What is “Burnout?”

Burnout is defined as “a state of physical or emotional exhaustion that also involves a sense of reduced accomplishment and loss of personal identity.” Although there is no specific medical diagnosis, it can be simpler to spot than you’d think. Here are ways to prevent burnout, and how to deal with it when it arises.

What Can Trigger Burnout

In order to understand the strategies to prevent burnout, you have to understand what can cause burnout. Some triggers can be; extended or long work hours, excess workload, extreme fatigue, insufficient PTO and/or sick time, toxic work environment/workplace culture, lack of boundaries, inadequate compensation, or unrealistic expectations.

Symptoms of Burnout

If you are dealing with any of the circumstances above, here are a few ways to tell if burnout is starting to become prevalent for you. Some symptoms include but are not limited to: lack of motivation or job satisfaction, physical and emotional fatigue, health decline, increased frustration, lack of support, feeling helpless, feeling resentful, overwhelm, decrease in efficiency or productivity, inability to concentrate, increase in stress, restlessness, lack of energy or enthusiasm, inconsistent sleep patterns, decrease in self-confidence, isolation and detachment, and more.

While these may be signs, burnout is different for everyone. “Researchers point out that individual factors, such as personality traits and family life, influence who experiences job burnout.” Experts explain.

Ways to Prevent it

Assess Your Options

Be open. If you’re starting to feel burnout coming on, express this with your manager or supervisor. You may feel you want to push through, but that only makes the symptoms worse and in turn, increases the recovery time. By being open and communicating this, you can develop a plan and solutions as it arises.

Seek and Provide Support

Aside from sharing with your manager, you should also express your feelings of burnout to your inner circle. In doing so they can provide you with extra support like taking off workload at home, canceling plans, scheduling extra self-care time, having family send or make dinners, a spouse helping around the house so you can better prioritize sleep, etc.

Incorporate Breaks

Once you have expressed and established burnout, be sure to incorporate breaks throughout your day. Taking breaks allows you to recharge, allows your mind to rest, can help you regroup, limit overwhelm, and help you feel more in control.

Be Mindful

Be mindful of your emotions and physical and mental wellbeing. Take inventory of how you’re feeling. Are you starting to notice some of the symptoms arise? Consistently notice how work is affecting you, and be sure to advocate for yourself in these moments.



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