New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has been championed for her bravery and honesty after quitting her job due to burnout.
But while it is an emotion almost all of us will experience once in our lifetime the symptoms are not always obvious.
In her resignation speech, Ardern said she did not have “enough in the tank” to continue with her job, explaining what a “challenging” past six years had taken a toll on her.
“I’m leaving, because with such a privileged role comes responsibility — the responsibility of knowing when you’re the right person to lead and when you’re not. I know what this job takes. And I know I don’t have enough in the tank anymore to do justice. It’s that simple,” said Ardern, who has become a global celebrity renowned for her progressive politics and ability to cut through the masses.
While most of us will never become prime minister, every job has its challenges, and psychological Dr. Tara Quinn-Cirillo HuffPost UK tells WebMD that it’s important to recognize symptoms early.
What are some symptoms of burnout?
- tiredness/fatigue (most of the time)
- feeling out of control/helpless/defeated
- negative view of the world
- negative thought patterns
- self doubt
- concentration/processing issues
- lack of enthusiasm towards work/study
- low performance
- sleep problems
- mood changes/irritability
- loss of interest- friends/family/social
However, some of these symptoms are not always synonymous with burnout.
More specific signs of burnout include…
- to overwhelm – to be buried under the weight of something
- being overwhelmed by feelings such as anxiety/stress or low mood
- a state of emotional and physical and mental exhaustion
- Increasing Deadlines and Missed Deadlines
- decline in emotional health
When should we decide to quit the job?
When you’ve admitted that you’re tired, it can be confusing to know what your next step should be. Dr. Quinn-Cirillo Says you should put your needs in the spotlight.
“What are the risks to your emotional and physical health of continuing this way of living?” she asks. “Of course, you need to balance things like income, etc., but you can consider a number of options like talking to HR, seeking professional help like a therapist, basically creating some space to address the situation.”
When you support your needs and consider your long-term options, signing can be beneficial to you. “It doesn’t have to be a big bold move. You may want to consider your employment options and any other triggers for your heaviness,” says Quinn-Cirillo.
“These can even happen outside of work. Consider things like perfectionism that can also contribute to burnout.
Things you can do to address the signs and prevent potential burnout are:
- setting boundaries
- letting go of perfectionism
- seeking support
- talking to others
- connect with nature
- having hobbies and valuable activities
- target timeout
- limited media consumption
How to deal with feelings of guilt over quitting due to burnout
You need to be kind to yourself and prioritize your well-being. “Recognize patterns of narcissism and burnout and the risk of continuing in this manner,” says Quinn-Cirillo.
She continues: “What are your values regarding your own health and well-being? How are you going to have a balanced life if you push yourself to the point of jeopardizing your health and mental health?”
Quinn-Cirillo also thinks you should be aware of the opinions and actions of others. “There can be toxic work cultures that can affect our thoughts on taking care of ourselves and perpetuate unhealthy work/life patterns.
“Consider the fact that other people may make you feel potential guilt for withholding things like work, projects, voluntary work, and other commitments,” she adds.
“Be aware of those ‘I should’ thoughts. These can increase guilt. They can create resentment, and anxiety and lead to a more overwhelmed and less valuable life.