The term “burnout” was first coined during the 1970s by the American psychologist Herbert Freudenberger. It described the dire consequence of severe stress and high ideals in “helping” professions, such as doctors and nurses, who sacrifice themselves for others. They would often end up being “burned out” – exhausted, listless, and unable to cope. In this day and age, the term is not only used in circles of service professionals, but it can affect anyone, from stressed-out careerists, celebrities, overworked employees, homemakers and college students.
The Critical Cost of Burnout
While people are burning their candles at both ends (and the middle!) there is a huge cost to the downward spiral of burnout, not only for the economy, but especially for human lives.
The well researched predecessors to Burnout are Stress and Anxiety. These alone cost the American business up to $300 Billion ANNUALLY. The WHO states, “Stress is a Health Epidemic of the 21st Century”. Stress and anxiety are the biggest threats to workplace productivity in the world. In 2019, 94% of US American workers report experiencing chronic stress.
Even more significant is what this is costing in human lives and quality of life:
- A Gallup poll of 7,500 full-time employees indicates that one in four employees feel burned out at work always or very often, while nearly half report feeling it sometimes. The trend seems particularly acute among the young. A Deloitte study on workplace health in the US suggests that 84% of millennials have experienced burnout in their current job. Women are more likely to suffer from this disease than their male counterparts.
- Although the global economic burden of burnout has not been calculated, it is estimated that the global cost of mental illness will grow to $16 trillion by 2030, in part, owing to the increase in burnout.
Those statistics are impressive, and they don’t even include the correlation to the physiological points of ‘breakdown’ from burnout.
Chronic, stress equals breakdown - eventually - PERIOD. Both physically and mentally. When your stress rides high, so does your cortisol. Cortisol is your fat storage hormone, also your fight-or-flight hormone, and also the “priority” hormone. So when this runs high, the other essential hormones, get a bit kicked to the curb and don’t function as optimally. You end up, tired, achy, fat and cranky to put it mildly. Underneath, it results in activating delicate pathways relating to inflammation and suppressing or overstimulating the immune system. Add to that, accelerated aging.
Unfortunately, what is also happening behind the scenes, is a subtle, silent breaking down of systems as they experience longterm impacts of stress and stress hormone exposure. This impacts your Endocrine System, Central Nervous System, Digestive System, Neurotransmitters, blood sugar regulation and so on….
Experiencing burnout? Don’t let it persist, assuming it will just get better. Once this ‘breakdown’ begins in the body, it is complex and impacts a variety of systems in your body that must be addressed by a skilled clinician to unravel the layers of impact. Check out my FREE Training, and you’ll learn so much more:
Sarah Reilly, Clinical Nutritionist and Burnout Recovery Specialist helps Burntout Leaders get to the root cause of their symptoms so they can fully embrace life feeling energetic, pain-free, lean and clear, without fad diet, drugs, deprivation and daily struggle. Want to get turned back on in your body and life again? Reach out for a Free Vitality Strategy Session. www.burnoutrecoverycode.com