Burn Out at Work

The World Health Organisation has recently acknowledged burnout as an ‘Occupational  Phenomenon’ and was included in the handbook of International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) in May 2019. WHO defined ‘Burn-out as a syndrome conceptualised as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed’.

Do you have the following feelings when at work?

  • A change in yourself at work?
  • Constantly feeling unmotivated?
  • Always feeling physically and/or emotionally tired?
  • Hating your job?
  • Looking at your watch every single day to check how long more until you can go home?

If you say yes to most of these questions, you could be experiencing burnout. Individuals who suffer from burnout display the following symptoms:

  • Feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion
  • Increased mental distance with feelings of negativism or cynicism towards their job
  • Reduced professional efficacy

These are some examples of workplace stressors

  • Lack of control over work (such as schedules, work assignments or workload)  
  • Unclear or unrealistic job expectations
  • Working in a high-pressured environment or having monotonous work
  • Lack of resources or social support
  • Rewards which is insufficient to make up for the effort that people put into their jobs

However, it is important to note that a person’s lifestyle and personality traits can also add on to the

stress that contributes to burnout. When we talked about a person’s lifestyle, it can be the person is not having enough sleep, solely focusing on work and not spending with friends and family. A person who has certain personality traits such as perfectionist or pessimist are more likely to experience burnout. 

Click to watch video by Kati Morton on Fastest Way to Recover from Burn Out

What steps can we take to combat burnout?

1.Do talk to someone (such as your supervisor or HR director) about the problems you are facing at work, as they can be helpful in terms of making some changes in your working environment. You should also seek support from your work colleagues.

2. Do set up healthy boundaries at work. Start to recognise what is considered comfortable versus unreasonable for you at work and communicate it clearly to others. Learn to say no to working on the weekends or share the workload if you feel that there is too much on your plate. 

3. Do schedule in small breaks daily or something relaxing during the weekends as this would help to refresh your mind and recharged for another week of productive work ahead

4. Do take care of your physical needs (such as eating healthily, drinking enough water, having adequate sleep, exercising daily and engaged in personal hobbies 

5.When you feel stress, pull out your relaxation techniques to help you deal with the stress, (such as deep diaphragmatic breathing, progressive muscle relaxation or other mindfulness exercises)

If you are continue to experience burnout symptoms despite taking the above steps, feel free to seek help from a psychologist or counsellor

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If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition, you should seek immediate medical attention from your doctor or other professional healthcare providers. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website.