How to Prevent Burnout

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The question of how to prevent burnout often arises in today’s workplaces but also in all other spheres of life. There probably isn’t a person who didn’t experience employment burnout at least once in their lifetime. It is a serious problem that has an adverse effect on your health, regardless of whether it results from working several jobs, caring for a sick loved one, or managing your life while returning to school. Here’s everything you need to know about how to prevent burnout with tips straight from a therapist.

What Is Really Burnout?

Burnout is a state of mental and physical exhaustion caused by prolonged stress. It occurs when you feel overwhelmed, unable to cope, and as if you’re running on empty. Burnout can have serious consequences for your physical and mental health and well-being. Luckily, there are ways to prevent burnout, and we will explore them. 

Who Gets Burnout? 

Anybody can feel burned out, but generally, people in positions often experience leadership burnout, especially if they lack the feeling of control over their workload or have a lot of people who directly depend on them. The same goes for caregivers and parents. If the covid pandemic showed us anything, it is that healthcare employees and first responders are also prone to burnout.

Shifting the workforce who were used to office work to working from home majorly increased work-from-home burnout. One thing in common is the feeling of burnout and the aftermath, but that’s where professional therapists and counselors can assist.  

What Are the Signs of Burnout? 

Here are some of the most typical indications of burnout in case you are unsure yet believe you may be going through it:

  • Physical and mental exhaustion,
  • Hating the job and tasks at hand,
  • Extensive procrastination and putting things off,
  • Feeling overwhelmed,
  • Anxiety and panic attacks,
  • A desire to isolate from everything and everyone,
  • Fantasies of escaping the current situation, work, life,
  • Irritability and lack of compassion and patience,
  • Frequent illnesses and deprecated immune system.

What Are the Main Stages of Burnout? 

Unlike general opinion and the semantics that word burnout implores, employment burnout isn’t instant or sudden. It’s steady, gradual, and passes through 5 stages. 

Honeymoon Burnout Phase 

In this stage, you can be brimming with energy and optimism and feel ready to take on the world by storm. Satisfaction from performing your tasks can increase exponentially, and you will often feel very productive and creative. 

Acute Stress Phase 

After the honeymoon burnout phase, stress will slowly creep in. This won’t mean that you will feel stressed every waking second, but more and more, stress would occur and begin to prevail. You might experience a loss of focus and productivity and feel fatigued. 

Chronic Stress Phase

This is where the struggle begins. It is the phase where you will procrastinate more often, put off the tasks that need to be done, start being late, and you will feel the pressure build up around you. This phase will consistently and constantly affect your job performance. 


The culmination of all other phases will eventually lead to burnout, and you will feel like you can’t go on performing your workload or tackling any tasks. You might withdraw socially from family and friends, and your relationships may suffer. Leaders might feel the aftermath of impostor syndrome severely and generally feel a lack of confidence or ability to perform. 

Making Burnout a Habit 

This is where an overwhelming feeling of burnout becomes continual, and eventually, it might lead to severe anxiety or depression. 

What Are the Consequences of Burnout? 

If left untreated, burnout can seriously affect your mental and physical health, weaken your immune system and cause heart issues. You might feel like you’re unable to cope with the demands of your professional and emotional life. Employer and leadership burnout can lead to a number of physical and emotional consequences, including:

  • fatigue,
  • insomnia,
  • poor concentration,
  • irritability,
  • headaches,
  • chest pain,
  • anxiety,
  • depression,
  • isolation.

How to Prevent Burnout? 

Burnout is not a medical diagnosis, but it’s often used to describe the experience of chronic work-related stress.  It’s important to recognize the signs and symptoms of burnout so you can take steps to prevent it. 

Not all is lost, even if you feel burnout creeping in. Luckily, with some professional guidance, you can prevent burnout from happening. The most sound advice is to allow yourself to be human and consider your feelings. You are not a machine and cannot keep pushing through the pain. It’s okay to ask for help, especially if you have supporting friends or a community around you. 

The best advice would be to seek professional aid in burnout prevention and handling – but that professional help doesn’t have to mean just psychotherapy. You can also try bringing relaxation to your body through bodywork, such as polarity therapy or acupressure. Contact Wise Oak Counseling to learn more about these alternative remedies for burnout.

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How to Help Friends and Family Members Overcome Burnout? 

Do your loved ones need help? They might be struggling, and family and friends can play a vital role in helping them identify, cope, or persuade them to seek professional help. You can emphasize the need for a work-life balance and just be there for them and encourage them to release the stress. Why not schedule an acupressure or bodywork session together with them? 

Could You Learn How to Overcome Burnout? 

There are ways to overcome employee burnout, but the best way is to make sure you prevent it from happening in the first place. If that’s not an option, here are some steps you can take to deal with burnout. 

Set Boundaries

Burnout occurs when we lose control. If you keep getting assigned more and more work, you can ask employers to help you prioritize your tasks to make them fit into your working hours, or you can renegotiate the terms. Knowing how to say No can go a long way toward burnout prevention. 

Work-Life Balance

Find the time for hobbies and winding down. Whether it’s just Netflix, gardening, or something more active like salsa dancing or hiking – do your thing. Regroup, enjoy, and spend time with friends and family. 

Take Time Off

Set a time frame where you will not work. Every day, every weekend. No matter if the world is crashing and burning, you will not pick up the phone after hours. It’s important to take the necessary time off to bounce back. 

Know Your Limits 

Learn to recognize disruptive and harmful behavior and be honest with yourself. Realize that you have an issue, and then realize that that issue can be dealt with. You can learn to act before things get out of hand and are consumed by self-doubt and stress. 

Seek Help

Know your limits and learn to accept or search for help when you need it. There’s no stigma about mental health because those around you who love you all want you to be happy and thriving. Burnout doesn’t fit in that image. Get in touch with Wise Oak Counseling and schedule your appointment today.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Burnout

Go back to the core of your job and what makes you happy while doing it. Try to find a different perspective, reprioritize tasks, or advocate for a change – in tasks, pace, or methods of performing them. Vacations also work.

It can be done, but it shouldn’t. Pushing through the current burnout phase could lead to chronic burnout, and that’s more severe and harder to get out of. Burnouts happen for a reason – it’s a cry for help directly sent from your mind and body. You should listen to it.

Yes. Even though we are seeing a rise in mental health awareness, many employers still don’t consider this when reviewing someone’s performance. It could be beneficial to constructively share your grievances and struggles with a superior and ask for assistance. Sometimes leaders don’t fully understand just how substantial a workload is or how stressed employees are. Also, occasionally minor adjustments or changes in tasks can bring tremendous relief.

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