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Sweet biscuit sugar plum. Halvah chocolate bar jujubes. Dragée donut candy.

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A 5 Step Guide To Overcoming Burnout

Need a break? Experiencing exhaustion, distraction, or stress that seems to last forever? You might be experiencing burnout, but no need to panic! We’ve created a 5 step guide to help you overcome burnout. Read below to find out more about what burnout is, signs and symptoms, and how to get back to focusing on living a better life!

What is burnout?

Burnout can be described as physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion. Essentially, it’s brought on when the reward for what we do isn’t commensurate with the amount of work or effort we have to put in. That means that people working in higher levels of stress are at a higher risk of experiencing burnout. For example, care givers, nurses, or those without job security. People with perfectionist characteristics, or obsessive compulsive behaviors are also at a higher risk for experiencing burnout.

Although burnout isn’t a diagnosable mental illness, its presence can create challenges that, if left untreated, can lead to some serious psychological illnesses. Depression, heart disease, severe mental or physical collapse are all associated with long-term untreated burnout.

signs of burnout

  • difficulty coping with stress

  • loss of motivation or drive

  • hopelessness

  • exhaustion (mental or physical)

  • isolation

  • managing day-to-day responsibilities

  • pessimistic outlook

  • short fuse

  • irritability

  • frequent illness

A 5 step guide to overcoming burnout

1. GROUND yourself

Pay more attention to your body and mind. What are they telling you? If you’ve been experiencing burnout, these signs from your mind and body might be harder to identify. Practice listening to your body. Are there certain aches and pains that you might have been ignoring? Practice listening to your mind. What repetitive worries are present that require acknowledgement?

Meditation, breath work, and exercise are all great places to start getting back to yourself. In times of uncertainty or enormous stress it can be hard to even know what you’re feeling at all! But thankfully, if we pay enough attention to our body and mind it will give us the information that we need to make the next step!

  • Note how your body feels throughout the day (before and after work, after meditation, etc.)

  • Note your loudest or most intrusive thoughts throughout the day

  • Focus on moving your body, eating a proper diet, and getting enough sleep


Recognize how you’re spending your time. Is there a loss of balance between work and personal time? We talk about boundaries a lot but that’s because they are SO important in maintaining a happy, healthy life!

Know that you don’t have to do it all. There will always be work to do but that doesn’t mean it has to get done now. Practice saying no! Just because you’re free Thursday after work does NOT mean you have to run errands for a friend if they ask. Maybe that evening would be most productively spent relaxing after a long day. Give yourself grace and try prioritizing yourself by prioritizing your boundaries.

  • Practice saying no

  • Communicate your boundaries

3. Take a break!

No matter the amount of time you’ve been feeling this way, taking a break is a right choice! Ask yourself how much time you need to recharge? Consider the type of break you need and how often you need one. Remember, breaks will look different for everyone because everyone’s needs are different.

Try planning lunch with a friend half way into the week. This is a good way to add something that you’re excited about into your regular schedule. Set a timer every hour to stretch, walk your dog, dance, call your mom, or whatever it is that brings you joy and leaves you feeling relaxed and recharged.

Daily breaks are great for giving our work mind rest, but how about a longer break? A vacation? Whether that’s a weekend of staying in and allowing yourself to just do nothing, or planning a week to travel and gain inspiration, if you have the ability to do so, take the vacation! (Your body and mind will thank you).

  • Plan recharging breaks throughout your week (set timers throughout your work day, bike, day trips, lunch dates, etc.)

  • Take a vacation! (day-hike, movie marathon weekend, road-trip, camping, etc.)

  • Note when you’re inspired and what you’re inspired by

4. work smarter, not harder

One of our favorite reminders is to work smarter not harder! Your time and energy are precious and finding ways to care for them are essential. Find ways to manage your work time (we like Trello or Harvest) that way when you’re working, you’re working, and when you aren’t, you aren’t!

Focus on creating a routine that’s realistic for you. Invest in a planner, use a huge white board, or the calendar on your phone. Do whatever you need to do to be able to manage your time in a way that won’t overwhelm you. Sometimes seeing a visual representation of how and where we’re spending our lives really puts things into perspective.

Another tip to working smarter is to create a To Done list! To Do lists can be daunting. Instead of writing down all of the things you have to do, To Done lists are for writing down the things you’ve already done while helping you stay accomplished and motivated.

  • Manage work time + personal time on an easy-to-see schedule

  • Notice where your time goes + where it can be better spent

  • Create a reasonable routine

  • Make a “To Done” list

5. Ask for help

Life is hard! And although asking for help can be too, we encourage you to reach out. You don’t have to go through life’s hurdles alone. Find a trusted friend, family member, or mental health professional. Let them know how you’ve been feeling. Sometimes putting feelings into words and communicating them can help us see our situation more clearly.

  • Talk to a trusted friend

  • Reach out to a mental health professional

As always, you’re welcome to reach out to us for anymore information or questions regarding burnout, self-care, and all things mental health. Or click here to schedule a session. We’d love to hear from you!

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