Stress and Burnout 101 – And what to do next?

Stress and burnout


The term “burnout” is a relatively new term. One pertinent definition describes burnout as, “the extinction of motivation or incentive, especially where one’s devotion to a cause or relationship fails to produce the desired results.”*

Burnout is a reaction to prolonged or chronic stress and is characterized by three main dimensions:

  1. Exhaustion
  2. Cynicism (less identification with your job)
  3. Feelings of reduced professional ability

More simply put, if you feel exhausted, start to hate your job, and begin to feel less capable at work, you are showing signs of burnout.

The stress that contributes to burnout is usually work based, but stress from your overall lifestyle can also add to burnout. Personality traits and thought patterns, such as perfectionism and pessimism, can be factors as well.

Most people spend the majority of their waking hours working – whether in an office, online or managing your household and family. If you are unhappy with your job, dread going to your work place, and don’t gain any satisfaction out of what you’re doing, it can take a major toll on your life.


While burnout isn’t a diagnosable psychological disorder, that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be taken seriously. It absolutely should be.

Here are 4 of the most common signs of burnout:

1. Alienation from Work-Related Activities.

Individuals experiencing burnout view their jobs as increasingly stressful and frustrating. They may grow cynical about their working conditions and the people they work with. They may also emotionally distance themselves and begin to feel numb about their work.

2. Physical Symptoms.

Chronic stress may lead to physical symptoms, like headaches, stomach ache or intestinal issues.

3. Emotional Exhaustion.

Burnout causes people to feel drained, unable to cope, and tired. They often lack the energy and/or motivation to get their work done.

4. Reduced Performance.

Burnout mainly affects everyday tasks at work—or in the home when someone’s main job involves caring for family members. Individuals with burnout feel negative about tasks. They have difficulty concentrating, focusing and often lack creativity.


A high-stress job doesn’t always lead to burnout. If stress is managed well, there may not be any negative effects at all.

However, some individuals (and those in certain occupations) are at a higher risk than others.

The 2019 National Physician Burnout, Depression, and Suicide Report found that 44 percent of physicians experience burnout. Their heavy workloads place individuals with certain personality characteristics and lifestyle features at a higher risk of burnout.

Of course, it’s not just physicians who are burning out. Workers in every industry and at every level are at potential risk. According to a 2018 report by Gallup, employee burnout has five main causes:

  1. Unreasonable time pressure. Employees who say they have enough time to do their work are 70 percent less likely to experience burnout. Individuals who are constantly working under time pressure, such as paramedics and firefighters, are at a higher risk of burnout.
  2. Lack of communication and support from a manager. Manager support offers a psychological buffer against stress. Employees who feel strongly supported by their manager are 70 percent less likely to experience burnout on a regular basis.
  3. Lack of role clarity. Only 60 percent of workers know what is expected of them. When expectations are moving targets, employees may become exhausted simply by trying to figure out what they are supposed to be doing.
  4. Unmanageable workload. When a workload feels unmanageable, even the most optimistic employees will feel hopeless. Feeling overwhelmed can quickly lead to burnout.
  5. Unfair treatment. Employees who feel they are treated unfairly at work are 2.3 more likely to experience a high level of burnout. Unfair treatment may include things such as favouritism, unfair compensation, and mistreatment from a co-worker.


Although the term “burnout” suggests it may be a permanent condition, it is reversible.

Our Burnout Retreats give you a break away from the environment in which you are experiencing burnout and provide you with a calming and restorative experience in tropical Bali. Our tailormade retreats focus on wellness and complementary therapies, as well as ensuring you  experience all the highlights of Bali. It is your program and we are happy to provide a program that fits with your needs and wants.

Your retreat includes your own private villa with a swimming pool close to the beach. Our team of professional wellness practitioners come to you and some of our wellness options include: Yoga, Personal Training, Nutritional Assessments, Qigong, Reiki, Breathwork, Life Coaching and Meditation.

Outside of your wellness sessions there is so much to see, explore and discover in Bali. If you want to get your adrenaline going, Bali offers everything from white water rafting, scuba diving, volcano trekking, surfing, snorkeling and ATV riding. Or perhaps you’d prefer to immerse yourself in Bali’s rich culture, traditional markets, temples, colourful ceremonies, and stunning sunsets.

The beauty of The Lighthouse Bali Retreats is that they are one-on-one  and individually tailored. We can create the ultimate retreat experience based entirely around your needs and preferences. It’s time to put yourself first and that’s exactly what we will do too.

For more information, contact us via our online contact form. Or send up on email to

If you would prefer to phone us or send a What’s App message you can find our contact details here.

*Definition from 1974 by Herbert Freudenberger, in his book, Burnout: The High Cost of High Achievement.

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