Top Ten Tips for Managing Burnout


When you experience a lot of stress over a long period of time, it can lead to feeling physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted. This type of work-related stress is commonly known as burnout, so it’s important to spot the warning signs and take action to prevent it.

1. Be aware of the signs

If you start to notice symptoms like exhaustion, lack of motivation, irritability, anxiety, reduced performance, headaches or trouble sleeping, you may need to take action to prevent burnout.

2. Break things down

Sometimes a task or workload can feel so big that it becomes overwhelming and difficult to know where to start. When you are feeling overwhelmed, take time to consider your workload and break down the big jobs into more manageable chunks so it is easier to achieve your goal.

3. Learn to delegate

When there is a lot going on at work, you can sometimes make the mistake of taking on too much particularly if you are working in a senior management role. Remember that it’s important to trust the people you work with and delegate some tasks to get the job done.

4. Reframe unhelpful thoughts

According to the NHS, “the way we think affects the way we feel.” Recognising unhelpful thoughts and challenging them, we can replace them with a more positive perspective and regain a sense of control and purpose. When an unhelpful thought occurs ask yourself: “Is there evidence for this?” “What would I say to a friend who was thinking this way?”

5. Exercise regularly

Building exercise into your daily routine can reduce stress, anxiety, and intrusive thoughts, improving your wellbeing. This is because physical activity releases feel-good hormones that make you feel better in yourself.

6. Get a good night’s sleep

According to Mind, “there’s a close relationship between sleep and mental health.” If you are stressed, anxious or worried, it can make sleeping harder and without a good night’s sleep it can be difficult to cope with the challenges we face every day. Give yourself time to relax before you try to fall asleep; set aside any screens or devices and ensure your sleeping area is as comfortable as possible.

7. Eat healthily

Your diet can also influence your mental health. Eating a balanced diet can reduce mood swings, improve focus, and improve your overall sense of wellbeing.

8. Talk to someone

When we are struggling or feel overwhelmed, it can help to talk to someone (e.g. friends, neighbours, family, colleagues or a helpline) and get an outside perspective on the challenges we are facing. Sometimes just saying things out loud can make a big difference to our mindset.

9. Take regular breaks

Whether you are office or home based for work, it can be tempting to skip breaks when you have a heavy workload. However, these breaks help minimise stress by reducing fatigue and reinvigorating you increasing your performance in the long run.

10. Try to finish work on time

When there is a lot of work to do, it can seem easier (particularly if you work from home) to continue working after hours to get everything done. Whilst the occasional late night is OK, when it becomes a regular occurrence, you don’t have time to rest and recover increasing the risk of burnout.

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