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Burnout — What You Need to Know

Posted on Thursday, 5th April 2018

Everywhere we go at the moment we are hearing about wellbeing and self care. However, workplace stress seems to be at an all time high. It is estimated that over half a million UK employees are suffering from workplace stress and 12.5 million sick days were taken in 2017 due to workplace stress.

Workplace stress in some cases can eventually lead to burnout. I am going to talk about some causes of workplace stress which can lead to burnout, signs you might be suffering from burnout, and how you can help to either prevent or treat it.

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Do you think you are experiencing some of the above points? These are all factors which could cause workplace stress and lead to burnout. This does not mean they will. Some people will be more susceptible to burnout than others. But chances are if you are still reading this then it is something you are concerned about.

Below are some signs and symptoms that you may have if you are suffering from burnout.

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Any of those sound familiar?

So what can we do if we feel we are at risk from burnout, or are already starting to suffer from it?

When feeling like this people will often engage in behaviours which make them feel better in the short term, but are detrimental to their health long term, such as alcohol or substance misuse. While it may be tempting to engage in escapist behaviours, there are other things we can do instead which will be more effective long term.

Social Support

Try and reach out to friends and family outside of work. Even if you don’t talk to them about work, having this support can really increase our wellbeing.

Peer support at work

Do you have colleagues you can confide in, or even just chat to? Feeling isolated in work can make us feel a lot worse.

Ask for help from your work

There is no shame in asking for help! Speak to your line manager, HR department or someone you trust. They are there to help.

Leave work at work

Some activities are better than others for switching off outside of work. I have written all about Flow Activities which can be really effective in switching off and relaxing outside of work.

Purpose in work

Finding a purpose you’re invested in at work can make a big difference to your every day enjoyment of it.


Practicing gratitude can be a small act which can make a big difference to our day to day.

Take breaks

If you follow me on Instagram you’ll have probably seen how important I think lunch breaks are. If we use them effectively they can really help us feel refreshed and be able to be more productive afterwards.

If you would like to speak to someone about your workplace stress why not get in touch?


Bosch, C., Sonnentag, S. & Pinck, A.S. (2018). What makes for a good break? A diary study on recovery experiences during lunch break. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 91(1), 134–157.

Maslach, C., Schaufeli, W., Leiter, M. (2001). Job Burnout Annual Review Psychology, 52, 397–422.

Shirom, A.(2003) ‘Employee Burnout and Health’, in Schabracq et al (eds)Handbook of work and health psychology, Wiley, Ch. 4.

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