Burn Out- What is it and How Do I Deal With it?

What is burn out?

According to Mariam-Webster (2018), burn out is a emotional and stress-induced response when you are overworked or not taking care of yourself.

How do I know when I am burnt out?

It is important to identify the risk factors to make sure that you are taking care of yourself. A few warning signs that you may be experiencing burn out are: emotional instability, physical symptoms such as headaches, sickness, and chronic pain, and chronic absenteeism from work. These are just a few areas that burn out can affect, however, there are many more. Burn out is experienced differently depending on the individual. When you recognize that you are burnt out, it is important to respond to the burn out appropriately. Ways to be proactive in dealing with burn out are to create a prevention plan and self-care routine.

What is a burn out prevention plan?

A burn out prevention plan is a map of how you deal with stress that causes burn out before it becomes too much. Just like we get the flu shot to prevent the flu, we can do the same for burn out. It is important to identify when you’re likely to burn out and how to deal with it. For example, during the holiday season, retail workers may get burnt out due to the business of the stores. If you know that you are entering a busy time of the year within your work environment put healthy boundaries in place to help you cope with the stress. It is important to understand what can create burn out and create a healthy self-care routine to deal with the early signs of burn out.

I do not have time for self-care, why is it important to incorporate it into my daily route?

Self-care is the act of taking care of your needs both emotionally, mentally, and physically. Self-care is not selfish and takes a commitment to you and your mental health. Why do we need to practice self-care in our daily routine? Because it is important to make sure that we are healthy and have a work/life balance. If you work all the time and do not spending time doing the things that you love, then you may burn out. It is important to incorporate a healthy self-care routine in your day so that you are able to cope with stressors and anxiety in a healthy way.

What can I do for self-care?

It depends on what you are interested in. I tell my clients to make a list of the things that you enjoy and then do more of that! Self-care is a way to renew ourselves so that we can be present in our life in a healthy way. A few things that you can try for self-care: exercise, reading, journaling, hiking, healthy eating, art, and singing. These are just a few ideas of things that you can try to bring into your daily routine.

What if work is my self-care?

It is great to love where you work—what a great way to celebrate your passion and use your skill set. However, it is important to have a work/life balance because we are a complex individual who needs more than work to create a healthy lifestyle. It is not sustainable to work 70 to 80 hour weeks and take care of yourself. This could create burn out and poor mental and physical health.

It my mental health connected to my physical health?

Yes! Your mental health is connected to your physical health and it is important to make sure to access support for both to make sure you are living an optimally healthy life.

Now, it is important to recognize when you are burnt out and create a healthy self-care plan for yourself. If you are struggling with burn out and need help creating a self-care plan, give me a call or email me to find out about counseling services with Be Well Counseling, LLC,



Bakker, A. B., Demerouti, E., & Schaufeli, W. B. (2002). The validity of the Maslach Burnout Inventory-General survey: An Internet study. Anxiety, Stress, and Coping, 15, 245-260.

Shiri Pearlman-Avnion, Alexander Zibenberg. (2018) Prediction and job-related outcomes of procrastination in the workplaceJournal of Prevention & Intervention in the Community 46:3, pages 263-278.