Burnout to Balance: Overcoming & Preventing Severe Exhaustion

Signs, Symptoms and Treatment for Burnout

We’ve all experienced periods in our lives when everyday tasks or responsibilities start to feel exhausting and even the motivation to do things we love begins to wane. When you start to feel this way consistently, it’s time to reflect and determine if you might be feeling burnout.

"When stress builds up over time and no actions are taken to address the root issue, individuals will often begin to feel burnout,” says Bridget DeFiccio, LPC, Senior Vice President, Integrated Health Services. “Making small, conscious adjustments to your daily life can make a positive impact on how you feel."

In recognition of Employee Wellness Month and Global Wellness Day (June 12), we’re sharing ways to overcome burnout and find balance in your everyday life.

What is burnout?

Burnout syndrome is a level of physical and mental exhaustion caused by prolonged stress that can limit your general capacity and motivation to thrive in everyday life. In the work place, burnout can feel like constant low-energy, a disengaged or negative mindset about projects or the workplace itself, and lower productivity levels or quality of work.

young asian woman burnout

Signs & Symptoms of Burnout:

  • Constant exhaustion and/or low-energy levels
  • Trouble concentrating or focusing on a task
  • Increased anxiety and compounding stress
  • Difficulty coping with simple or complex situations
  • Physical ailments, such as headaches, stomach or intestinal concerns
  • Lack of motivation or feelings of increased hopeless

When and how to get help?

Seeking help through your personal support system or professional therapy can be great first steps to alleviating symptoms of burnout. Friends and family can provide a safe space for you to talk about your emotions and experiences with a trusted loved one. While a professional support system, such a licensed therapist or social worker, can provide clinical guidance on how to overcome and tools for how to better handle future situations that could lead to burnout.

When personal or professional support are unavailable, lean on your coping skills to help navigate a difficult situation or emotions. Developing healthy coping skills are important because they help us minimize, tolerate, and manage stressful situations.

Preventing Burnout & Achieving Wellness

You may be feeling the beginning stages burnout, but there are ways to overcome and prevent it from becoming severe. Below are 5 simple ways to prevent burnout and foster a healthy and happy well-being:

  • Create a daily or weekly routine that includes your favorite hobbies and consistent breaks for rest, relaxation, or even meditation to clear your mind. Having a consistent routine will create structure in your daily life, foster a sense of control, and enable you to plan in ahead in a helpful way.
  • Along with your new routine, make sure to get consistent sleep each and every day. It is recommended that adults get 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night to be well rested both physically and mentally; your brain depends on it!
  • Set healthy boundaries to ensure you creating an environment that supports a healthy well-being. Some examples of setting healthy boundaries could be signing off from email over the weekend or disconnecting from technology at night.
  • It’s recommended that individuals exercise at least 30 minutes a day—that’s less than 2% of your entire day. Whether you go for a brisk walk or attend a workout class, carving out time to exercise each day will support both your physical and mental wellness.
  • Beyond your routine breaks throughout the day, it’s important to take extended time off from work. Research shows that utilizing your vacation time actually helps people be more productive when they return to work, sparks creativity, and increases one's affinity for their job.
two young adults running exercise preventing burnout

Have you noticed some of your employees exhibiting signs of burnt out? Mental Health America provides 7 great tips for managers addressing burnout in the workplace.

If you are struggling with work-life balance, clinicians at our Counseling & Wellness Centers can help you work towards setting limits, scheduling personal and social time, or helping you prioritize what matters most to you.

Call our main number at 844-4-ACENDA (844-422-3632 x9500) for more information or to schedule an appointment.