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30 Strategies to Address and Prevent Burnout

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Many people are struggling with burnout right now, whether it’s at work or at home. People are working hard and still struggling. Anxiety and depressive symptoms are up, suicide rates are up. We seem to be entangled in cultural burnout.

What is burnout?

Burnout “is a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. It occurs when you feel overwhelmed, emotionally drained, and unable to meet constant demands.”

Symptoms of burnout:

  • Being overly cynical or critical.
  • Having trouble getting started.
  • Being irritable or impatient with co-workers, customers, friends, family.
  • Lacking the energy to be consistently productive.
  • Finding it difficult to concentrate.
  • Lacking satisfaction from your achievements.
  • Crying frequently.
  • Reduced creativity.
  • Exhaustion.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Negative thoughts.
  • Anxiety and depressive symptoms.
  • Using food, drugs, or alcohol to feel better or to simply not feel.
  • A change in sleep habits: sleeping too much or too little.
  • Physical ailments such as headaches, stomachaches, or bowel problems.
  • Negative self-talk.

If you are experiencing any of those listed above, then you may be struggling with burnout, whether it be in your personal life or work life.

Below we will discuss ways you can prevent burnout and address already existing burnout.

Strategies to prevent and address burnout:

Burnout is often associated with jobs, but it can also apply to your personal life and relationships. Unfortunately, sometimes the only way to “cure” burnout is to leave a job or relationship, but if that is not an option or the way you want to go, this list will give you some ideas on how to prevent or address existing burnout.

1. Use your sick days/PTO.

2. Become aware of what is causing you stress: what specific instances?

3. Talk to your boss/spouse about your concerns and your burnout. Express that you need help to lighten your load.

4. Clarify expectations and job role/role in the home.

5. Evaluate your options.

6. Find out if your job offers employee benefit services. If they do, take advantage of them!

7. Therapy.

8. Let go of perfectionism.

9. Do an audit of your time: where is most of your time being spent? How are you spending your free time?

10. Physical activity: the gym, CrossFit, running, walking each day.

11. Take your lunch break!

12. Read, walk, listen to music, or call a friend/family during your break.

13. Assess your priorities and goals.

14. Separate work from home life: do not check work emails or take calls after hours. Keep work emails off of your phone.

15. Structure your day: get into a routine and develop healthy work habits. Ex: only checking email in the morning or afternoon, returning calls after lunch, setting your away messages while on lunch…etc…

16. Delegate tasks.

17. Spend time with coworkers outside of work: develop those relationships.

18. Limit contact with negative people.

19. Go to bed early each night.

20. Silence your phone.

21. Limit social media.

22. Meditate.

23. Eat healthily: limit caffeine, alcohol, sugar.

24. Avoid nicotine and other substances.

25. Create a healthy nighttime routine.

26. Meal and clothing prep for the week.

27. Order your groceries for pickup or delivery.

28. Work on your hobby or do something creative each day, even if it’s just for five minutes!

29. Spend time with friends at least once a week.

30. Set boundaries with those causing you to feel burned out.

Writing exercise:

Take out a pen and paper. We are going to be doing some journaling.

1. Which relationships/situations in your life are causing you to feel burned out?
2. How do you know you are experiencing burnout?
3. What symptoms of burnout are you experiencing?
4. Explore the ways in which you can prevent or address your burnout.
5. How can you better take care of yourself mentally, psychically, socially, and spiritually?

If you are struggling with burnout, I hope this post was helpful to you.

Preventing and addressing burnout is not a one time fix. Preventing and addressing burnout is something you must incorporate into your daily life to see the impacts over time.

Getty image by Jay Yuno

Originally published: April 24, 2022
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