10 Ways to Avoid Burnout And Have A Healthy Career

The struggle is real

It’s Monday and I’m struggling to get out of bed. It’s not that I have difficulty waking up, or that I’m not a morning person. I’m usually awake well before my alarm rings. I’m lucky enough to be one of those unicorns that can sleep for 4 hours and wake up feeling like I got 8 hours in. It feels like I’m on the edge of a 1/3 life crisis. I’m dreading facing the chaos the day will bring and would rather not leave the warmth and comfort of my plush duvet and a weighted blanket. I know this feeling. It’s called burnout. I’ve experienced it before, and yet it’s so hard to prevent it from happening again and again.


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What Is Burnout?


Two definitions of burnout are:

  • "A state of physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion caused by long term involvement in emotionally demanding situations." – Ayala Pines and Elliot Aronson.

  • "A state of fatigue or frustration brought about by devotion to a cause, way of life, or relationship that failed to produce the expected reward." – Herbert J. Freudenberger.

Everyone experiences burnout in some form throughout their schooling and career. Burnout can lead to depression, unhealthy habits, negative self-talk, and even heart problems! Anyone can feel exhausted, and yes you can overcome exhaustion with rest, but an inherent part of burnout is a sense of disillusionment. This is why burnout typically strikes those of us who are devoted to our work. So, how do you prevent it?


How To Prevent Burnout


1. Increase Your Self-Efficacy. Self-efficacy is the belief we have in our abilities and competencies. People who have a stronger level of self-efficacy experience less stress when difficult situations occur. Here are 5 ways you can increase self-efficacy:


  1. Stay in the Stretch Zone. There are 3 personal zones of achievement: the comfort zone, the stretch zone, and the panic zone. In the stretch zone, we are more willing to push ourselves, make mistakes, and be resilient to failures. You can enter the stretch zone by setting goals, trying new things, facing new challenges, accepting failures and criticisms with an open mind, and approaching goals mindfully and not over-stressing about the results.

  2. Set reasonable simple goals. One way to sustain self-efficacy is to break down your vision into reasonable goals. You can break those goals into sub-goals, and then map out the steps to reach them.