What is burnout and why do people experience burnout?
With an increased amount of stress, people in the United States are experiencing burnout more frequently. Burnout is not considered a medical condition, but an occupational phenomenon (Burn-out an “Occupational Phenomenon,” n.d.). Burnout is defined as a state of “emotional, physical, mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress” (Burnout Prevention and Treatment – Helpguide. Org, n.d.). People often feel burnout due to work, however, it can also be due to other factors such (i.e. school or lifestyle).
What Causes Burnout?
There are many factors that can cause people to feel burnout, some examples are:
- Constantly working in a chaotic environment
- Employers having an overly high expectation of their employees
- Lack of control over your work
- Having unattainable goals/deadlines
- Lack of reward or recognition of accomplishments
- Having too many assignments due at the same time
- Lack of support from professors
- Feeling overwhelmed with assignments
- Constant procrastination
- Taking too many classes
- Not eating enough
- Lack of a good support system
- Not getting enough sleep
- Working too much and not providing time to socialize or relax
- Adding more responsibilities than you can handle
What Burnout Looks Like
How to detect if you are experiencing burnout? The symptoms of burnout can be seen in an individual’s behavioral, emotional, or physical state.
What Behavioral symptoms of burnout can look like
- Someone who isolates themselves or avoids social interactions
- Someone who has trouble completing their responsibilities
- Someone that have outbursts of anger or irritability
What Emotional Symptoms Can Look Like
- Someone who lacks motivation
- Someone who feels a constant feeling of dissatisfaction
- Someone who has a constant feeling of self-doubt
- Someone who has difficulty sleeping
- Someone who is constantly feeling tired
- Someone experiencing a change in their appetite
How to Stop Burnout
It is not a good feeling when you are experiencing burnout. Here are some ways to improve your health.
- Awareness – Take a step back and recognize how you are currently feeling and how long you have been in a constant state of negativity. Ask yourself questions like:
- Am I losing motivation with what I am doing?
- Have I been lacking energy to be productive?
- Am I having trouble completing my responsibilities?
- Do I have trouble concentrating?
- Has there been a drastic change in my sleeping or eating habits?
- Set boundaries – There are times when it’s hard to say no. However, it can create an unhealthy habit when you say yes to everything. This increases the feeling of being overwhelmed and stressed. It is important to create boundaries for yourself with different areas of your life that include work, school, friends, and family. Setting boundaries include:
- Taking your breaks during work
- Taking your lunch break without interruptions
- Not responding to messages during your time off
- Daily Routine – It can be overwhelming when you have a long list of tasks and not knowing how to complete it. This can lead to procrastination and missing deadlines. Set a time and day to create a schedule that you are able to follow. By building a daily routine, you will feel more in control and be able to prioritize certain tasks and complete them in a timely manner.
- Self-care – Having a full plate of things to complete can take a lot of energy. Set aside time for yourself to relax and unwind. Remember that rest is an important part of being productive. Some examples of self-care include:
- Spending time with friends and family
- Rewarding yourself with your favorite treat
- Watching an episode or two of your favorite show
It’s Fetch is a community that provides a safe space for members to discuss health and wellness topics. We provide access to archived health related content, note the date of last review or update on all articles. No content shared, regardless of date should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.
-Written by Karen Manalac
Burn-out an “occupational phenomenon”: International classification of diseases. (n.d.). Retrieved September 5, 2022, from https://www.who.int/news/item/28-05-2019-burn-out-an-occupational-phenomenon-international-classification-of-diseases
Burnout prevention and treatment—Helpguide. Org. (n.d.). Https://Www.Helpguide.Org/. Retrieved September 5, 2022, from https://www.helpguide.org/articles/stress/burnout-prevention-and-recovery.htm/
Health, I. (n.d.). What are the 5 stages of burnout? Retrieved September 5, 2022, from https://integrisok.com/resources/on-your-health/2021/november/what-are-the-5-stages-of-burnout