Burnout is a kind of tiredness brought on by a persistent sense of being overburdened. It is brought on by extreme and ongoing psychological, physical, and emotional stress.
Burnout Sociology Definition


Burnout is a kind of tiredness brought on by a persistent sense of being overburdened. It is brought on by extreme and ongoing psychological, physical, and emotional stress. Everybody experiences it at some point, and it becomes worse with time. Burnout is a genuine issue, whether you’re a student striving to keep up with schoolwork, a working professional juggling the demands of a demanding job, or a stay-at-home mom juggling it all.


Burnout occurs when a person is emotionally exhausted, overburdened, and unable to keep up with life’s constant demands. The World Health Organization (WHO) recognized “burnout” syndrome as an “occupational issue” in 2019.

The ability to work is hindered by burnout. It saps one’s vitality and leaves people depressed, cynical, and angry. One “s home, job, and social life may all suffer from burnout. Chronic burnout might increase your susceptibility to the flu and the common cold.

Herbert Freudenberger, an American psychologist, created the word “burnout” in the 1970s. He used it to explain the effects of high aspirations and extreme stress in “helping” professions. For instance, doctors and nurses who put others before themselves often get “burned out”—exhausted, drained, and unable to function. The phrase is no longer used to refer to these helpful professions or the shadow side of self-sacrifice. It may affect anyone, including stressed-out professionals, celebrities, overburdened workers, and stay-at-home moms.

Primary reasons for burnout

1. Lack of command

 Job burnout may result from a lack of control over decisions that impact the individual career, such as your workload, schedule, or assignments. 

2. Unclear work requirements

Individuals won’t likely feel at ease at work if they are unsure of their level of authority or what their boss or others expect of them.

3. Workplace dysfunctional dynamics

An individual may feel undercut by coworkers, or have their job micromanaged by their employer. This may increase work-related stress.

4.  High level of activity

Individuals require ongoing energy to stay focused while working in a tedious or hectic environment, which may cause weariness and job burnout.

5. Insufficient social support

Individuals may experience more significant stress if they feel alone at work and in their personal life.

6. Work-life balance is off

Individuals risk burning out rapidly if their job consumes so much of their time and energy. In such cases,  individuals lack the energy to spend time with their loved ones.

7. Inequitable treatment at work, home, and in the classroom. 

Burnout may arise due to race, caste, and economic class discrimination.

8. Deadline pressure

Immense deadline pressure in schools, colleges, Ph.D. research, and other occupations.

Push and Pull Burnout

Determining the sort of burnout people are experiencing might help individuals find a solution, even if the symptoms of burnout may be identical regardless of the reason.

For instance, individuals may need to develop the ability to say no and establish boundaries if they’re going through “push” burnout, characterized by emotions of being overcommitted and overloaded.

On the other hand, if individuals suffer from “pull” burnout, characterized by a sense of emptiness and a lack of direction, they may need to find a deeper connection with their work or personal life. To avoid burnout, one must be able to recognize its symptoms. However, by being aware of the burnout people are going through, they may take specific action to address the underlying issue and bring their life back in balance.

Three forms of burnout and strategies for avoiding them

In the Harvard Business Review, three forms of burnout are described along with solutions:

Professionals who go above and beyond to succeed often experience overload burnout, which puts their health and personal lives on the back burner. To combat this, it’s crucial to learn how to control your emotions and detach one’s self-worth from their career.

When facing difficulties, neglect burnout makes the person feel useless and aimless. Making to-do lists to keep organized, learning to say “no,” and developing a feeling of control over one’s activities may all help with this.

Under-challenged burnout happens as a result of boredom and lack of stimulation. When dealing with this kind of burnout, professionals experience underappreciation, frustration, and demotivation. Lowering the stakes, establishing more manageable objectives, and participating in activities that promote curiosity may all help combat this.

Job Burnout

A unique form of work-related stress called job burnout is a state of physical or emotional exhaustion that includes diminished accomplishment and a loss of one’s sense of self.

“Burnout” is not a recognized medical term. Some experts believe that depression and other disorders may be to blame for burnout. Researchers have noted that a person’s personality and family circumstances might affect whether they suffer work burnout.

Burnout has been linked to several employment withdrawal behaviors, including absenteeism, job intention, and turnover. Burnout, however, decreases productivity and effectiveness at work for those who remain in their current positions.

Consequences of job burnout

Job burnout may have severe repercussions if ignored or untreated, including:

  1. Fatigue
  2. Insomnia
  3. Excessive anxiety
  4. Anger, sadness, or irritation
  5. Abuse of alcohol or other drugs
  6. Heart condition
  7. Elevated blood pressure
  8. Diabetes type 2
  9. Prone to diseases
  10. Suicidal thoughts

 How to solve burnout?

1. Place self-care first

By prioritizing healthy sleep patterns, diet, exercise, social connection, and routines that promote equanimity and well-being, including writing, meditation, and appreciating nature, you may restore your physical and emotional vigor and ability to concentrate.

2. Speak with the handler of the individual

If an individual’s workplace allows it, try to describe how the person is feeling and propose a more manageable workload. A productive workplace requires effective communication.

3. Obtaining Enough Sleep

For excellent physical and mental health, sleep is essential. Burnout may result if individuals aren’t getting enough due to work-related tension. Make getting adequate sleep a priority.

4. Do Something Calming

Taiji, yoga, and meditation are all effective strategies to decompress. Burnout symptoms may manifest physically, and stress can build up in the body. By engaging in these activities, individuals can de-stress.

5. Practice being mindful.

Mindful helps people to internalize and become aware of their current feelings. When people are feeling overwhelmed, mindfulness can help individuals recognize it and allow them to assess their mental health. People can manage the difficulties of life and their job with such assistance.

6. Find support

The best method to express one’s emotions and ask for support is to speak with close friends, family, and trustworthy colleagues. Individuals can deal with the pressures of their work with their assistance. Another excellent option to express their emotions and obtain assistance is to find a therapist.

7. Get to it!

Numerous health advantages of engaging in pleasure-seeking activities can help in reducing burnout.  It benefits overall physical and emotional well-being and one “s physical health.

8. Minimize one’s exposure to workplace stressors

Resetting expectations for what and how much individuals are ready to take on and ground rules for working together include dealing with coworkers, customers, and even family members. Pushback is a possibility. However, individuals must let skeptics know they are making these adjustments to boost their long-term productivity and safeguard their health.

9. Physical activity

Start by engaging in much physical activity. Numerous studies have shown countless physical and psychological advantages; regular exercise not only helps lower stress levels but also lifts overall mood, strengthens their general health, and improves their quality of life.

10. Work sharing at home

Women who work at the office and cook at home will feel burnout and need to share responsibilities with their children and partner.

11. Enactment of Law

The government should enact a law to ensure that working hours are reduced, and workers are free from toxic environments in society.

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