Burnout as a Mental Health Issue in the Workplace

Burnout is a state of emotional, physical and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. It’s not a temporary phenomenon that resolves on its own. It is an accumulation of unresolved stress and overwork that spirals out of control and can wreak havoc on an individual’s personal and professional life. So what causes burnout? It could be one factor or it could be a combination of multiple factors like being underpaid, being overlooked for promotions, lack of validation and appreciation, lack of autonomy in decision making, micromanagement and a host of other factors. The worst part about burnout is that it sneaks up on an individual like a silent assassin. One fine day, you realize you just can’t take it a second longer and you just leave everything mid stride. Not a very pretty picture, is it?

One of the most telling characteristics of burn out is “dreading going to work”. Getting a good night’s sleep seems like a dream. The future holds no promise and therefore the current situation seems unbearable. Most individual’s have encountered burnout in varying degrees at some point in their lives. Some have rebounded while others have never been able to rise out of the chasm. The Great Resignation during the pandemic of 2020 is a case in point. It was as if all the bottled-up feelings of angst and frustration was let loose instantly after being held in check for so long.


So how can you ensure that burnout doesn’t knock at your door. Given below are actionable steps that you can start implementing today, regardless of where you might find yourself on the spectrum. 

🚫Eliminate Relentlessly Toxic relationships and toxic work collaborations are energy suckers. They can make you feel miserable and angry all the time. An individual might feel like they are scaling a gigantic mountain and no matter what they do, they never make it to the Summit. The answer- eliminate when things don’t seem to be working out. 

🔲Establish Clear Boundaries Most individuals work in the office and then bring their work home. Taking calls after the Work day, preparing presentations and jumping on meetings long after the work day is over is a sure shot way to attain burnout fast. Don’t do it!

🤵Let Others Know what you Stand forIf you have been working long enough in the Organization, it’s a given that by now others know slightly more about your working style and your attitude than when you started out initially. Be sure to establish your ambitions at the outset. Remember, your words and actions must be in alignment. 

Say No, minus the Guilt–  Somehow for some inexplicable reason, we operate under the Assumption that saying No is not very Professional. Quite the opposite. Its not necessary to say yes to every project that comes your way. Be selective and save your energy for the best. 

🗯Socialize with Coworkers No man can do it alone. Sharing a great rapport with your coworkers and stakeholders is a great way of establishing camaraderie and trust. Lighthearted banter and humor, team meetings, luncheons are a great way to foster a spirit of fun at work while attending to business needs. 

🏆Plan a Winning Strategy– Which involves moments of learning, deep dive and critical thinking. Give yourself time to assimilate the bigger picture. Shifting multiple positions in a short span of time is again a sure fire way to burnout. Remember, strategize smarter for maximum impact. 

😎Work Smarter Take intentional time off, plan your vacations well in advance, cultivate other interests that differ from your work profile. These are great productivity hacks that will ensure greater work efficiency. It’s impossible to do a good job at something you don’t love and in order to love what you do, you must ensure you cultivate a broad array of interests.

📑Pace Yourself– Maintain a Journal. Plan your career trajectory. Set pit stops in between. Rest, replenish and reset as often as you need to. Stop the comparison game. Not everyone’s career path is supposed to turn out identical. I have encountered multiple individuals who tried to replicate someone else’s strategies. Sadly, it doesn’t work that way. 

In today’s World, we are Surrounded by a Culture of scarcity that tells us we are not Doing enough, that we don’t have enough and that we are not enough, whether we are a stay at home parent or the CEO. Cut Yourself some slack. You are Doing just fine. 

Doing your best doesn’t mean working yourself to the point of a mental Breakdown. If any of the above-mentioned points resonated with you, let this be the wakeup call you need to reassess your professional priorities.


Sajid Ahamed is a “Certified Trainer of NLP” and organizes John Grinder approved New Code NLP and NLP Master Practitioner Certifications  Courses in India and the Middle East. He has more than 1000 hours of coaching experience and is an ICF accredited Professional Certified Coach (PCC). Apart from the Trainings, he covers a  wide niche of coaching including Relationship Coaching, Parenting Coaching, Leadership Coaching.

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