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What is burnout?

Burnout as a phenomenon was first described in 1974 by psychologist Herbert Freudenberger. It is defined as a condition of physical and mental exhaustion pertaining to caregiving activities and arises from chronic exposure to interpersonal stressors at work. 

Burnout is included in the 11th Revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) as an “occupational phenomenon”.

Burnout is a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion that is often caused by prolonged stress and overwork. It is a widespread problem in today’s fast-paced, high-pressure work environments, and can have serious consequences for individuals and organisations. It can also be exacerbated by work-life imbalance, insufficient rest and recovery, and personal or family stressors.

The implications of burnout can be significant for both individuals and organisations. Burnout can lead to physical and mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety, and chronic fatigue, as well as reduced job satisfaction, absenteeism, and turnover. It can also affect the quality of work and productivity, leading to negative impacts on the organisation’s bottom line.

Burnout often develops gradually and can go unnoticed until it becomes severe. 

  • feeling exhausted, mentally distant or detached from work 
  • a decline in productivity
  • increased negativity or cynicism
  • decreased personal satisfaction or accomplishment 
  • it can also have physical symptoms such as headaches, muscle tension, and difficulty sleeping

To prevent burnout, individuals and organisations can take several steps. Individuals can prioritise self-care by getting enough rest, exercise, and healthy food, setting realistic goals, and taking time off to recharge. They can also seek social support and engage in activities that promote relaxation and stress reduction. Organisations can implement policies and practices that promote work-life balance, clear communication and feedback, and opportunities for professional growth and development. They can also provide training and resources to help employees recognise and manage stress and burnout, as well as foster a supportive and positive work culture.

In summary, burnout is a serious condition that can have a negative impact on both individuals and organisations. By prioritising self-care, setting boundaries, seeking support, and implementing organisational resources and support, burnout can be prevented or managed effectively.

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At MindBerry a number of our professionals are specialists in burnout support and utilise all the latest tools and techniques to help both individuals and organisations. We offer face-to-face, video or audio one-to-one sessions with a therapist of your choice, as well as team coaching and awareness sessions.  So why not ‘GET IN TOUCH’ today. 

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