Explainer: Are you burnt out?

Jacinda Ardern made headlines she resigned as New Zealand's Prime Minister on January 19.

She made even more headlines when she said she "didn’t have enough in the tank".

While she didn’t outright say it, her comments kicked off discussions about one word in particular – burnout.

What is burnout?

What is burnout?

By definition, ‘burnout’ is "exhaustion of physical, emotional strength or motivation… usually because of prolonged stress or frustration".

According to local experts, 18% of Kiwis also no longer have "enough in the tank", and even more don’t realise it.

What are the symptoms?

What are the symptoms?

According to Professor Jarrod Haar’s Wellbeing@Work study, there are four things to look out for.

The first is levels of exhaustion when it comes to carrying out tasks in both professional and personal life.

If you find your energy levels are fluctuating all over the place, then you are probably suffering from the first sign of burnout.

The second symptom concerns emotional distance. Specifically, it’s a feeling of a sense that any tasks you carry out are pointless.

Psychologically you can also start to feel parts of your life are worthless.

The third symptom is a loss of control in your emotional state.

And the final sign concerns cognitive stability, particularly feeling scatterbrained and forgetful.

Harr says if you check all four boxes then you’re in a high-risk category of burnout.

The symptoms of burnout.

What do I do?

The prognosis is simple – switching off and getting some rest.

It’s not rocket science but according to Harr, it’s something more Kiwis are clearly finding hard to do.


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