The World Health Organisation has clarified that 'burnout' is not a medical condition; it's been classified as an occupational occurrence.
The clarification came after several news sites reported that WHO recognises burnout as a medical condition in its 11th Revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11).
So, what's the difference?
The organisation describes burnout as "factors influencing health status or contact with health services", i.e. something people complain about to health care officials as a contributing part to their health issues.
Some of the major signs of the phenomenon are exhaustion and lack of energy, hating your job or feeling detached from it, hence leading to poorer performance.
Despite WHO not calling burnout as a medical condition outright, it's still a concerning issue that seem to be plaguing modern day workforce.
In fact, in some countries such as the United States of America, there are even treatment centres for such cases (making money out of people's misery or actually helping? Who knows?)
What are some of the things that can cause a burn out?
There are many reasons for burn out, often a few things combined.
Identifying the problem is the first step to resolving it so here are some of the things that may lead to the issue.
#1 Horrible boss(es) or colleagues
Work environment matters and the people you work with, especially your direct superior, play an important role in creating a healthy space to work in.
If you work with a bully, an incompetent colleague whose work you have to take over or under a micromanaging boss, you may burn out eventually.
#2 Having no or very little control
Ever felt like you have no control over your own work?
You want to boost more of your social media posts to get traction but your boss won't approve the budget, you can't choose your own schedule or you're forced to take on more work than you can handle?
These kinds of situations where you feel powerless could also contribute to the issue.
#3 No work-life balance
All work and no fun doesn't only make John a dull boy, but also one with mental health issues.
If you spend so much of your time and energy until the point where you have no time for a social life or relaxation, you may burn out that much sooner.
Human beings need interaction with other beings, as well as time to recharge to function at the optimum level.
#4 Feeling underappreciated
We often need to be validated for our contribution - with words, money or gift - to feel appreciated.
The lack of acknowledgment when a job is done well can lead to resentment, and eventually the loss of motivation to continue performing.
What's the point if everyone is going to take you for granted, right?
Don't you hate it when someone get the 'special' treatment just because they are close to the boss, very good at sucking up or boasting about all the little things they do, things that have got nothing to do with the actual job?
Yes, that feeling can quickly turn into resentment and affect your overall feeling towards your job.
What can you do?
Before you go on a social media rant or type up your resignation letter, here are some of the things that you could do to offset the problem.
#1 Talk to your boss
A lot problems can be solved with proper communications. Let your boss know if you feel like you have too much on your plate, if you're feeling underappreciated or just need them to back off a little.
Find a compromise, if not a perfect solution to whatever situation you may be facing.
#2 Get support from others
Not to revolt or anything extreme, but simply someone you can talk to and perhaps give you a different perspective.
This could be your colleague, partner, friends or even your therapist. Better out than in, they all say.
#3 Do something fun
Go for a movie, a concert, a hike, enroll for a dance class or read a book; it is entirely up to you.
Whether it's an activity that requires physical strength or just pure relaxing, as long as you're having fun, it will be beneficial to your overall wellbeing.
#4 Get some sleep
Everything feels better after a good night's sleep (at least for us).
Being well-rested is very important for you to recharge. There are many negative effects to lack of sleep, including tiredness, reduced concentration level and irritability.
#5 Have work friends
We all need a break from work from time to time. What better way than grabbing a cup of coffee or having lunch with your colleagues?
You don't have to be best buddies, but learn more about their hobbies, families and whatever else that are not work-related.
Plus, who can understand it better when you need to vent about a boss or the company? Just make sure your work friend is not a tattler.
#6 Quit your job
If you've done all you could and still can't resolve the conflicts at work, you might want to start looking at other opportunities.
Sometimes a new environment or a new challenge is just what you need to revive your interests and passion.
You're not alone
The most important thing to remember is this: you're not alone.
Cut yourself some slack and get the help you need. If you think the help can only come from a prefessional, you can find a list of places you can that kind of assistance from on Malaysian Mental Health Association's website.
Alternatively, you could also give the good people at the Befrienders a call at +03-79568145 if you need someone to talk to.
Remember, you're not alone.