Mental health and self-care are important—just ask New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Arden

By Regence
January 20, 2023
Jacinda Ardern in Dunedin

Learn ways to identify and prevent burnout in your life.

Main image: Jacinda Ardern in Dunedin, CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

After leading her country through a historic 5½ years, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern unexpectedly announced that she will step down Feb. 7, 2023. “I know what this job takes, and I know that I no longer have enough in the tank to do it justice. It is that simple,” Ardern said during her announcement.

Her leadership was praised early in the COVID pandemic as she took quick action and helped the island nation of 5 million people save lives. Arden previously handled a number of historic tragedies, including the worst mass shooting in New Zealand’s history as well as the eruption of the White Island volcano.

In 2017, Ardern became prime minister at age 37 and is only the second elected world leader to have given birth while in office. Who of us wouldn’t be burned out after working through such professional and personal demands? Not everyone has the ability to fully step away from work, but there are ways to practice self-care and address burnout.

Feeling burned out? You’re not alone

If you’ve been feeling exhausted at work and unable to recharge, often referred to as burnout, know you’re not alone. In 2021, 79% of adult American workers experienced work-related stress, according to American Psychological Association’s (APA) 2021 Work and Well-being Survey. Furthermore, 36% reported intellectual tiredness, 32% reported emotional exhaustion, and 44% reported physical fatigue—a 38% increase since 2019.

Taking care of your mental and behavioral health needs – we’re here to help

If you feel burned out, evaluate your options. Those might include talking with your manager or someone in human resources about how to improve your work environment and expectations. Evaluate your own mental well-being and see where you can find more balance in your life, like making time to exercise, journal or socialize. Speaking with a medical professional can also be beneficial and provide support to help you maintain stability.

Whether you need occasional emotional support or ongoing mental health care, Regence has a variety of programs to prevent, identify and treat mental health and substance use conditions. Regence members who want to understand what is available under their health plan can sign in to their account on, or call us for help finding the right behavioral health resources.