Whether it’s working, helping others, or taking care of family — our lives are busy and most people are not taking enough time to step back and rest. When we don’t take the time to rest and just keep piling on, that’s when burnout happens. It’s a state of mental and physical exhaustion that can zap the joy out of our lives.
Those who have a strong drive for success, a passion for their work, or set perfectionist standards for themselves are the most susceptible and hardest hit. Couple that with a lack of attention to self-care and we soon find ourselves without the energy or interest to keep up the pace. If left unchecked, burnout can become a serious mental health issue. Here’s a look at what burnout is, as well as how to recognize and avoid it…
What is Burnout?
The term burnout is relatively new. It was coined back in 1974 by Herbert Freudenberger in his book, Burnout: The High cost of High Achievement. He defined burnout as “the extinction of motivation or incentive, especially where one’s devotion to a cause or relationship fails to produce the desired results.”
WebMD defines it as a form of exhaustion or feeling “constantly swamped.” It occurs from excessive and prolonged emotional, mental, and physical stress. Most of the time it’s related to work. It occurs when people become overwhelmed with the duties of everyday life. While it’s not a medical diagnosis, says WebMD, it can affect both physical and mental health if it goes untreated.