According to the World Health Organization, burnout is “a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed. It is characterized by three dimensions: feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion; increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job; and reduced professional efficacy.”74

Ignored or unaddressed job burnout can have negative consequences, including: excessive stress, fatigue, insomnia, sadness, anger or irritability, substance use issues, heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and vulnerability to other illnesses.75

Clues that you are under too much stress may include76:

  • Being afraid to take time off work; never taking a vacation.
  • Thinking the worst in every situation.
  • Overreacting to minor stressors.
  • Losing touch with what motivates you to do your job.
  • Making mistakes at work, missing deadlines, having poor productivity.
  • Trouble sleeping; feeling tired when you wake up.
  • Arguing more often with close friends and family.
  • Withdrawing from friends, family and co-workers; decreased social life.

Steps to help address job burnout:

  • Evaluate your options—Talk with your supervisor about a modified or decreased work schedule.
  • Seek support—Reach out to friends, family, and co-workers for support.  Use employee assistance programs or other counseling benefits.
  • Try a relaxing activity—Try yoga, meditation or tai chi.
  • Exercise
  • Sleep
  • Practice mindfulness–Be in the moment. Focus on your breath and what you are feeling and sensing, without jumping to conclusions. Be patient and open.