Whenever we mention work stress to friends and family, the most common response we get is always ‘That’s what adult life is’. But what if it’s actually a symptom of an actual health problem?
If you’ve been struggling with constant stress from work and often feel exhausted having to head to the office, chances are you may be on the road to burnout. While extreme work stress has been around for years, it’s often brushed under the carpet as a minuscule matter. Now, the term ‘burnout’ is no longer just a buzzword as the World Health Organization (WHO) officially recognises it as a medical diagnosis.
According to the WHO International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) handbook, there are three main burnout symptoms to look out for:
- Feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion
- Increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job
- Reduced professional efficacy
But isn’t burnout and stress the same?
According to the WHO definition, “burnout is a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed”. HelpGuide explains that being burnt out means “feeling empty and mentally exhausted, devoid of motivation, and beyond caring” and if “excessive stress feels like you’re drowning in responsibilities, burnout is a sense of being all dried up”. Sound like something everybody in the workforce can relate to!
If you feel that you’re on the verge of burning out, here are some tips you can try to restore your strength.