What is burnout and how to deal with it - do you know?

For many years “burnout” was often described as someone being lazy, weak, not good enough. In other words, many people thought that burnout is a myth, that it’s not serious. However, when more and more people all over the world start to face burnout, this mindset started to change.


In 2019, burn-out was included in the 11th Revision of the International Classification of Diseases as an occupational phenomenon. According it, “Burn-out is a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed. It is characterized by three dimensions:

  • feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion;
  • increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one's job; and
  • reduced professional efficacy”.


I highlighted “chronic workplace stress” not without a reason. Long working hours is not the only and not the main reason of burnout. Unfair treatment at work, unclear expectations from management, lack of support and unreasonable time pressure – those are very important factors often resulting in burn out.


Here are few tips how to avoid burnout:


  1. Prioritize your mental and physical health – make sure you always sleep 6-8 hours, you take care about your nutrition and you are physically active, also use stress management techniques or meditate.
  2. Think of reasons why you are working long stressful hours. Is there a goal? Is it short-term or long-term? How your life will change after?
  3. Check on your self-esteem – have you ever had a feeling that you are not good enough? Do you think that you will be happier if you get a higher position? Do you feel that you need to prove something?
  4. Plan and prioritize. Write down your to-do list every day starting from the most important task. Note that even if you don’t complete all by the end of the day, you still completed the most important tasks. Put some free time to your agenda – knowing when this time will come, may even increase your motivation.

 And the most important…

  1. Know that you have a choice. No one can force you to do things that you don’t want.