Burnout is a popular topic, even before the COVID-19 impacts to our lives. There is confusion because people use the word to describe everything from being tired after a tough week to a condition so severe that you need to leave your job, at least for a while. 

A shared understanding of what burnout is, how to prevent it and how to recover lets us work together to make our workplaces safer and keep people healthier.

This talk will briefly explain the environments where burnout happens and the personal traits that may make you more susceptible, to set context, then talk about the impacts of burnout and how to recover or support someone who's recovering. Focus will be on topics that don't get talked about as much:  cognitive and physical impacts, rehab (how to get your brain back in shape), what help you may need.

I diagnosed my own burnout while watching a DevOps conference talk. This is a "Yes, and..." continuation of the topic, to inform people of what to expect during recovery. Most advice stops after advising rest and possibly leaving your job. That may not be enough to get you ready to go back to work. Burnout can affect your brain like an injury and understanding this will equip you to seek the help you need.


Outline/Structure of the Talk

- What is burnout? (from Christina Maslach's work)

- Environmental conditions and personal traits that increase the risk of burnout 

- Interactive activity to raise awareness of what some tell-tale symptoms of burnout are

- Impacts of burnout (physical and cognitive)

- Advice to call your doctor

- What are the steps to recovery? (spoiler: it takes more than a rest)

- Where to start on your recovery journey?

- Rehab? What do you mean?

- Identify triggers, to prevent recurrence and build resilience 

Learning Outcome

From this session, attendees will:

- understand what burnout is

- learn about the physical and cognitive impacts

- understand the journey to recovery and some of the unexpected challenges

Note: this is not medical advice but may help you with some questions you can take to your doctor

Target Audience

Suitable for everyone

Prerequisites for Attendees


schedule Submitted 2 years ago

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