Jacinda Ardern resignation spotlights burnout. Here’s how to cope.

Burnout is often described as feeling emotionally depleted by work

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern resigned on Wednesday, citing symptoms similar to workplace burnout. (Javier Soriano/AFP/Getty Images)
6 min

When Jacinda Ardern announced her decision to resign as New Zealand’s Prime Minister, she didn’t cite burnout as the reason. But she described it.

“I know what this job takes, and I know that I no longer have enough in the tank to do it justice,” she said. “It is that simple.”

The World Health Organization in 2019 acknowledged burnout as an “occupational phenomenon,” but job or work burnout can still take a significant toll on your mental and physical health, and is closely linked with depression and anxiety.

Burnout is common among health-care workers, medical students and caregivers. But it can also be experienced in other professions. This week, Fall Out Boy guitarist Joe Trohman announced he is “stepping away” from the band for the sake of his mental health. And tennis star Naomi Osaka was at the top of her game in 2021 when she announced she needed a break from the sport.

From moms to medical doctors, burnout is everywhere

Here’s what mental health experts have to say about burnout, how to identify it and how to cope.

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