Workplace stress, bullying and burnout

Unfortunately many workplaces are not designed to foster good mental health. An emphasis placed on productivity and efficiency by management or board members with few resources to carry out these demands can often be to the detriment of one’s mental health and foster a bullying culture (Tuckey et al., 2012)

Additionally managers or co-workers who at times may be toxic to workplaces can undermine confidence or set staff members up to take a passive/compliant role (MacCurtain et al, 2017).

A few starting points that may be useful to work through with a clinical psychologist in addressing burnout or stress may be:

Am I dealing with a work culture that is difficult or is it toxic? In defining toxic here, specifically, does it have an impact on life away from work where you now carry unexpected low self esteem or significant depression/anxiety?

As a result of complacency, low self esteem or avoidance, have I abandoned making an updated career plan? Can I reflect on my strengths that can be translated into a cv?

If the culture is fine but I still feel burnt out, am I taking steps to be assertive about making time for my health and life balance? What is stopping me from standing my ground on this?

Do I have a manager who is manipulative, narcissistic or abusive? Do I need to speak to a professional about debriefing some of these experiences?

Do I continue to choose workplaces/working patterns that put me in a position of being overly self-sacrificing? Is this a pattern in general I need to work on?

Psychological therapy, even if brief, may assist in addressing any of the above concerns regarding your work.

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MacCurtain, S., Murphy, C., O'Sullivan, M., MacMahon, J., Turner, T. (2018). To stand back or step in? Exploring the responses of employees who observe workplace bullying. Nursing Inquiry, 25, 1-10.

Tuckey, M. R., Chrisopoulos, S., & Dollard, M. F. (2012). Job demands, resource deficiencies, and workplace harassment: Evidence for micro-level effects. International Journal of Stress Management, 19(4), 292-310.