on your own behalf. Burnout is not something that happens to you by chance. You can choose to examine the factors that are causing your burnout and make new choices to improve at least some of them.


Your well-being is important, and you must conduct at your best. Make your wellness a priority, understand your role in burnout, and seek assistance if necessary.


Diana Sherin Gomez


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