Burnout: Facing the damage of ‘chronic workplace stress’

Published Friday 2 August 2019 By Maria Cohut

Fact checked by Jasmin Collier

In a world where it seems as though the pressure to perform is always on, more and more people are admitting to burnout at work. What is this phenomenon, and how can you cope with it if it happens to you? In this Spotlight feature, we investigate.

person feeling stressed and overwhelmed at work

What does burnout feel like, and how can you cope with it?

In May 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO) formally recognized burnout as an “occupational phenomenon.”

Their decision came after years of hearing people talk about it, trying understand why it affected them, and attempting to identify what they could have done to cope with it.

Recently, a Gallup study of around 7,500 full time workers found that 23% were often in “burnout mode.” About 44% “sometimes” entered a burnout mode.

Although the WHO do not yet recognize burnout as a medical condition, some researchers call it “an occupational disease.” This is due not only to the high number of people — all across the globe — who report experiencing it, but also due to its important impact on well-being and quality of life.

According to the same researchers, some of the occupations most at risk of burnout are linked to professions that encounter high levels of stress, including healthcare, social work, police work, teaching, and customer services. Other professionals who have reported high levels of burnout include lawyers and academics.

So, what is burnout, and how is it different from other forms of occupational stress? If a person does experience burnout, how can they cope with it in the moment, and how can they learn to overcome it with time?

For this Spotlight feature, we spoke to professionals who have had burnout themselves, as well as experienced mental health and well-being coaches, to find out the whats, whys, and hows of this occupational hazard.

What is burnout? Find out more at https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/325943.php

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