Emotional well-being at work

Recognizing and neutralizing stress and burnout #2 by Claartje van Sijl

As an academic, we all want to be productive and achieve results while enjoying what we do with a clear outlook on a purposeful and fulfilling career. However, the reality is often different, and too many of us are being hindered by the increasing amount of stress we experience.

We all know the feeling of being stressed and express it in a variety of different ways, yet not many of us know how to deal with and neutralize stress to ensure it doesn’t result in negative effects. This second session of ‘Recognising and Neutralizing Stress and Burnout’ with Claartje van Sijl touched on the topics of stress and burnout (or boreout), raising awareness about the different stages of stress and when they are a cause for concern. After providing an overview of the mechanisms behind stress, Claartje taught us practical skills on how to recognise our stress signals and consequently take action on to prevent and lower our stress levels.

You can read more about Claartje at

We fully understand that these past couple of months have been extremely stressful for many, and want to point out that there are multiple sources of support available should you feel the need to speak to someone about what you have been feeling.

  • You can speak to your fellow PhD candidates/colleagues, they can often provide informal support and the mere sharing of how you feel can already feel like a huge relief.
  • Discuss your feelings and needs with your surpervisor so that they can support you through the process.
  • If you would like to talk to someone outside of your department yet still within the VU, you can contact the Studentenombudsman; Lies (E.J.) Poesiat. Email: Phone: 020 598 5313.
  • You can also contact the HSE Front Office to arrange seeing a social worker, the company Dr. or a Psychologist. Email: Phone: 020 59 89008.
  • Lastly, you can also go to your GP (huisarts) should you wish to speak with someone not affiliated to the VU.

If you need further help or guidance, please don’t hesitate to contact us as well via

“I liked that the audience was from like-minded people, who think alike and are struggling with similar problems”

Anonymous participant

“Very useful input, tailored towards early career academics, nice sense of community (despite the online format)”

Anonymous participant

Follow by Email