Breaking the Cycle: Strategies for Combating Employee Burnout and Protecting Mental Health – News18

  • September 17, 2023

Worry burnout is a relatively new term that describes the feeling of being completely overwhelmed and exhausted by worry. (Credits: AFP)

The World Health Organization reports that 1 in 3 workers worldwide face burnout

Currently, overwork and stress are often seen as badges of honour. The narrative surrounding employee burnout and mental health needs decoding. Many individuals suffer silently, like Manav, an enigmatic neighbour who once battled anxiety, depression, and ADHD during relentless night shifts. The question remains: Did anyone reach out, including his workplace?

The grim reality of burnout is alarming. The World Health Organization reports that 1 in 3 workers worldwide face burnout. A 2022 Deloitte survey highlighted that 77% of US professionals experienced burnout. Mental Health America’s 2021 survey showed that 43% had experienced burnout in 2020. Gallup’s 2021 survey found that 68% of employees felt burned out at work. Even McKinsey Health’s 2022 survey discovered that a quarter of workers had burnout symptoms.

“Burnout signs often go unnoticed, manifesting in physical symptoms like fatigue, headaches, and sleep disturbances. Emotional distress includes anxiety, sadness, irritability, and waning motivation, while cognitive challenges can lead to difficulty concentrating and making decisions. Behavioural changes are – increased substance use and absenteeism,” says Dr Vasudha Aggarwal, Clinical Director, United We Care.

The antidote to burnout lies within reach. Cherishing personal time, accepting vacations, and indulging in soul-nourishing activities are crucial. “Revising work habits to prioritize quality over quantity and eliminating the ‘always on’ mentality can help. Prioritize health through rest, nourishing meals, and exercise. Mindfulness practices like yoga, and meditation can be valuable too. Speaking out, confiding in a friend, seeking professional help, or finding support is encouraged,” adds Dr Aggarwal.

“Manav’s transformative journey involved connecting with United We Care, a mental health super app offering Burnout courses that helped him regain control. His experience influenced colleagues to adopt United We Care’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) systems, valuing employee well-being. It’s time for others to join this transformative journey towards better mental health and well-being,” explains Dr Aggarwal.

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