What is Burnout?

Burnout and its pre-curses, fatigue, exhaustion (and potentially a version of adrenal fatigue) are not states that are to be ignored and “band-aided” with an extra coffee, or a few more multi-vitamins, even some extra green vegetables is not going to “fix” this state. Your body is sending you the warning signs and it is time to evaluate, prioritise and actively take action to restore your health. Just like you would evaluate your financial situation, your health also requires evaluation, care and management. It creeps up on you and often it's ignored by the thought that you just need to have a good night’s sleep. 

It is very easy to miss the signs of burnout until they are already there. Burnout can affect anyone, men as much as women and is increasingly used to describe a common set of symptoms facing everyone.

Are you experiencing burnout?

Identifying Symptoms or Signs of Burnout

  • Becoming cynical or critical at work

  • Dragging yourself to work and having trouble getting started

  • Becoming irritable or impatient with co-workers, customers or clients

  • Lacking the energy to be consistently productive

  • Difficulty with concentration

  • Lacking satisfaction from your achievements

  • Feeling disillusioned about your job / career / business

  • Using food, drugs or alcohol to feel better or to not feel

  • Irregular and inconsistent sleeping habits

  • Experiencing unexplained headaches, stomach or bowel problems, or other physical complaints 

Burnout Research

The roots of the burnout* concept seem to be embedded within broad social, economic, and cultural developments that took place in the last quarter of the past century and signify the rapid and profound transformation from an industrial society into a service economy. This social transformation goes along with psychological pressures that may translate into burnout. After the turn of the century, burnout is increasingly considered as an erosion of a positive psychological state. Although burnout seems to be a global phenomenon, the meaning of the concept differs between countries. For instance, in some countries burnout is used as a medical diagnosis, whereas in other countries it is a non‐medical, socially accepted label that carries a minimum stigma in terms of a psychiatric diagnosis.


*Emerald Insight (35 years of Burnout Research)