Simple Strategies to Manage Burnout

Strategies for Managing Burnout

What is Burnout?

Burnout is characterised as a psychological syndrome that occurs in response to prolonged exposure to stress at work. Research shows that burnout can lead to mental and physical health complaints, increased use of alcohol and drugs, personal relationship difficulties, absenteeism, increased turnover and decreased work productivity. This blog seeks to provide an understanding of burnout and suggests some simple strategies to establish a good work-life balance and reduce the impacts of burnout now and into the foreseeable future.

Burnout consists of three dimensions. Have you experienced any of the following?

  1. Emotional Exhaustion:

Emotional exhaustion is considered the first reaction to prolonged exposure to work stress and is defined as the chronic depletion of an individual’s emotional resources. People who experience emotional exhaustion often experience feelings of tension, of feeling drained, of being unable to unwind and recover, and dread going to work each day.

  1. Depersonalisation:

Depersonalisation is defined as excessive negative feelings, negative attitudes, and detachment from clients/customers. People who experience depersonalisation often attempt to put distance between themselves and their clients/customers and ignore the personal qualities of their clients/customers by considering them to be mere objects of their work.

  1. Reduced Personal Accomplishment:

The final dimension of burnout is reduced personal accomplishment, which refers to feelings of inadequate personal achievement and diminished self-esteem. People who experience reduced personal accomplishment tend to evaluate themselves negatively with regard to their work.

Why Am I Experiencing Burnout?

Research suggests that a mismatch between an individual and their work environment results in an increased likelihood of experiencing burnout. Below are primary factors within a work environment which can lead to burnout.

  1. Workload refers to the job demands placed on an individual, such as productivity requirements and time and energy.
  2. Control refers to an individual’s capacity to make important decisions regarding their work, such as setting priorities, selecting work approaches, and making decisions regarding the completion of work and use of work resources.
  3. Rewards are the benefits received for the recognition of work contributions and include extrinsic (financial) and intrinsic (prestige, social connectedness, security) rewards.
  4. Community refers to the connectedness individuals feel with other workers in the workplace, including relationships with managers and colleagues.
  5. Fairness refers to factors such as trust, openness and respect in the workplace.

What Can I Do?

If you are experiencing any signs of burnout here are some simple strategies to establish a good work-life balance and reduce the impacts of burnout now and into the foreseeable future.

Workplace Strategies for Burnout

  • Re-focus on career goals and rewards – “Why did I become a ?” “What do I love about my job”
  • Set appropriate boundaries
    • Understand job role and expectations
    • Maintain consistency with work hours (i.e., 9 to 5)
    • Don’t engage in work outside of work (i.e., checking/responding to emails; taking phone calls etc)
  • Set up a “good’ work environment
    • Re-design your workspace or office to fit you
    • Develop a manageable workload and set a daily work schedule
    • Incorporate regular breaks into your day (i.e., lunch, fresh air break etc)
  • Get support
    • Seek support from management, supervisors and other staff as required.
  • Professional development
    • Engage in regular and consistent professional development to promote professional growth.

Individual Self-Care Strategies for Burnout

  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle
  • Leisure activities
    • Engage in regular activities for fun
    • Schedule regular holidays
  • Relaxation
    • Establish and maintain relaxation practices (i.e., meditation, reading, take a bath)
  • Maintain relationships
    • Spend time regularly with friends and family
  • Seek professional help
    • See your GP
    • Engage with a Psychologist

This blog has attempted to provide an understanding of burnout and suggested some simple strategies to establish a good work-life balance and reduce the impacts of burnout now and into the foreseeable future. If you are still experiencing symptoms of burnout, then you may wish to consult with a psychologist. To consult with a CBT Professionals psychologist, please download our referral form here and take it with you to your GP appointment. We hope to be of assistance soon!

Remember to reach out if you need further assistance.


Disclaimer: Content on this website is provided for education and information purposes only and is not intended to replace advise from your doctor or registered health professional. Readers are urged to consult their registered practitioner for diagnosis and treatment for their medical concerns.

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