How to Prevent Burnout in the Workplace

Burnout is a state of emotional, physical, and mental fatigue caused by excessive prolonged stress. If you find yourself facing or approaching burnout, now is the time to stop, breathe, and switch direction. To do so, we’ve included tips to help you proactively identify this state and overcome it to ensure your own happiness and health.

What is Burnout?

Burnout is a result of feeling overwhelmed, emotionally drained, and unappreciated due to one’s job, lifestyle, or internal struggles. It can manifest itself through feelings of emptiness, mental exhaustion, lack of motivation, and helplessness.

Symptoms of burnout include exhaustion or energy depletion, decreased engagement at work, fatigue, low morale, feelings of negativism, reduced productivity, or short temper.

How to Recognize Burnout?

Anyone can experience burnout, but it is up to you to recognize the signs early on and prevent it from taking full form — so you can ultimately maintain your physical and mental and well-being. You may run into burnout if you are experiencing a heavy workload, job insecurity, long work hours, conflicts with co-workers, or intense pressure.

Preventing Burnout

Ongoing burnout can cause serious health repercussions. Without proper management or help, your physical and mental well-being can suffer tremendously. Reducing your job stress is crucial for preventing burnout.

Here are some simple ways to get your workplace stress under control:

  • Plan & Prioritize When you are feeling stressed out, do not panic. Make a list of the tasks you need to complete and set realistic deadlines.
  • Focus on What You Can Control You know what your work responsibilities are. Break the larger tasks into smaller, more doable steps.
  • Slow Down Rushing through tasks can cause stress and increase the odds of mistakes being made. Take a deep breath, slow down.
  • Maintain a Good Attitude Try to think positively about your workload. Avoid negative thinkers and always acknowledge your accomplishments.

If you feel like you are experiencing burnout or toeing that line, talk to your supervisor or manager. They may be able to help reduce workplace stressors and direct you to valuable resources, like an Employee Assistance Program (EAP).

For additional tips and tools, check out HelpGuide’s Emotional Intelligence Toolkit!