How to Avoid Burnout

Demetria Slyt, Opinion Editor

What is burnout? Burnout is associated with mental, emotional and physical exhaustion. It can be caused by an overload of stress, especially within a workplace, school, or home setting. The three main signs of burnout are fatigue or exhaustion, detachment, irritability, and a feeling described as lack of accomplishment. It is not difficult to imagine that most people have probably experienced the feeling of burnout at some point in their life. Sources assume that it comes down to stress management and how effectively we control different areas of our lives. How can we avoid burnout? How can we break the stress cycle? What are the best practices to introduce to your self-care routine?  

Today, burnout is a diagnosable mental health condition that runs rampant in the working class society. At times, and to an extent, it has been compared to post-traumatic stress disorder. There are ways to relieve your symptoms and lighten your stress load. A few ways to overcome or simply manage burnout are regular exercise, eating healthy, having a balanced sleep schedule, and reaching out for help. However, those may be easier said than done when you consider people’s everyday schedules. The most important thing to do is to recognize your symptoms and analyze how you are feeling. It is important to address your emotional, mental, and physical state, only then can you begin to really make a difference in your situation. There are at least three other ways to avoid burnout or at least better cope with the day to day. 

     1. Take a step back 

Taking a step back or even taking a break for a short while can make a huge impact on breaking your stress cycle. While experiencing the symptoms of burnout, people will often suggest taking some time off from work or school, if you are able to. You can also take time for yourself to relax, meditate, or ruminate on what has been going on in your life.  

     2. Consider a change in routine 

Many people say that in the midst of burnout they felt incredibly dissatisfied with the work they were doing in their current positions. They never look forward to coming into work and consider quitting their jobs. Individuals have said that a change in scenery or routine might be very beneficial, so finding a new job may be an option. However, that option might not be realistic for some of us. We can still find different ways to change routine. You could take the initiative to take more breaks, work fewer hours, or invest more time into your personal life at home with family or friends. 

     3. Make connections 

Burnout is a difficult feeling to handle alone. Making connections or reaching out to others is a great way to manage stress. You can connect with family, friends, partners, employers, or search for new connections. A little bit of support can go a long way for your mental and emotional wellbeing. This also falls into the previous idea about investing more time into your personal life with others. 

Burnout has and continues to affect millions of people in the US, as well as around the globe. There are strategies that can help you cope with or even completely avoid burnout. These strategies are not a “cure all” and keep in mind that everyone gravitates to different solutions.  Breathe, take a step back, set a change of pace and make connections while you can.  


Demetria Slyt is a Dakota Student Opinion Editor. She can be reached at [email protected]