Best Tips to Manage Burnout: Strategies for Regaining Health and Well-being

Story : Reclaiming Balance and Well-being

Burnout was like a supervillain stalking Peter, a young man driven to excel in his studies and later in his career. But as time went on, the constant demands of his job and personal life began to take a toll on him. He felt increasingly exhausted and irritable, struggling to stay focused and motivated. He was like a hero in a never-ending battle, pushing through semester breaks and dedicating himself to internships, overseas modules, and individual research projects. He took his health and energy for granted, assuming they would always be there to sustain him. But as the days turned into weeks and the weeks into months, he found himself in constant exhaustion. He drifted through his coursework, procrastinating and overreacting to perceived slights. He was angry at the world, unable to sleep or socialize.

It followed Peter into his professional life, where he was trapped in a cycle of mistakes and inefficiency. His self-esteem plummeted. He felt trapped, unable to escape his job demands and colleagues' expectations.

Peter realized he was experiencing burnout and made an appointment with a counselor, hoping to find a way to cope with his overwhelming stress and exhaustion. During their first session, Peter told the counselor about his struggles with burnout. He described how he had been pushing himself to the limit, working long hours and neglecting his well-being.

best burnout tips

The counselor listened attentively, nodding sympathetically. “It sounds like you’ve been through a lot,” she said. “It’s important to remember that burnout is an authentic and common experience for many people, especially in our high-pressure society.” Peter nodded, feeling a sense of relief at being understood. The counselor explained that burnout is a gradual process and is often only recognised once it’s too late. “It’s important to address burnout as soon as possible,” she said. “Otherwise, it can seriously impact your physical and mental health.”

Peter agreed, and together they began to explore ways to manage his burnout. The counselor suggested several strategies, such as taking regular breaks, practicing self-care, and setting boundaries with work and personal life.

Peter refused to be consumed by burnout. He took a week off, sought counseling, and ultimately left his job. Now, he is focused on rebuilding his physical and mental health, searching for a new job that aligns with his values, and dedicating himself to hobbies. For without fitness, one has nothing. He refused to let the burnout define him. There must be another way. Peter left the session feeling hopeful. He knew it would take time and effort to recover from burnout fully, but he was ready to take the necessary steps to regain his health and well-being.

From then on, Peter made regular check-ins with his counselor and started implementing the strategies discussed during the therapy session. As a result, he began feeling better, more energized and motivated. Peter learned to set boundaries with his work and personal life and started to make time for the things Peter loved doing. Peter’s journey to recovery was not easy, but with his counselor’s help, he overcame the burnout and regained his health and well-being. He learned the importance of caring for himself and not just pushing himself to the limit. As a result, he was able to find balance and a better way of living.

The Best Ways to Manage Burnout

Burnout is a condition of physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion brought on by continuous stress. It is often associated with work-related stress but can also occur in other areas, such as relationships, parenting, and personal issues.

In the 1970s, psychotherapist Herbert Freudenberger introduced the concept of burnout. He characterized it as persistent stress resulting in physical and emotional exhaustion, pessimism, and detachment.

Burnout is characterized by three main dimensions: emotional exhaustion, depersonalisation, and reduced personal accomplishment.


Emotional exhaustion refers to feeling emotionally drained and overwhelmed.

Depersonalisation refers to a hostile and callous attitude towards others, often described as feeling detached or disconnected.

Reduced personal accomplishment refers to feeling ineffective and unproductive in one’s work.

When a person experiences burnout, it can severely impact their life. For example, it may result in lower productivity, absence from work, and an increased likelihood of accidents or errors.

It can also adversely affect the individual’s physical and mental health, causing depression, anxiety, and cardiovascular disease.

Burnout is not the same as stress. Stress is a normal response to demanding situations, while burnout is a prolonged state of stress that leads to physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion.

The Effects of Burnout

The symptoms of burnout can include:

  1. Physical: Burnout can manifest in physical ways, such as fatigue, headaches, muscle tension, and insomnia. It can also weaken your immune system, making you more susceptible to illnesses.

  2. Emotional: Burnout can cause hopelessness, helplessness, and a lack of motivation. It can also lead to depression and anxiety.

  3. Cognitive: Burnout can affect your ability to think clearly and make decisions. It can also lead to a lack of focus, forgetfulness, and difficulty with problem-solving.

  4. Behavioural: Burnout can lead to behavioral changes, such as a loss of interest in hobbies or activities, social withdrawal, and increased alcohol or drug use.

  5. Relationship and social effects: Burnout can also affect your personal and professional relationships. It can lead to conflicts with colleagues, friends, and family members, making it challenging to maintain healthy relationships.

  6. Career: Burnout can affect your performance at work, leading to a decrease in productivity and quality of work. It can also lead to a higher risk of accidents or errors and increase absenteeism.

  7. Financial: Burnout can also have economic consequences, such as losing your job or not being able to work due to health reasons.

Managing Burnout

If you suspect experiencing burnout, it’s essential to take steps to manage it and prevent it from getting worse.

Here are some things you can do to help manage burnout:

  1. First, identify the source of stress: Identify the source of the stress. It could be a demanding job, a complicated relationship, or a personal issue. Once you understand the root cause, you can start to develop a plan to address it.

  2. Prioritize self-care: Self-care is essential for managing burnout. This includes getting enough sleep, eating well, and staying active. It also includes taking time to do things you enjoy, whether reading, hiking, or spending time with friends.

  3. Practice mindfulness: Mindfulness practices, such as meditation and yoga, can help you stay present at the moment and reduce stress.

  4. Seek support: Burnout can be isolating, so it’s essential to seek the consent of friends, family, and professionals. A therapist or counselor can help you work through your feelings and develop coping strategies.

  5. Set boundaries: Set boundaries with your work, social life, and personal time. This means saying no to requests that are not essential and delegating tasks when possible.

  6. Take a break: Sometimes, the best way to manage burnout is to take a break. This could be a vacation, a staycation, or a mental health day.

  7. Seek Professional Help: If you cannot manage burnout alone, it is vital to seek professional help. A therapist or counselor can help you develop coping strategies and work through your feelings.

  8. Re-evaluate your expectations and goals: Sometimes burnout is caused by unrealistic expectations or plans that are not aligned with your values. Take time to reflect on your priorities and re-evaluate your expectations and goals to ensure they are achievable and fulfilling.

  9. Create a balance in your life: Make sure you balance your work and personal life. Set aside time for leisure and make sure you are not overworking yourself.

  10. Make changes: If the source of burnout is rooted in your current job or situation, it may be necessary to make changes. For example, consider seeking a new job, switching to a different role within your current organization, or taking a leave of absence.

It’s important to remember that burnout is a serious condition requiring a holistic management approach. With the right system, you can manage burnout and regain a sense of balance in your life.


  1. Freudenberger, H. J. (1974). Staff burn-out. Journal of Social Issues, 30(1), 159–165.

  2. Schaufeli, W. B., Leiter, M. P., Maslach, C., & Jackson, S. E. (2016). Burnout: 35 years of research and practice. Career Development International, 21(3), 224–251.


It is essential to recognise the symptoms of burnout and adopt preventative measures. This involves identifying the cause of stress, engaging in self-care, establishing boundaries, and, when required, seeking assistance. If you suspect you may be suffering from burnout, it is crucial to seek help from a healthcare professional.

John Crimmins

About the Author

Article authored by Dr John Crimmins Ph D

John Crimmins is a highly experienced consultant psychotherapist with over 25 years of clinical experience. John holds a PhD from the International Management and Research Centre, is a graduate of Trinity College Dublin’s Psychotherapy program and is a member of the American Psychological Association.

John has dedicated his career to understanding and treating mental health issues, focusing on Critical Incident Stress Debriefing for Trauma in the Workplace.

John is the Founder and Director of The Behavioural Training Institute, a global online platform for psychology education. John has worked with reputable organizations such as DP World, Aer Lingus, and Bank of Ireland. In addition, he serves as a Medical advisory board member for

That’s all in this edition.

Want to stay connected? Here’s our twitter.

Or subscribe to our monthly newsletter containing tools for body, mind, and goal.