Preventing Burnout- Stress vs Burnout

When you're feeling the pressure of being under stress for long periods of time, it can be natural to enter into the burnout phase. But, burnout is not the same as too much stress. Stress is when we're taking on too much whether that is physically or mentally. However, when we're stressed, we can still imagine how good it will feel when we get "everything" done or under control. Burnout is the belief or feeling that "nothing" will ever be better. People who feel burnout feel empty and void of motivation and caring. Hope is lost.

Here are some other differences between Stress & Burnout:


  • OVERengagement (doing too much)
  • Emotions are over-reactive
  • Feelings of urgency & hyperactivity
  • Lack of energy
  • Feelings of anxiety
  • Damage to the person is more physical
  • May kill you prematurely


  • DISengagement (cutoff or pulling back)
  • Emotions are blunted (dull)
  • Feelings of helplessness & hopelessness
  • Lack of motivation and hope
  • Feelings of depression
  • Damage to the person is more emotional
  • May make life seem not worth living

* Source of the above info - Stress & Burnout in Ministry

The danger of being under too much stress for too long is that a person may not notice when they enter into burnout. Surround yourself with a good support system who will point out changes in your mood or behavior that will help you notice if you've crossed over into burnout. We've got a lot more to share with you this week on the causes of burnout, symptoms of burnout, and how to prevent burnout. Thanks for reading and take care of yourself!

Source: "Preventing Burnout"


Written by: Tamara Portee MA, LMHC, LCAC

*Tamara enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, & couples counseling  at Imagine Hope. We also specialize in family counseling, child & adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Noblesville, Zionsville, Westfield & Fishers.