Here's how to avoid burnout

This is your sign to prioritize your self-care

Woman holding her head, feeling burnt out during work
(Image credit: Getty Images / Maskot)

Burnout is not fun. It affects us all now and then and can hit us after a period of stress or as a result of stretching ourselves too thin. It should come with little surprise to anyone that this year has seen a huge rise in burnout and feeling unmotivated—so we’ve spoken to an expert to get some simple tips for you to avoid burnout, and cope with your day-to-day work, life balance.

Prioritizing your mental and physical health is so important, having self-care days, or meditating with crystals for anxiety are just a few of the things we can do to ward off stress and avoid burnout.

Selina Barker, a life design and career change coach and author of Burnt Out: The Exhausted Persons 6 Step Guide to Thriving in a Fast-Paced World, says that:  "Burnout is a state of feeling emotionally, physically, and mentally exhausted, as a result of excessive and prolonged stress caused by overworking. "

woman sitting with arms crossed - stock photo

(Image credit: Getty Images / Peter Griffith)

"It is our body’s way of signaling there is an energy crisis taking place and something has to change. When we reach this point of exhaustion, we can feel like we can no longer cope with our daily responsibilities, struggle to focus, lose our compassion for others and struggle to switch off or sleep at night.”

Selina Barker

In a recent survey, the herbal medicinal brand Kalms, also found that 85% of Brits alone felt stressed, unmotivated and exhausted over the past year. Those surveyed attributed these feelings to a lack of control of everyday lives and a poor work-life balance.

So if you’re suffering from burnout—you’re very normal and shouldn’t feel ashamed or beat yourself up about how you are feeling. If you’re not getting enough ‘you’ time or even getting enough hours of sleep, the feelings of burnout can creep in. And thankfully Barker has shared some simple tips to avoid and help with burnout.

1. Start your morning off right and take breaks

View Of Woman Mediating At Home - stock photo

(Image credit: Getty Images / Vicens Prats / EyeEm)

First of all, you need to pinpoint where these feelings have stemmed from, such as your workload or something else that is stressing you out. Then Barker says you need to: "Learn how to manage your energy and design your day so that you feel energized, calm, and focused throughout."

For example starting your day off with some yoga, or a shower with a eucalyptus bouquet, even just a delicious cup of coffee. Most importantly, make sure you’re taking breaks every 90 minutes, even if it’s just for 10 minutes. This will help you re-charge and lift your mood.

2. Workout that stress 

Exercising can be an incredible way to work off anxious feelings and stress, whether it’s calming yoga or an intense HIIT session. Moving your body can make a huge difference. Do it for the dopamine hit. 

Woman doing yoga at home

(Image credit: Getty Images / Drakula & Co.)

3. Analyse your work environment 

Take a moment to look at your work environment, are you thriving? If your job is causing you to feel burnout, or you feel like you’re working in a toxic environment, it may be time to make a change.

4. Find rituals that work for you 

Woman relaxing in bathtub reading book - stock photo

(Image credit: Getty Images / Westend61)

Whether it’s snuggling in with Netflix in the evenings, or having a bath, finding what calms you down is essential. Finding things that calm you down will really help when the feelings of burnout hit. 

5. Don’t punish yourself

Barker says: “Turn down the volume of your inner critic and start turning up the volume of your inner cheerleader. When you love and believe in yourself and support yourself the same way you would a friend or partner, you will increase your levels of happiness, self-esteem, and confidence.”

Recognize how you’re feeling and be kind to yourself, if you need a day off or a lie-in, have them—you deserve it.

Naomi Jamieson
Lifestyle News Writer

Naomi is a Lifestyle News Writer with the Women's Lifestyle team, where she covers everything from entertainment to fashion and beauty, as well as TikTok trends for Woman&Home, after previously writing for My Imperfect Life and GoodTo. Interestingly though, Naomi actually has a background in design, having studied illustration at Plymouth University but lept into the media world in 2020, after always having a passion for writing and earned her Gold Standard diploma in Journalism with the NCTJ.

Before working for Future Publishing’s Lifestyle News team, she worked in the Ad production team. Here she wrote and designed adverts on all sorts of things, which then went into print magazines across all genres. Now, when she isn’t writing articles on celebs, fashion trends, or the newest shows on Netflix, you can find her drinking copious cups of coffee, drawing and probably online shopping.