3 easy steps to overcome burnout in the workplace

Updated: Jan 4

Your alarms goes off, blaring into the still of the first morning light. You’re awake, but already feeling tired, rushing to get everything together before you have to be out the door. Work goes by per usual and constant worries and stressors leave you feeling anxious and depleted. As soon as you get home, you’re just too exhausted to do anything but collapse onto your couch, dreading the moment your alarm begins to ring once again.

Sound familiar?

Then it's likely that you’re dealing with burnout - the inability to effectively function in your job due to prolonged and extensive job-related stress. Burnout is characterized by three main components:

  • Increased feelings of emotional exhaustion.

  • Depersonalization: this is marked by treating clients as objects rather than people, and it includes developing negative or cynical attitudes towards work. 1

  • Diminished personal accomplishment: a tendency to evaluate yourself negatively. 2

If you’ve been feeling any of these three things, then you’re in the right place. Below are three simple and effective steps that will help you overcome your burnout for good.

1. Practice positive thinking

Positive thinking has a wealth of benefits - both mental and physical - and it’s especially effective for combatting stress. One study tested the effectiveness of positive thoughts - specifically, envisioning positive alternative outcomes to problems- to combat worry. It found that when repeatedly practiced, replacing stress and worry with positive thoughts or ideations can counter the intrusive and distressing properties of worry. 3

2. Set healthy boundaries

Work-life balance is crucial to relieving burnout. With so many professionals are still working from home, it’s important to not let your work life intrude into your personal and family time. Be firm when it comes to the limits you set for yourself and your workplace. Once the lines start to blur between work and home, it can be much harder to actually take a break from your job! Setting healthy workplace boundaries as soon as you start a job - and sticking to them - is essential to overcoming (and avoiding) burnout.

3. Assertively manage your workloads

Nobody really knows what you can handle except yourself. If your manager attempts to load you up with work that you just can’t take on at the moment, speak up and be assertive. You are your own best advocate!

Follow these easy steps and you’ll be feeling reinvigorated, reinspired, and ready to face your workday with confidence and joy in no time. Don’t forget, though, taking care of your body is another absolutely essential step to managing stress, overcoming burnout, and just living a happier and healthier life! Always be sure that you’re getting sufficient sleep, practicing proper nutrition and hydration, and enjoying healthy levels of exercise and movement throughout your day.

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1: Friesen David & James C. Sarros (1989). Sources of Burnout among Educators. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 10, 179-188.

2: Zaidi Nayyar Raza, Rana Abdul Wajid& Farheen Batul Zaidi (2011). Relationship between Demographic Characteristics and Burnout among Public Sector University Teachers of Lahore. Interdisciplinary Journal of Contemporary Research in Business, 3, 229-245.

3: Claire Eagleson, Sarra Hayes, Andrew Mathews, Gemma Perman, Colette R. Hirsch,

The power of positive thinking: Pathological worry is reduced by thought replacement in Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Behaviour Research and Therapy, Volume 78, 2016,

Pages 13-18, ISSN 0005-7967, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.brat.2015.12.017.