Beat Burnout Before It Beats You

Beat Burnout Before It Beats You

The seven stages to burnout, how to avoid it and how to recover

Cameron JohnstonMar 20, 2023, 12:37 AM

First, what is burnout?

The WHO’s International Classification of Diseases describes burnout in the following way: “Burnout is a syndrome conceptualised as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed. It is characterised by three dimensions:

1. Feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion;

2. Increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job;

3. Reduced professional efficacy.

At highest risk of burnout are idealists, who approach their work with unrealistically high expectations; perfectionists, with unrealistic expectations of themselves and others; and helping professionals (teachers, nurses, social workers, pastors and so on), who face high demands on their emotional energy, but have limited control of the situation.

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