Stress or Burnout

Stress is a common issue in the workplace and in other areas of life—sometimes, it’s unavoidable. The question is, has your stress become so prolonged that it’s taken over your life? If that’s the case, you may actually be experiencing burnout.

Burnout is more than feeling stressed or tired at work. It happens when you’ve been stressed for a constant and prolonged period of time and might leave you feeling overworked, unappreciated and overwhelmed.

Work-related stress can be caused by demanding requests, an overload of work, daunting tasks, etc. Stress is your body’s immediate response to these challenges. If not managed, stress can affect your mental health and cause symptoms such as anxiety, lack of sleep and other physical signs.

Burnout happens when you’ve been stressed for a prolonged period of time and you may feel overwhelmed and undervalued. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines burnout as “chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.”

Signs of burnout can include feeling unmotivated, lacking energy or interest in things at work and outside of work, feeling disconnected from your job and the people around you, and lacking the ability to get anything done.

The cure to burnout is often requires cultural change When people are working in seemingly impossible environments that lack autonomy and support—unsafe workplaces where there’s understaffing, harassment, a horrible boss or coworkers—this will lead to burnout.

Both stress and burnout are issues that no one should have to experience in the workplace. They can both have a significant impact on your mental health. To manage burnout we may need to address the underlying causes and make policy and culture changes on a large scale.