Burnout from work-related stress is real. We all know someone who is suffering burnout to varying degrees. I have personally observed this in a friend, whose body began to shut down.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines burnout as ‘a state of vital exhaustion’. In its ICD-11, the WHO describes burn-out as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed. And characterized by;
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.
Kate Lovett, dean of the Royal College of Psychiatrists has said, “it is not considered to be a mental illness, but rather a form of chronic workplace stress”
I find it strangely comforting to consider burnout is NOT a mental illness. Somehow that causes me to feel there is greater chance of recovery.
Certainly my friend, who is young and athletic, has improved dramatically from 12 months ago when his legs repeatedly gave out from under him. Now he is revitalised and has rejoined the paid workforce in a meaningful way. Thank goodness! But the cost was a major disruption for he, his family and his employer.
One of the actions of my friend was to adopt mindfulness techniques to support his recovery. Only he knows how beneficial this was, although he has acknowledged to me that he felt better supported in his journey by practicing mindfulness in his own way.
I believe every person who works in professional areas can avoid burnout and enhance their personal outcomes, and that they deserve this. So I've created this easy challenge, purpose built for busy professionals, to help you along your way to mindfulness.