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Are you burnt-out? 

29 June 2021

If you often feel exhausted with nothing “left in the tank” at the end of the day, you may be suffering from burnout. While stress is a natural part of life, excessive stress over a sustained period of time can lead to burnout – a state of physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion.

3 Key Factors

In 2019, the World Health Organisation (WHO) officially recognised burnout in their Classification of Diseases (ICD-11), defining it as “a syndrome conceptualised as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.” WHO characterises burnout by three key factors: “feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion; increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job; and reduced professional efficacy.”

What this means for you

In simpler terms, if you’re hating your job, exhausted, and don’t feel competent at work, you’re showing signs of burnout. Risk factors for workplace burnout include:

  • A heavy workload and long hours
  • A challenging work environment i.e. bullying or harassment
  • Feeling as though you have no control over your work
  • A lack of work-life balance
  • Caring for family members in addition to a busy job

If you’re feeling burnt out, there are some things you can do to help yourself:

  • Schedule breaks throughout your day to rest and recharge your energy e.g. take a five-minute walk (without your phone) around the block every 60-90 minutes
  • Take a daily yoga class or meditate for 10 minutes. This will help to regulate your breath and slow your racing mind.
  • Re-evaluate your priorities and spend time on things that are truly important to you. A good question to ask yourself when deciding what to let go of is: “how will I feel in six months if I don’t do this?”
  • Ask for help from your manager, colleagues, friends, family, or a health professional.

How Employers can help

Employers can help prevent workplace-related burnout by ensuring employee wellbeing is a priority and creating a culture that enables people to perform at their best, without compromising their mental, physical, and emotional health.

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