Preventing Burnout- Coping

After reading the earlier blogs this week, if you recognize that you are going through burnout, what can you do? Here are some tips to get your life back in balance and prevent things from getting worse.  Remember, if you don't do anything, it will only get worse!

  • Start the day with a relaxing ritual that helps you feel calm and centered.  This could be doing stretches, deep breathing, meditation, journaling, or reading inspirational material.
  • Learn how to manange stress.  Find books on stress management and dedicate time each day to researching how you can better manage stress in your life on a day to day basis.
  • Set boundaries with people in your life.  Some relationships are more demanding and "take" energy from us, if we allow it.  These relationships require that we learn how to say "no" when necessary, or else we lose a little (or large) part of our peace and energy being in them.  Saying "no" free's us up to say "yes" to the things that really matter.  If you struggle with guilt and shame from saying "no", go talk to a professional therapist to learn how to do this.  Not being able to say "no" will be a roadblock to preventing burnout.
  • Learn healthy habits in your day.  Eating well, exercising, good sleep habits are all part of preventing burnout.
  • Take a break from technology.  Find a chunk of time each day where you completely "unplug".  This means no cell phone, no internet, no Facebook, no television, and no email.  Learning how to disconnect allows you time for self-care and for healthy relationships.
  • Try something new, reconnect with a favorite hobby, and spend some time doing things that nurture your creativity and fun side!

If you have already passed the threshold of burnout, how do you recover?

1.  Slow down.  Force yourself to slow down and take a break.  Does this mean you need to start setting boundaries with others?

2. Get support.  It's natural when going through burnout to want to isolate.  Avoid doing this, but rather, find balance with time alone and reaching out to other's to have some fun.

3.  Re-evaluate your priorities.  If you are going through burnout, it's telling you that what you are doing is no longer working.  If you are neglecting something important to you, it's time to change your priorities and rediscover what makes you truly happy.... and then take action!


Joleen Watson, MS, NCC, is a therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. She enjoys doing marriage counseling, relationship counseling, couples counseling, and individual counseling.  Imagine Hope also specializes in family, child and adolescent counseling and serves Indianapolis area including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Noblesville, Zionsville, Westfield, and Fishers.