How to avoid burn out 10 symptoms of severe stress

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Difference between depression and burnout?

The difference between depression and burnout is not always easy to see. There are even certain diagnostic tools that make no distinction between these two and therefore do not regard burnout as a separate disease. If we were to compare burnout to other mental disorders, it is most similar to depression. Therefore, the difference between depression and burnout is not always evident.

What do the psychiatrists say?

Even though diagnostic tools do not consider burnout to be a separate disease, psychiatrists do state that burnout is a separate disease. Burnout is generally defined as an extreme exhaustion after the body and mind have been exhausted and pushed too far, according to them.

Is it therefore easy to differentiate between depression and burnout? Definitely not. Depression and burnout namely are very similar to each other and are often seen together, too.

Difference between depression and burnout: the symptoms

Depression and burnout are very similar to each other. Here, there are symptoms that match both of them. The following examples are among them:

  • Concentration issues
  • Memory issues
  • Sleeping issues
  • Exhausted feeling

The above symptoms apply to both depression and burnout. If psychiatrists then want to set a diagnosis, they will often notice that the same tests can be used for both the diagnoses. The results of these tests may thus indicate both depression and burnout.

As you can see, it is really difficult to define the difference between depression and burnout. In the following paragraph, we will give clear differences so that you get a clearer picture of the symptoms.

The clear difference between depression and burnout

The first difference between depression and burnout is that depression is more general. Depression will namely affect several parts in life and can also develop from different parts of life, such as:

  • Your family
  • Your friends
  • Your hobbies

Burnout is generally work related. Of course, the stress which you experience at work can affect your relationship, but in depression, this is often more clearly seen. Furthermore, a burnout tends to develop from a work situation, while depression can develop in a more general way. A burnout can eventually also influence other parts of life, similar as depression, but it is more likely to occur in a later stage. (Iacovides, Fountoulakis, Kaprinis & Kaprinis, 2003). Depression on the other hand, can have a quick and large influence on several parts of life, while burnout will limit itself to work for a longer period of time.

Difference between depression and burnout: occurring together?

Depression and burnout can also occur together. It is not unlikely that a severe burnout can also cause depression symptoms.

Steven Gans, MD is board-certified in psychiatry and is an active supervisor, teacher, and mentor at Massachusetts General Hospital.

People who are struggling to cope with workplace stress may place themselves at high risk of burnout. Burnout can leave people feeling exhausted, empty, and unable to cope with the demands of life.

Burnout may be accompanied by a variety of mental and physical health symptoms as well. If left unaddressed, burnout can make it difficult for an individual to function well in their daily life.

How to avoid burn out 10 symptoms of severe stress

What Is Burnout?

The term “burnout” is a relatively new term, first coined in 1974 by Herbert Freudenberger, in his book, Burnout: The High Cost of High Achievement. He originally defined burnout as, “the extinction of motivation or incentive, especially where one’s devotion to a cause or relationship fails to produce the desired results.”

Burnout is a reaction to prolonged or chronic job stress and is characterized by three main dimensions: exhaustion, cynicism (less identification with the job), and feelings of reduced professional ability.

More simply put, if you feel exhausted, start to hate your job, and begin to feel less capable at work, you are showing signs of burnout.  

The stress that contributes to burnout can come mainly from your job, but stress from your overall lifestyle can add to this stress. Personality traits and thought patterns, such as perfectionism and pessimism, can contribute as well.  

Most people spend the majority of their waking hours working. And if you hate your job, dread going to work, and don’t gain any satisfaction out of what you’re doing, it can take a serious toll on your life.  

Signs and Symptoms

While burnout isn’t a diagnosable psychological disorder, that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be taken seriously.

Here are some of the most common signs of burnout:  

  • Alienation from work-related activities: Individuals experiencing burnout view their jobs as increasingly stressful and frustrating. They may grow cynical about their working conditions and the people they work with. They may also emotionally distance themselves and begin to feel numb about their work.
  • Physical symptoms: Chronic stress may lead to physical symptoms, like headaches and stomachaches or intestinal issues.
  • Emotional exhaustion: Burnout causes people to feel drained, unable to cope, and tired. They often lack the energy to get their work done.
  • Reduced performance: Burnout mainly affects everyday tasks at work—or in the home when someone’s main job involves caring for family members. Individuals with burnout feel negative about tasks. They have difficulty concentrating and often lack creativity.

It shares some similar symptoms of mental health conditions, such as depression. Individuals with depression experience negative feelings and thoughts about all aspects of life, not just at work. Depression symptoms may also include a loss of interest in things, feelings of hopelessness, cognitive and physical symptoms as well as thoughts of suicide.  

If you are having suicidal thoughts, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 for support and assistance from a trained counselor. If you or a loved one are in immediate danger, call 911.

For more mental health resources, see our National Helpline Database.

Individuals experiencing burnout also may be at a higher risk of developing depression.  

Risk Factors

A high-stress job doesn’t always lead to burnout. If stress is managed well, there may not be any ill-effects.

But some individuals (and those in certain occupations) are at a higher risk than others.

The 2019 National Physician Burnout, Depression, and Suicide Report found that 44 percent of physicians experience burnout.

Their heavy workloads place individuals with certain personality characteristics and lifestyle features at a higher risk of burnout.

Of course, it’s not just physicians who are burning out. Workers in every industry at every level are at potential risk. According to a 2018 report by Gallup, employee burnout has five main causes:  

  1. Unreasonable time pressure. Employees who say they have enough time to do their work are 70 percent less likely to experience high burnout. Individuals who are not able to gain more time, such as paramedics and firefighters, are at a higher risk of burnout.
  2. Lack of communication and support from a manager. Manager support offers a psychological buffer against stress. Employees who feel strongly supported by their manager are 70 percent less likely to experience burnout on a regular basis.
  3. Lack of role clarity. Only 60 percent of workers know what is expected of them. When expectations are like moving targets, employees may become exhausted simply by trying to figure out what they are supposed to be doing.
  4. Unmanageable workload. When a workload feels unmanageable, even the most optimistic employees will feel hopeless. Feeling overwhelmed can quickly lead to burnout.
  5. Unfair treatment. Employees who feel they are treated unfairly at work are 2.3 times more likely to experience a high level of burnout. Unfair treatment may include things such as favoritism, unfair compensation, and mistreatment from a co-worker.

Prevention and Treatment

Although the term “burnout” suggests it may be a permanent condition, it’s reversible. An individual who is feeling burned out may need to make some changes to their work environment.  

Approaching the human resource department about problems in the workplace or talking to a supervisor about the issues could be helpful if they are invested in creating a healthier work environment.

In some cases, a change in position or a new job altogether may be necessary to put an end to burnout.

It can also be helpful to develop clear strategies that help you manage your stress. Self-care strategies, like eating a healthy diet, getting plenty of exercises, and engaging in healthy sleep habits may help reduce some of the effects of a high-stress job.

A vacation may offer you some temporary relief too, but a week away from the office won’t be enough to help you beat burnout. Regularly scheduled breaks from work, along with daily renewal exercises, can be key to helping you combat burnout.

If you are experiencing burnout and you’re having difficulty finding your way out, or you suspect that you may also have a mental health condition such as depression, seek professional treatment.

Talking to a mental health professional may help you discover the strategies you need to feel your best.

How to avoid burn out 10 symptoms of severe stress

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How to avoid burn out 10 symptoms of severe stress

Each individual has a unique tolerance level for how much physical and emotional stress they can endure before something starts to give. Far too often people ignore the warning signs that their stress levels are becoming unmanageable and it takes a crisis of some kind to get them to change.

The speeding ticket from God

A couple of years ago I was rushing to work and made the split-second decision to keep going through a light when I knew very well that it was going to turn red. Moments later I was pulled over by an irate cop and on the receiving end of the full extent of his wrath along with a major ticket. As I waited for him to return to my car, I started to cry, not with frustration or self-pity but out of sheer relief that I hadn’t caused an accident.

The irony of this story was that I was on my way to give a seminar about how to manage stress and avoid burnout. I felt so profoundly grateful that I had received a wake up call without hurting someone else in the process. It really seemed like an enormous blessing in disguise and ever since then I have referred to this occasion as the time I received a speeding ticket from God.

My wish for you is that you don’t wait until something goes wrong or until your health begins to suffer to pay attention.

Watch for the symptoms

Excessive stress manifests physically and emotionally in a variety of ways. Here is a list of some common ones.

  1. Change in appetite. Losing or gaining weight is often a clear indicator that things are getting out of hand. Food may lose it’s appeal, or if you are like many people, you may find yourself downing too many of what I like to call “consolation calories”. If you notice that you have a stress-activated sweet tooth, you may be seeking comfort. If it is more generalized over consumption, you maybe trying to stuff your feelings down along with the extra food.
  2. Drinking etc. Monitor your alcohol consumption, that goes for any drug of your choice – including the more subtle forms of escapism like excess TV watching.
  3. Sleep. Losing sleep or can’t get enough of it; either way you will notice that you are feeling tired all the time. Ironically, increased exercise will give you more energy and creating soothing bedtime routines may also help.
  4. Tolerance. One of the more unpleasant side-effects of your stress for those around you is a decreased level of patience. Notice if you find yourself snapping at people; for me how I react to drivers cutting me off is a great litmus test.
  5. Memory. Short term memory problems can also be an indicator of stress. Concentration can also be affected.
  6. Getting sick. Stress has a direct effect on your immune system. More frequent colds can sometimes reveal that your body is taking notice before your mind.
  7. Clumsiness.“Less Haste, More Speed.” I find that I become more clumsy and less coordinated when very stressed, although it’s hard to discern how much of this is due to rushing.
  8. Relationships. For an instant reality check on your stress level, ask the people closest to you. They will be able to inform you whether you have been neglecting them and also whether they think you have been taking your stress out on them.
  9. Humor. How often are you laughing and smiling? If you can’t remember the last time, you have definitely been taking life too seriously for too long.
  10. Futility. A sense of hopelessness about what feels like endless burdens and a lack of purpose can also be clues.

This list is just a starting point.

Some of these may seem irrelevant or conversely, glaringly obvious. You might be able to come up with three of four more that I haven’t even mentioned right off the bat. You are the expert. The most important thing is that you start to become more conscious of how you are doing before you reach breaking point.

Start to develop your own list of red flags and warning signs, so you can take evasive action and avoid burning out.

How to avoid burn out 10 symptoms of severe stress

What is workplace burnout?

Physical exhaustion at the end of the work day. Cynicism and detachment from coworkers and customers. Extreme dissatisfaction with your work, and uncertainty about how to improve and progress in your career.

These are classic symptoms of workplace burnout, and more people are impacted than you think.

Job burnout is specific work-related chronic stress. It’s emotional and physical exhaustion that leads to job dissatisfaction and loss of personal happiness.

Burnout at your workplace usually creeps in subtly, over time, impacting workers in a way that they almost don’t notice.

Signs and symptoms include chronic fatigue, insomnia, physical symptoms like headaches and stomachaches, anger, isolation, irritability, depression, and more.

Causes of job burnout.

There are many things that can lead to job burnout, and it differs for every person. But there are common factors that can be identified as reasons behind burnout and stressors at your workplace

A feeling of little control. Not being able to make decisions about your schedule or workload can lead to job burnout.

Being unsure about your expectations. If you don’t know what your manager will expect of you, you’re likely going to be frustrated with your work.

A poor work culture. The attitude and morale of people around you will directly impact your satisfaction with your job. A boss who micromanages you, cliquey coworkers, and a lack of friends at your office can lead to job burnout.

A lack of work-life balance. If you’re giving a lot of your energy and time to work, your personal life can suffer, which can lead you to resent time at the office.

High engagement with your work. Being over-engaged with your job can lead you to feel a constant need to overwork and be involved with projects. This leads to stressful situations, and emotional exhaustion. While being highly engaged good thing, it can also lead to high job stress and burnout. For example, while millennials tend to value work/life balance, they may have an increased risk of developing burnout because they are highly driven and motivated in the workplace.

The faster-pace of living and the increasing competitiveness in finding and keeping jobs are taking its toll on most people. Work stress is highly common in individuals maintaining paying jobs. Demands of the work place can be harmful to the individual both mentally and physically. Stress can bring about depression, anxiety, ulcers, and heart diseases.

Despite stress as a common and constant companion of individuals, very few can identify when they have reached the burnt-out phase at work. Job stress burn-out is defined by Healthy Place as, “a state of physical, mental and emotional exhaustion.” Levels of stress differ across individuals, but ultimately, unrecognized and unaddressed stress that is constantly experienced will eventually burn out the individual.

Signs of Job Stress Burn-Out

Work burn-out can be manifested in several symptoms. This includes short-temperedness, back pains, neck pains and irritability. Difficulty sleeping, chronic absenteeism and over criticism of oneself are also manifestations of burn-out.

Job stress burn-out undergoes five main stages. Each phase has its own level of manifestations and seriousness. According to Dr. Miller of Healthy Place, these stages are: the honeymoon, the awakening, brownout, full-scale burnout, and the Phoenix phenomenon.

The honeymoon stage is practically absent from any stress-related symptoms. At this stage the individual is happy with the job, the workplace, even with the co-workers. The energy of the individual is extremely high and it is manifested in enthusiasm with work.

The awakening stage is when high expectation on the job, the workplace and co-workers come crashing down. At this stage it can be said that this is when reality finally bites. Needs are not satisfied and conflicts arise with co-workers and other members of the organization. Because of the disappointment, other symptoms appear. There is now confusion and frustration. The individual may now feel constantly tired and bored at work.

The brownout stage is when the energy is eventually consumed by fatigue and irritability at work. Enthusiasm with work drops as well as productivity and quality of work. There is criticism from workers regarding the work product and this adds on to the stress already being experienced.

A full scale-burnout occurs when a feeling of failure is felt with respect to work. Self-confidence is lost and replaced by despair and emptiness. There is a constant feeling of loneliness. Exhaustion is also felt, both physically and mentally. Quitting the job is contemplated. There is a felt need to get away from the work and the workplace.

Finally, the Phoenix phenomenon occurs when the individual finally recognizes that stress is being experienced. There is an identification of which factors have caused the burnout. By recognizing and identifying, arising from the burnout is now made possible.

To overcome burnout it is necessary to address what caused the burnout in the first place. In most cases, high expectations of the work and idealistic aspirations are the main cause of burnout. Making more realistic goals and aspirations will surely help prevent burnout. This does not mean setting goals and ambitions for yourself, rather it means recognizing your limitations and the limitations of the workplace. Your life must go beyond your work. Enjoy your time alone, your time with your friends and your time with your family. This will help you keep track of your expectations and it will also keep your aspirations realistic.

Home » Stress Less » Stress Relief » 5 Ways to Avoid Total Burnout When You’re Stressed

It’s hard to be healthy 100% of the time. When we find ourselves under a mountain of stress, we are a hundred times more likely to experience symptoms of burnout.

Between work deadlines, a full social calendar, and family or relationship drama—maintaining a healthy diet and consistent exercise regime can fall to the bottom of the list. This is a vicious cycle. Poor nutrition, a lack of sleep and bad eating habits can only make stress worse rather than better.

The Definition of Stress

Stress is a conscious or unconscious psychological feeling or physical situation which comes as a result of physical or/and mental ‘positive or negative pressure’ to overwhelm adaptive capacities. When I read this recently, the part of the definition that stuck out to me was that stress can be positive. While stress is often represented as a negative, it’s really all about balance.

It’s not about never being stressed out just to be healthy. Stress is going to be there. But you can give your body the tools to be resilient enough to withstand anything that is thrown your way. These tools become vital when you start to experience symptoms of burnout.

RELATED: Schedule a free conversation with a Parsley Health expert to learn about our comprehensive approach to mental health.

The symptoms of burnout can include chronic fatigue, insomnia, lack of focus, increased irritability, and more. Almost 90% of doctor’s visits are due to stress that presents as hormone imbalance, infertility, irritable bowel syndrome, etc. This is not to say that these aren’t real, clinical conditions but there is often a recurring commonality that is due to elevated stress levels.

Human beings are resilient. We’re built to withstand much more than we think we are. A sign of good health is being able to tolerate or adapt to many different insults. Health is not about deviating two mm to the left of your routine and then falling apart. The good news is that there are ways you can build up your tolerance to stress. These are some of the tips I give my patients to increase their resilience to withstand everyday stressors.

5 Ways to Stay Healthy-ish When You’re Stressed and Near Burnout

  1. Go to bed. Staying up late to finish a presentation or waking up super early to fit in a workout before your day starts can actually do more harm than good. Sleep is the only time your body can fully rejuvenate. When we aren’t sleeping this depresses our immune system making it more likely for bacteria or viruses to take hold. And none of us have time to be sick!
  2. Take adaptogenic herbs. Herbs like maca, rhodiola, and ashwaganda have been used for centuries to combat stress. Their adaptogenic qualities help the body become resilient whether your cortisol levels are high or low.
  3. Do yin yoga. Have you heard that sitting is the new smoking? We sit to work, to eat, to watch TV, to scroll Instagram. All of this adds up to tight hip muscles, poor posture, and back pain. Combat this with a yin yoga class once a week to relax the brain and body while releasing stored tension in the muscles.
  4. Get acupuncture. Not only can this calm your nervous system but you also receive a built-in meditation. While the needles are in, you can lay quietly while focusing on your breath or a chosen mantra.
  5. Take magnesium. This is the most common mineral deficiency in America. Magnesium is involved in over 300 enzymatic reactions in our body. Taking a daily dose of this vital nutrient can relax your tight muscles and calm your monkey mind so you can focus on your mile-long to-do list.

Don’t know if you are close to burnout? Take our burnout quiz. If your score is high, our highly trained doctors at Parsley Health can help with state-of-the-art diagnostic testing and a comprehensive work-up with our health team.

This piece was originally published on Parsley Health. Parsley Health is a groundbreaking medical practice of highly trained doctors and health coaches in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Parsley Health takes a smarter, whole approach to helping you live a healthy life. You deserve a better doctor. Sign up here to speak to a health expert to figure out how Parsley Health can help you achieve your goals today.

How to avoid burn out 10 symptoms of severe stress

Feeling stressed and overwhelmed? You’re in good company. Myriad studies have reported that people in the U.S. work more than any other developed country. And, while working 24/7 is often touted as a badge of honor, it’s not sustainable. Signs you’re burnt out and need to practice more self-care can sneak up on even the most dedicated of employees. Because, you’re not a robot. One of the best anecdotes about burnout is from writer Glynnis MacNicol, who wrote for Elle that when she looks back at her downward spiral into burnout the signs were obvious even though she couldn’t see them at the time.

At one point she admitted she was so overwhelmed at work that she fantasized about leaving her job to be a garbage collector so she could escape the 24-hour news cycle. “I would sit at my desk, G-chat windows exploding, no less than 40 tabs open on my screen, my Blackberry within arms reach like a small tethered child or, perhaps more accurately, like a contraband substance, my television set tuned to the morning shows, and gaze out my window overcome by a sharp longing — a deep envy — of men who toss cans of refuse into a rumbling truck before continuing on to parts unknown. Parts free from the internet,” MacNicol wrote. Sound familiar? These signs you’re headed for burnout are your body’s way of telling you it’s time to put on the brakes ASAP.

You Feel Physically & Emotionally Exhausted

Dr. Sherrie Bourg Carter explained on Psychology Today that burnout is a state of chronic stress that leads to physical and emotion exhaustion. “In the early stages, you may feel a lack energy and feel tired most days. In the latter stages, you feel physically and emotionally exhausted, drained, and depleted, and you may feel a sense of dread for what lies ahead on any given day.” If you can relate, it’s time to take an honest look at all of your commitments and see how you can make more time for yourself. This might include talking to your boss, taking up meditation, and setting aside dedicated time to take care of yourself.

How to avoid burn out 10 symptoms of severe stress

What is workplace burnout?

Physical exhaustion at the end of the work day. Cynicism and detachment from coworkers and customers. Extreme dissatisfaction with your work, and uncertainty about how to improve and progress in your career.

These are classic symptoms of workplace burnout, and more people are impacted than you think.

Job burnout is specific work-related chronic stress. It’s emotional and physical exhaustion that leads to job dissatisfaction and loss of personal happiness.

Burnout at your workplace usually creeps in subtly, over time, impacting workers in a way that they almost don’t notice.

Signs and symptoms include chronic fatigue, insomnia, physical symptoms like headaches and stomachaches, anger, isolation, irritability, depression, and more.

Causes of job burnout.

There are many things that can lead to job burnout, and it differs for every person. But there are common factors that can be identified as reasons behind burnout and stressors at your workplace

A feeling of little control. Not being able to make decisions about your schedule or workload can lead to job burnout.

Being unsure about your expectations. If you don’t know what your manager will expect of you, you’re likely going to be frustrated with your work.

A poor work culture. The attitude and morale of people around you will directly impact your satisfaction with your job. A boss who micromanages you, cliquey coworkers, and a lack of friends at your office can lead to job burnout.

A lack of work-life balance. If you’re giving a lot of your energy and time to work, your personal life can suffer, which can lead you to resent time at the office.

High engagement with your work. Being over-engaged with your job can lead you to feel a constant need to overwork and be involved with projects. This leads to stressful situations, and emotional exhaustion. While being highly engaged good thing, it can also lead to high job stress and burnout. For example, while millennials tend to value work/life balance, they may have an increased risk of developing burnout because they are highly driven and motivated in the workplace.

Steven Gans, MD is board-certified in psychiatry and is an active supervisor, teacher, and mentor at Massachusetts General Hospital.

People who are struggling to cope with workplace stress may place themselves at high risk of burnout. Burnout can leave people feeling exhausted, empty, and unable to cope with the demands of life.

Burnout may be accompanied by a variety of mental and physical health symptoms as well. If left unaddressed, burnout can make it difficult for an individual to function well in their daily life.

How to avoid burn out 10 symptoms of severe stress

What Is Burnout?

The term “burnout” is a relatively new term, first coined in 1974 by Herbert Freudenberger, in his book, Burnout: The High Cost of High Achievement. He originally defined burnout as, “the extinction of motivation or incentive, especially where one’s devotion to a cause or relationship fails to produce the desired results.”

Burnout is a reaction to prolonged or chronic job stress and is characterized by three main dimensions: exhaustion, cynicism (less identification with the job), and feelings of reduced professional ability.

More simply put, if you feel exhausted, start to hate your job, and begin to feel less capable at work, you are showing signs of burnout.  

The stress that contributes to burnout can come mainly from your job, but stress from your overall lifestyle can add to this stress. Personality traits and thought patterns, such as perfectionism and pessimism, can contribute as well.  

Most people spend the majority of their waking hours working. And if you hate your job, dread going to work, and don’t gain any satisfaction out of what you’re doing, it can take a serious toll on your life.  

Signs and Symptoms

While burnout isn’t a diagnosable psychological disorder, that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be taken seriously.

Here are some of the most common signs of burnout:  

  • Alienation from work-related activities: Individuals experiencing burnout view their jobs as increasingly stressful and frustrating. They may grow cynical about their working conditions and the people they work with. They may also emotionally distance themselves and begin to feel numb about their work.
  • Physical symptoms: Chronic stress may lead to physical symptoms, like headaches and stomachaches or intestinal issues.
  • Emotional exhaustion: Burnout causes people to feel drained, unable to cope, and tired. They often lack the energy to get their work done.
  • Reduced performance: Burnout mainly affects everyday tasks at work—or in the home when someone’s main job involves caring for family members. Individuals with burnout feel negative about tasks. They have difficulty concentrating and often lack creativity.

It shares some similar symptoms of mental health conditions, such as depression. Individuals with depression experience negative feelings and thoughts about all aspects of life, not just at work. Depression symptoms may also include a loss of interest in things, feelings of hopelessness, cognitive and physical symptoms as well as thoughts of suicide.  

If you are having suicidal thoughts, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 for support and assistance from a trained counselor. If you or a loved one are in immediate danger, call 911.

For more mental health resources, see our National Helpline Database.

Individuals experiencing burnout also may be at a higher risk of developing depression.  

Risk Factors

A high-stress job doesn’t always lead to burnout. If stress is managed well, there may not be any ill-effects.

But some individuals (and those in certain occupations) are at a higher risk than others.

The 2019 National Physician Burnout, Depression, and Suicide Report found that 44 percent of physicians experience burnout.

Their heavy workloads place individuals with certain personality characteristics and lifestyle features at a higher risk of burnout.

Of course, it’s not just physicians who are burning out. Workers in every industry at every level are at potential risk. According to a 2018 report by Gallup, employee burnout has five main causes:  

  1. Unreasonable time pressure. Employees who say they have enough time to do their work are 70 percent less likely to experience high burnout. Individuals who are not able to gain more time, such as paramedics and firefighters, are at a higher risk of burnout.
  2. Lack of communication and support from a manager. Manager support offers a psychological buffer against stress. Employees who feel strongly supported by their manager are 70 percent less likely to experience burnout on a regular basis.
  3. Lack of role clarity. Only 60 percent of workers know what is expected of them. When expectations are like moving targets, employees may become exhausted simply by trying to figure out what they are supposed to be doing.
  4. Unmanageable workload. When a workload feels unmanageable, even the most optimistic employees will feel hopeless. Feeling overwhelmed can quickly lead to burnout.
  5. Unfair treatment. Employees who feel they are treated unfairly at work are 2.3 times more likely to experience a high level of burnout. Unfair treatment may include things such as favoritism, unfair compensation, and mistreatment from a co-worker.

Prevention and Treatment

Although the term “burnout” suggests it may be a permanent condition, it’s reversible. An individual who is feeling burned out may need to make some changes to their work environment.  

Approaching the human resource department about problems in the workplace or talking to a supervisor about the issues could be helpful if they are invested in creating a healthier work environment.

In some cases, a change in position or a new job altogether may be necessary to put an end to burnout.

It can also be helpful to develop clear strategies that help you manage your stress. Self-care strategies, like eating a healthy diet, getting plenty of exercises, and engaging in healthy sleep habits may help reduce some of the effects of a high-stress job.

A vacation may offer you some temporary relief too, but a week away from the office won’t be enough to help you beat burnout. Regularly scheduled breaks from work, along with daily renewal exercises, can be key to helping you combat burnout.

If you are experiencing burnout and you’re having difficulty finding your way out, or you suspect that you may also have a mental health condition such as depression, seek professional treatment.

Talking to a mental health professional may help you discover the strategies you need to feel your best.