burnout represented by a candle that has been burned from both ends until it is only a puddle of melted wax with two small flames still sputtering

5 Tips to Avoid Burnout

You’ve burned the midnight oil to produce the best work possible. You’ve fought through horrendous exhaustion to come out on top. You’re known as a hard worker who simply won’t quit. Admittedly, the dopamine rush that comes with a completed to-do list is hard to beat. But what happens when you start to feel the effects of burning the candle at both ends? In other words, how can you avoid burnout?

While being hardworking is a badge of honor held in the highest esteem, it comes at a cost. And if you push yourself to your limits, trying to power through, you’ll end up burnt out. This creates a domino effect that even the best and brightest can’t avoid. If you’re hoping to end the cycle and avoid burnout, try these tips.


1. Dedicate Time for Rest

When you go to the doctor, their recommendations are fairly standard. You should work out more, drink less, and get ample sleep. In real life, though, maintaining the key healthy habits is easier said than done. And when burnout is brewing, that’s exactly what you don’t want. That’s why rest is such an important deterrent for the symptoms of burnout.

One of the most notable traits of burnout is exhaustion. If you’re constantly tired, struggling to fall or stay asleep, or lacking energy, it could be a sign. Fight back by focusing on getting quality, deep sleep. Breathing exercises or yoga before bed can help. Turn off screens 30 minutes before bed. If you’re really in need, deep sleep gummies can provide the relaxation boost you’re searching for, too. Keep in mind that options without melatonin are often best because they avoid potential side effects and dependency issues associated with long-term melatonin use.

Of course, finding time to relax isn’t always easy. That’s why you have to specifically dedicate time to it. Block time on your calendar, put your phone on “do not disturb,” and prepare to get away from the hustle and bustle. Focused rest time, in small or large quantities, can be a difference maker in staving off burnout.

2. Lean on Loved Ones to Avoid Burnout

Everyone’s life gets hectic during different times. You’re constantly jumping from one endeavor to another, never fully catching your breath. This is the perfect breeding ground for burnout and a great reason to lean on your loved ones.

No one who cares about you wants to see you struggle. And while asking for help navigating life’s stressors isn’t easy, it’s one way to keep burnout at bay. Feeling overwhelmed is relatable; it makes you human. And other people in your life have been there. They likely have some guiding words to get you through.

So, hop on a phone call with a friend or grab dinner with a family member. Be vulnerable and share your concerns, feelings, and fears. Ask for advice or wisdom, and consider it thoughtfully, keeping in mind that not all advice may be applicable or helpful to your situation. But you should leave the conversation knowing you’re supported and can lean on your loved ones. Just talking through your feelings can be cathartic.

3. Practice Compartmentalizing to Help Avoid Burnout

Oftentimes burnout rears its ugly head when you’re either at work or thinking about it. There’s no escaping the stress, pressure, and endless tasks on your plate if you’re always on the clock. Living with this workaholic mentality can certainly do more harm than good. That’s why compartmentalizing is so key.

It’s undeniable that it’s important to work hard at your job. That’s how you afford your life, after all. However, taking home the day and its problems isn’t going to do you any favors. Instead, try to leave the day’s happenings behind when you head home. When you’re working, be 100% there. When you’re not, be 100% present wherever you are.

If needed, ease into this style of living. For example, if you normally get home and work another three hours, scale back to two. If you struggle with your mind wandering to work thoughts, try to snap yourself out of it immediately. It won’t be perfect, but creating separation between your professional and personal lives will undoubtedly help curb burnout.

4. Set Boundaries

While most people work to live, some live to work. If you fall in the latter group, it may be hard to keep up a sustainable work effort 24/7. The longer you try to keep that up, the more prone to burnout you’ll become. Setting boundaries, and sticking to them, can help prevent succumbing to the negative effects of burnout.

Start by analyzing your life and what your goals are. You may want to be more present in your personal life—with your family, fitness, or hobbies. Think about how much time you realistically need to dedicate to those priorities each week. Then, draw a line in the sand for when you abandon work to fully focus on personal life endeavors.

Follow this same pattern for any and all priorities you may have. If you continue to work tirelessly at an unsustainable pace, you will burn out. So, fighting back and creating boundaries for what you will and won’t do now is instrumental in preventing that.


5. Take on Less Responsibility

Learning how to delegate isn’t natural for a lot of people, especially those who love what they do. Rest easy, control freaks and workaholics, handing off responsibilities or simply saying “no” is an option. It just takes a bit of practice.

Look at your to-do list and determine which tasks actually require you to be involved. Projects you’re leading probably need to stay under your purview. But follow-up emails, approvals of routine assets, and logistical planning can likely be handed off.

When you reduce your responsibilities, you’re gaining time back to focus on what’s most important. Plus, you’re granting someone else on your team the opportunity to learn and grow. It’s a win for everyone involved and helps free up your calendar and mind to keep burnout away.

Extinguish Burnout

Unfortunately, there isn’t a magical wand you can wave to make burnout a non-issue. The fact of the matter is, if you’re trying to do it all, burnout will rear its ugly head. So, leaning on these strategies to avoid it is your best defense. Who knows? You may even enjoy having a bit of your time back to relax.