How to avoid burnout

Burnout is sometimes unavoidable. It’s described as a lack of motivation that characterises itself as exhaustion and stress. Here are some tips to identify if you’ve got it and how to combat it.


What is burnout?

You’re probably familiar with the feeling. The loss of motivation to do one’s work, combined with a bottomless pit of exhaustion and stress. Burnout can affect anyone but disproportionately affects business owners and freelancers. Generally speaking, burnout occurs when one has had a prolonged state of stress and as it continues, the person begins to lose interest and motivation. Here’s an article from the MayoClinic that discusses burnout even further.


What does burnout look like?

  • Detachment from your work and relationships
  • Exhaustion
  • Lack of focus
  • Low productivity
  • Weakened immune system
  • Pessimism and cynicism


You may be on the road to burnout, if:

  • Every day feels like a bad day.
  • Caring about your work or home life seems futile.
  • You’re exhausted all the time.
  • Your day is filled with tasks you find banal and/or overwhelming.
  • You feel like nothing you do makes a difference or is appreciated.


The difference between stress and burnout:


  • Overengagement
  • Reactive or over reactive emotions
  • Sense of urgency and hyperactivity
  • Lost or diminished energy
  • Leads to anxiety
  • Physically tolling



  • Disengagement
  • Blunted or distant emotions
  • Sense of helplessness
  • Motivation is lost or diminished
  • Leads to feeling depressed
  • Emotionally tolling


How to avoid burnout

Know your personality

According to this article from the New York Times. Robert L. Bogue, co-author of “Extinguish Burnout: A Practical Guide to Prevention and Recovery.” When you are behaving in a way that is unnatural to your personality, you end up expending an excess of energy. “The more in alignment you become, the less you’re demanding of yourself and the more personal agency you build up.” 

For instance, an introvert is likely exhausted after a social gathering and needs to spend time alone to recharge, whereas an extrovert feels lively after seeing many individuals. Knowing your personality, according to Bogue, will help you create restorative practices to avoid burnout.


According to Mind Tools, you should take holidays more often

Taking even a small holiday and dedicating the time to rest can do wonders down the road for your levels of burnout. 


Remember that balance is a myth; instead, find harmony

Striving to find balance will be too difficult in the long run. Instead, find harmony, a way to marry your work and life in a way that feels healthy and sustainable. 


Psychology Today encourages you to find a leisurely activity

Find a hobby, something completely unrelated to your work so that you can find joy and satisfaction in an activity that isn’t tied to work. A creative outlet is a great way to stay inspired.


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