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What is Burnout and How do we deal with it?

Many people are experiencing stress and fatigue these days; the added weight of the pandemic brought to us makes it all the more challenging. Sometimes, this stress and fatigue are becoming severe that it leads to physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion that hinders us from functioning correctly, and this is what you call Burnout. People who experience Burnout may find it hard to get out of their beds in the morning, and they may have a more pessimistic outlook towards life. Burnout is not easy to get rid of, and if it is left untreated, it may become severe, which could lead to other mental and physiological problems.

Burnout happens to everyone, and there is no exception whether you are a working adult, student, or even a parent. Sometimes we may be already experiencing Burnout, but we are aware of it because maybe we are not sure if it is a sign of Burnout. Seeing early signs of Burnout could help prevent further problems arising in the future. Here is a list of signs that could result in Burnout:

  • Exhaustion

  • Isolation

  • Escape fantasies

  • Irritability

  • Frequent illnesses

Burnout is like a sickness that comes in different degrees, and its severity depends on it. Two psychologists named Herbert Freudenberger and Gail North developed a 12 stage model of Burnout. Here are the following 12 stages of Burnout:

  1. Excessive drive/ambition.

  2. Pushing yourself to work harder

  3. Neglecting your own needs

  4. Displacement of conflict

  5. No time for nonwork-related needs

  6. Denial.

  7. Withdrawal

  8. Behavioral changes

  9. Depersonalization

  10. Inner emptiness or anxiety

  11. Depression

  12. Mental or physical collapse

Based on these symptoms and stages, you could see mild to serious ones. These lists could help prevent and make an appropriate response based on the severity of the symptoms or stages you are currently feeling or experiencing. Stress is part of our life whether we like it or not. We can’t avoid stress as there are many stressors in our environment, and these stressors could eventually lead to Burnout. We may not avoid stress, but we can prevent Burnout. Here are different ways how to Prevent Burnout:

  • Exercise

  • Eat a balanced diet

  • Practice good sleeping habits

  • Ask for help



Fraga, J. (n.d.). How to identify and prevent burnout. Healthline.

Exhausted parents: Development and preliminary validation of the parental burnout inventory. (n.d.). Frontiers.


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