• Alex Koen

Are we the Burnout Generation?

Recently listening to the amazing Anne Helen Petersen and her take on the #BurnoutGeneration while on my commute in and around Singapore, I found myself resonating with this brilliant 1 hour and 47 minutes listen and free if you sign up with #Audible (Click Here).

We are living in a what can be referred to as the Burnout Generation, where the stressors and burnout of career family and social, political, and environmental expectations can be high. I work with this personally in my own life, but also have seen an increase in burnout when seeing clients with stress, low mood and a general sense of unease - not being able to wake up and get the day started. Burnout sometimes brings with it shame, fear of failure and could still very well be stigmatised.

What is Burnout? “syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed. It is characterized 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; and

  3. Reduced professional efficacy.

  4. Burnout refers specifically to phenomena in the occupational context and should not be applied to describe experiences in other areas of life.” (Read more...)

Finally, Burnout is being recognised as a serious medical condition, and although not yet a formal diagnosis in the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual), we now know the three main areas to focus on when seeking out help. For a burnout self-test (Click Here).

Simply being aware of these burnout symptoms might not always be enough, identifying areas to review may be a good start, followed by an action plan. Often in the workplace when looking at the following three areas we can start to establish healthier wellbeing solutions.

What Solutions to implement?

  1. Developing a Culture of Wellness in the Workplace: this could includes a sense of community, open communication with leadership, and reviewing if this is a space that you would/can stay with?

  2. A Realistic Workflow: typically this include realistic productivity measures, realistic documentation requirements, assistance with administrative burdens, reasonable autonomy

  3. Support of Personal Resilience Strategies: This could take the form of employee assistance benefits including access to mental health services; time for vacation, illness, education on strategies to promote well-being and resilience; and promoting work-life balance. For a workplace solutions worksheet (Click Here).

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