Avoid Burnout with Good Self-Care

March 6, 2019 Heidi Green, Psy.D.

Burnout comes from overwhelming stress levels and has signs you probably don't know. Learn burnout signs and what to do about them at HealthyPlace.

It is difficult to avoid burnout because it's difficult to know if our stress levels are typical or problematic. The emphasis on success and achievement in our culture encourages us to push to our breaking points in the name of productivity. If you value your mental health as much as I do, you might struggle with the conflict between meeting expectations at work and maintaining a healthy personal life. I've found there are ways I can avoid burnout with good self-care practices.

What Is Burnout?

It's important to know the signs of burnout so you don't risk waiting too long to address your emotional wellbeing. If you identify with several of these symptoms, you may be experiencing burnout:

  • Feeling depleted every day after work
  • Dreading Monday or having anxiety or sadness on Sunday evenings
  • Chronically feeling overwhelmed
  • Irritability or snapping at people when it isn't warranted 
  • Frequent complaining
  • Physical symptoms including sleep problems, fatigue, muscle tension, headaches, or digestive issues
  • Apathy about things that used to get you excited

Fight Burnout with Self-Care Practices

If you read that list and thought, "Oh no, that's me," don't worry. With a few adjustments to your work and personal life, you can reduce the symptoms of burnout and start feeling like yourself again. Here are some self-care practices I use to avoid and respond to signs of burnout:

  • Exercise regularly. Exercise releases endorphins which fight stress and make you feel happy. A good workout will help you discharge the negative energy you built up during the day. If you don't have much time for exercise, try taking a brisk walk on your lunch break or after your workday is over.
  • Set boundaries. You can't do it all. It's okay to say no to your significant other, kids, or even your boss at times. If you really can't say no, ask for help or delegate tasks to others. 
  • Incorporate joy into your daily life. Make a beautiful meal at the end of the day if you love cooking. Take a candlelight bath while listening to soothing music. Make sure you have something to look forward to every day, even if it's just a little thing.
  • Meditate daily. A few minutes of meditation at the beginning and end of your day can be quite beneficial. It might help to do a little meditation at work too. You might find it helpful to close your eyes and do a one-minute deep breathing exercise at your desk a few times per day.
  • Make good use of your free time. I don't recommend isolating all weekend to watch movies when you feel burnt out. If you don't enjoy your free time, that will make burnout feel even worse. Make plans to enjoy your favorite activities on your days off. Remember, the best self-care is creating a life worth living. 

If you feel trapped in a job you hate, these tips can provide temporary relief as you look for a better fit. Doing something you find interesting and meaningful is crucial to your overall wellbeing, so don't think these tips will work for the long term unless you like your job and the people with whom you work.

Do you have a favorite self-care tip to avoid burnout? I'd love to hear it.

Tags: burnout

APA Reference
Green, H. (2019, March 6). Avoid Burnout with Good Self-Care, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 18 from

Author: Heidi Green, Psy.D.

Heidi Green is a clinical psychologist and self-love aficionado. She lives her blissful life in Arizona where she enjoys hiking, kayaking, and snuggling her rescue pups. Find Heidi on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and her blog.

Please note: Dr. Green shares her personal opinions and experiences and nothing written by her should be considered professional or personal services or advice.

Dr Musli Ferati
March, 20 2019 at 12:21 am

Burnout as common and dangerous psycho-social burden of postmodern time exhibits intrigued professional issue for everyone, who is overloaded with numerous interpersonal relationships in its workplace. These broken heart relationships might seriously harm our mental and somatic health, that deserve more attention from each person, who is submission under burnout insult. In this direction, your five anti-burnout recommendations indicate great help to overcome the fatal consequences of this insidious and harmful interpersonal friction. In addition, when is known the fact that there isn't yet any legal preventive clause against this modern life threatening perch. The same self-care mental and physical undertakings are accessible and suitable for everyone. it just need to be more active and inventive to make use these useful suggestions through daily routine. Furthermore. they didn't cost any cent, and are without any side indecipherable effect. These avoidable self-care performances could modify by respective personal preferences and circumstantial conditions, as well. So, it is of immediate deed to implement these and others anti-burnout activities, in order to overcome successfully numerous negative repercussions of the above mention psycho-emotional hit.

March, 20 2019 at 12:54 pm

I'm so glad to hear you found my tips for avoiding burnout helpful. You are right, each person can and should adapt emotional wellness skills to fit their personal preferences and life situations.

Lizanne Corbit
August, 11 2020 at 9:01 pm

I am so glad that I discovered this "oldie but goodie" read. I think with everything going on in our world today burnout is an incredibly important topic. People are experiencing burnout at higher levels and in different ways. We are dealing with so much change and uncertainty that alone can bring on stress. I love your suggestions for creating and implementing a good self-care routine to really restore grounding and wellness.

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