Dealing with Burnout

Burnout is commonly referred to as a reaction to chronic or prolonged stresses from your job or workplace. However, recent research has indicated that people from all walks of life may experience burnout. It is not always work related.

Even those in a caring role are at risk of burnout. It can impact all parts of your life, mind and body; and have serious consequences which may include inefficiency, reduced work performance and dissatisfaction with life. Burnout has also been linked to illnesses including depression and chronic fatigue.

1. Prevention

“Treatment without prevention is simply unsustainable” – Bill Gates

The first tip to deal with burnout is to prevent burnout from happening in the first place. These preventative solutions focus on making changes to your working environment and improving the way you manage stress.

If you have progressed past this point – if you are under extreme chronic stress or have been assessed as burnt out – then you need to begin the recovery process straight away.

A major part of recovery from burnout is identifying and actively addressing the causes of burnout. It is imperative to implement long-term, preventative solutions over short term solutions, such as going on a holiday.

Too often, when people get back from their holiday, the causes that may have been leading them to burn out will still be present.

2. Taking a leave of absence

It might be helpful to take a leave of absence to reassess your personal goals and values, while avoiding any new responsibilities. A reset and reboot opportunity if you like.

So much of our life is built around making plans for the future and setting goals: booking a dream holiday, losing weight, buying a home, building a career, having children.

When not faced with a health crisis like burnout, we don’t take the time to pause and reassess to see whether these goals are aligned with our values.

If you spend all your time prioritising goals you’re likely ignoring some things that are very important to your life. These are defined by your values.

The best way to determine if you’ve got your priorities straight is to take some time now and again to re-evaluate them.

3. Self-care

During recovery, it is also important to support yourself in ways which will allow your body and mind to overcome the state of burn out.

Self care does not feature near enough in our busy lives. It’s sad that we don’t use this important ritual to enhance our everyday lives – to really thrive.

It’s only when we are in dire need it I often see clients prescribed self-care to ensure that they can recover.

Examples of non-negotiable or baseline self-care include:

    • Getting enough sleep
    • Exercising
    • Eating nutritious, nourishing food
    • Drinking plenty of water
    • Nurturing important relationships

What your self-care looks like will be unique to your individual likes and needs. The things that bring one person joy may do the opposite for another, so it’s important to find what feels best for you.

4. Knowing the Cause(s)

Self care and other lifestyle changes becomes fundamental to recovery by taking a holistic approach to your wellness but where does one start?

It’s tough to make changes when you don’t know exactly what needs to change, but exploring contributing factors or sources of stress in your life can help.

Burnout often relates to job and professional triggers, like the stress of an increasingly demanding job.

Also consider the following:

    • Has there been a demanding academic schedule?
    • Are you dealing with relationship issues?
    • Are you caring for a loved one with serious chronic health problems?


The stress of each of these single factors may be manageable on their own, but dealing with multiple issues all at the same time or single stressful issue for prolonged periods can lead to burnout.

5. Establish firm boundaries

Dealing with burnout at work

Once you know the causes of your burnout be clear what you need to recover. Then take charge of your physical and emotional health by establishing some firm boundaries.

For example your self-care routine needs to be non-negotiables, like getting enough sleep, daily exercise, drinking enough water and making time to eat nutritious meals mindfully.

In an ideal world, reaching the point of burnout would mean you immediately take a leave of absence and dedicate your time and resources to rest and self care.

But most simply cannot do that. Instead be clear about setting boundaries with work, with your family and with yourself:

Make time for your family and friends, also ensure that you’re getting enough alone time.

Establishing boundaries is critical when it comes to dealing with burnout. See what other burnout recovery members have to say about this.

Recovery from burnout can be a lengthy process — but by choosing to address it, you’ve already taken the first important step.

Stay on track with a recovery plan that works step by step with you. Speak to us about how our Epic Empowered program works.