Burnout is now a legitimate medical diagnosis, included in the World Health Organization's International Classification of Diseases. CNN's Ryan Prior reports:
According to the handbook, doctors can diagnose someone with burnout if they meet the following symptoms: 1. feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion 2. increased mental distance from one's job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one's job 3. reduced professional efficacy
Burnout has existed both as a concept and a topic of research for decades. The condition's new legitimacy proves that a quick trip to the beach is not enough to solve employee stress. Instead, employees should be met with empathy from their employers, who should take extra care to ensure that their workers feel heard, understood and appreciated.
According to CNBC's Sheryl Kraft, burnout accounts for an annual $125 billion to $190 billion in health-care spending. The causes for burnout, Kraft reports, include:
Unfair treatment at work, unreasonable deadlines, unmanageable workload and lack of support from managers. Add to that the stress that comes with 24/7 access to work, through emails and texts, and expectations to respond at off-hours.
Every one of these circumstances will still be waiting for employees as soon as they return from vacation. Getaways don't fix the problem—they only provide momentary respite.
Besides, who among us hasn't returned from a vacation thinking, "I need a vacation after my vacation." Traveling itself is exhausting.
But for some, a vacation is really all it takes. Once you've stepped away from the everyday stressors of the workplace, it's easier to see your job in a different light. Perhaps time away provides you with the space necessary to find new solutions to particularly stressful projects or scenarios.
The best ideas come to you when you're relaxed. A vacation can be exactly what you need to reduce feelings of burnout.
According to The Ladders, there is a whole section of tourism specifically focused on helping people relieve burnout known as "wellness tourism."
According to the Global Wellness Institute, international and domestic wellness tourism accounted for $563 billion in 2015, up 14% from 2013, and is expected to grow to $808 billion by 2020.
Whether it's an evening spent in a mud bath or an afternoon in a kayak, vacations can certainly get the most stressed amongst us out of our own heads. If stress and burnout levels continue to increase, there's no question that Americans will keep looking to vacations for relief, knowing time away will always be a huge help.