5 simple ways to avoid burnout

Learning how to avoid burnout is one of the best skills you can have.

is this relevant for you right now? Is life catching up with you a lot faster than you want it to?

This is so common in today’s day and age. We are under enormous pressure to DO more than ever. This is true for men and women, but I am a bit biased in thinking it is especially true for women. We have to be moms, wives, employees (either outside the home or within the home), chauffeurs, attractive, in shape…

Even just typing that made my head spin.

My friend Jess was gracious enough to share her thoughts on a sadly too common issue: burnout. What it is, and what you can do about it.

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Also, I am not a doctor or mental health professional. Just someone who has lived with anxiety for many years who is passionate about sharing her experiences and tips for success. If you are in crisis call your doctor, then click here for some good mental health resources.


5 simple ways to avoid burnout

Let’s start with the obvious!

What is burn out?

So many people define it differently, however according to Help Guide burnout is a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress.“

The definition makes total sense, as you do the same thing day in and out and expect to never get fatigued.

As self care becomes so prevalent in discussion nowadays, there is a curiosity I have as to how we continue to burn out. Whether it is at work, within relationships, blogging, you name it and it happens. The dark cloud sneaks up and takes hold and, of course, everything negative follows suit.

Your outlook is negative, your energy is low and your mood is the worse!

Effects of burnout

The bad thing about burnout-besides the obvious- is that you may be mentally drained from working however it begins to affect your physical health.

You begin to notice that you have aches and pains. Your body begins to listen to your mind telling it “not today” and “I don’t want to get up.”

Related Post: How To Reduce Stress

That is common, to keep going through the motions and hope something will change though you aren’t changing anything. That is where I come in or rather these tips.

As I have stated before we have all gotten to the point of burnout and unsure of how to come out of it or how we got there in the first place. This is why I have compiled a list of things you can do to avoid burnout altogether.

5 Simple ways to avoid burnout

Tip 1: Know Your Warning Signs

By knowing your warning signs, you can prevent yourself from burning out. If you begin to notice that you are becoming frequently irritable, impatient, isolating, lacking in motivation or any positive moods, you may be able to burn out.

Be sure to recognize the difference between stress and burnout as stress is having multiple task or pressures placed upon you, where burnout causes despair and poor world outlook. It is likely however that stress can lead to burnout, so it is important to be mindful and vigilant.

Tip 2: Take A Mental Health Day

Though we have been conditioned for many years (if not all of our life) to work until we drop; it is SO wrong. If we want to actually do what we love and love what we do, we cannot allow ourselves to get to the point where we are unable to love our jobs.

Why would we allow ourselves to work until we drop instead of working at optimal precision each day?

Taking a mental health day can be covered under PTO or sick leave, if your job offers these days. So why not use them? We allow days to rack up and will even let them pay us out of our leave time instead of taking the days!! There are individuals who negotiate more paid time off while you continue to work through your days.

Related Post: New Year New You

tips to avoid burnout

Tip 3: Redefine your purpose

Whether it be work or schoolwork, it is important to remind yourself why you are there. What are your goals? Why do you continue to come in each day?

Being able to answer these questions and redefine why you are showing up each day, you will develop a sense of meaning. A need to show up each day and look for the good and expect better than the day before.

Tip 4: Exercise

Though cliche, exercise has amazing benefits for your mental and physical health. I acknowledge that it is difficult to make adjustments in your schedule to fit in exercise. This is why it is beneficial to choose exercises that may not take a long time to complete.

One of my favorites is Yoga, because you can set a time frame (such as 10 minutes or more) to stretch, tone and clear your mind. It can also be done at home! I pull out my yoga mat in my office and go to work.

When taking the time to center yourself you will decrease the likelihood of  burnout as you are able to identify tension and stress in many areas of your body. As you align your body and mind, you will be able to identify the “why” behind your mood, body aches and short temper.

Related post: Starting over with fitness

Tip 5: Seek Help

Do not hesitate to reach out for help! Seek help from your friends, spouse, or even co workers who you know will offer the help you need.

Also just to plant a bug in your ear, have an idea as to what it is you need. Do you need to be let off of the hook at home from normal responsibilities? Do you need co workers to help with a project or to not give you any new responsibilities for a bit? Or rather, do you need a night out with the girls or guys to remind you of the good in life?

Whatever it is that you need, make it known. It is often surprising how supportive and willing our support system is especially when they know what you need. Do not deter from the support due to your pride as I am sure you would be among the first to help others in need.

ways to avoid burnout

Use These Tips

With these tips it would be sure to improve your mood and ability to cope with each thing that may be thrown at you.

Please note that if these tips do not work and you find yourself in a rut that you cannot get out of, you may need to re-evaluate your job, your relationship or your work to see if you are really where you should be.

You may need to determine if you are willing to change how or what you are doing to achieve mental clarity and peace.

Good luck!

About The Author

Jess is a licensed social worker working as an adult mental health and addictions counselor. Her goal on her blog, Just Call Me Jess, is to help you reach mental stability by using the tips and information she provides. Follow her on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to keep up with the latest on her blog!


Thanks again, Jess! You always have such great insight into all things mental health. For anyone reading this, definitely give her blog a follow, and follow her on social media.

In the mean time, share your burnout story in the comments! What do you do to cope? And don’t forget to share this post if you found it helpful!

Give these tips to avoid burnout a chance. You never know what might help!


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Related articles for facing burnout:

Ideas for self care: 11 Easy Ways to Start Feeling Better Fast

10 Amazing Self Care Ideas

How Physical and Mental Health are Related

How to get fit and why it is so important

94 thoughts on “5 simple ways to avoid burnout”

  1. Tip 1 and 2 are so important. I taught my daughter to look for the warning signs. I also taught her to take mental health days when she needs them. Thanks for sharing this important information.

    1. Hey Sara, that’s great! As parents we need to be taking our kids mental health seriously. Not just “Oh how was your day?” but teaching them to help themselves when things get hard. Way to go! Thanks for reading 🙂

  2. I understand burnout totally. When I had a brick and mortar business, I worked another job while I was building my business. I became so drained, I thought I would not make it in any way. So, I appreciate this information.

  3. I think this is a very important topic as well. I’m sure we’ve all experienced a burn out at some point in our lives. It’s not something I enjoy either. It can be hard when there is a lot going on.

    1. Hey Lana, I think for moms we are so used to sweeping it under the rug until one day we scream into a pillow and realize we’re having a mental breakdown. Being more proactive definitely helps. Thanks for reading!

    1. Hey Jenn, I think for moms doing nothing can be weird to think about. I started implementing it about once a month, where my husband takes the kids all day, and it helps so much! Thanks for reading!

  4. It is so important to take mental health days! Even as a mom, it’s important to take a break. My husband took my toddler for a day and it was so nice and helped my attitude for the rest of the week!

    1. Hey Becky, that’s awesome! My kids are 5, 3.5, and a 21 week old fetus, and I try to take a day off once a month or so. Just do nothing all day but “watch my shows.” It’s so relaxing! Keep it up, and thanks for reading!

  5. Mental health days are so important. I used to feel guilty taking one as I felt like I should be able to ‘hold it together’ and that needing to slow down was a sign that I was ‘weak’. However, I have come to realize that there is strength in knowing my warning signs and taking steps to care for myself when needed. I’m far from mastering it and often still push myself too far. But I am working on it!

    1. Hey Britt, I agree with you 100%!! That is a a sign of strength, and not weakness. Good for you for being able to take those huge steps. Take care, and thanks for reading!

  6. When I was a single mom (for many years) I would suffer from burnout quite often. As a full time work at home freelance writer, blogger and virtual assistant I had to work so many hours to support my three kids. I put making money at the front of my life and ultimately paid with some health issues and mental health crashes, so glad that I learned to balance later on and now I’m WAY better at balancing my time and knowing my burnout signs before I crash.

  7. Mental health days are the best; sometimes we just need a little time to sort out goals and priorities and make space for the new by letting go of the old. At least, that is how my mental health days work; the beauty of it is everyone does what makes them feel comfortable.

    Thanks so much for sharing this!

  8. I feel this post on a deep level. There was a time a couple of years ago when I seriously considered giving up being a VA to go do ANYTHING else. I was beyond burned out.

    1. Hey Ben, it does seem like a very time consuming job! There are parts of being a blogger I am dying to outsource one day LOL, so I get it. Hopefully you are better now. Thanks for reading!

    1. Hey Sarah, that’s great that you are trying! That’s a huge step. It took awhile for me to get the hang of it, but now it’s not as hard anymore. Take care, and thanks for reading!

  9. I think mental health days are one of the most important things you can do for yourself. Sometimes you just need a break from the everyday routine and to do something for yourself.

    1. I hope you can get one! They’re really helpful. I try to get about a half hour to myself before the kids get up, and some time after they go to bed. It’s the best part of the day! lol Thanks for reading!

  10. Thank you for all these helpful tips. I experienced this a lot of times before. Now I try to teak breaks or a day of rest for myself to prevent this.

  11. These are all amazing tips for avoiding burnout! As a teacher, I have taken a few mental health days, and they have been a huge benefit to me and to my class. Thank you for sharing!

    1. That is a great idea! I’ve been overwhelmed too since my oldest’s preschool closed, and trying to just do the work in spurts. That seems to be better for her too. It’s hard though. Hang in there!

  12. Caressa Walker

    Redefining purpose and seeking help were my two favorites as these are the two I most struggle with. Burnout happens so fast for so being more aware of the warning signs is super key.

  13. I love that you said Take a Mental Health Day. Why don’t we do this??? Why do we feel bad for taking some time out for ourselves? I have been taking mental health days for years and I don’t feel guilty about it. It’s not because I don’t love my job, or because I’m lazy. I just know that letting myself burn out doesn’t do anyone any good. I learned it the hard way so now, I take as many darn days as I can if I need to.

  14. Great tips. Burnout is very real but I don’t think people respect or accept it unless you’re some kind of high powered city banker. I had extreme burnout by 18 after years of being very academic in the school system. People need to be more aware and understanding.

    1. Yes!! That is so true! People assume (in my case for instance) “Oh you just stay at home all day.” Yes.. that’s all I do 🙄lol. Thanks for reading

  15. These are great tips, I love that you took such a whole wellness approach. Burn out can be so devastating, even result in illness (both physical and mental). One of the best things we can do is take care of ourselves!

    1. These are great tips! The work till you die.attitude is so unhealthy. I’ve actually never taken a sick day from work because im too anxious but I definitely need to start when I get burnt out

      1. Yes! Mental health days are so important. I see that a lot in kids with school. (Perfect attendance and such) Who cares about that? You take care of you.

        Thanks for reading!

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