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How To Deal With Burnout (Or Avoid It)

how to deal with burnout

Do you deal with recurring Burnout?

The idea of burnout is in itself synonymous to mayhem

This is because its existence creates avalanche of issues ranging from health to emotional, spiritual and even mental relational difficulties.

It’s a disorder that cuts across health workers and every other work-related profession.  

In the health-care profession, burnout of nurses, doctors or other members of the medical team, can lead to adverse consequences on patient care.

While that is a topic of interest, Burnout in nursing is a topic the world health organization is particularly concerned about, after it officially recognized burnout as a ‘disease’.

The neglect of nurses is the neglect of patient care

So what is burnout?

The world health organization describes burnout as a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.

This definition of burnout is very crucial as it highlights recurrence as the bedrock of its ‘diagnosis’.

Burnout is often a work- related stress, which highlights a state of physical and emotional exhaustion. This is usually as a result of pressure from work, and it comes as a result of self-neglect.

This state of being comes with a very loud and simultaneously confusing symptoms, which can pile up and create a nervous breakdown if they are completely ignored.

Burnout Symptoms

The symptoms of burnout include, but are not limited to:

  • Headache
  • Irritability
  • Constant fatigue
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Lack of coordination
  • Restlessness
  • Muscle pain
  • Isolation
  • Lack of motivation

All these symptoms are overlapping signs of stress. However, what distinguishes both is the recurrence present in burnout.

If you do not pay attention to yourself in quiet, you will pay attention in chaos.

A stress-related ‘illness’ such as burnout has the capability to shut down the central nervous system. Research has also shown how burnout triggers off stressors in the mind which births despondency and inhibit creativity.

Points to consider…

This article highlights:

The impact burnout on the health

How you can deal with it

How to avoid it

Note: Neglect can often lead to depletion of both physical and emotional health.

On occasions when you take longer time to complete tasks that would take you lesser time on a regular day, it is a sign that the pressure you are dealing with is creeping in on you, and you are oblivious to its manipulations on your psyche and body.

How does burnout affect the body?

The impact of burnout at work can lead to a severe consequence on the body.

Take a careful look at this illustration.

1. Burnout alters the brain          

Neuroscientists have long discovered that burnout alters the brain.

On this, science of people platform make a great point: “people who are chronically burnt-out show similar damage as people who have experienced trauma.”

That is huge.

Take a look at this short video on trauma, created for workers dealing with burnout.  

It describes what happens to the brain during burnout.

Source: Youtube

2. Burnout leads to Cardiovascular disease

You might ask, ‘what is the relationship between cardiovascular disease and burnout?’

Untreated stressors lead to dysregulation of blood sugar, which in turn, leads to diabetes, and in more cases, heart failure.

Creepy right?

Often, our ignorance leads us on the path of death sentence.

3. Burnout can cause isolation, which can also lead to depression

When burnout takes its root, it creates difficulty in engaging with, or disinterest in previously pleasurable activity.

The person gradually finds a need to withdraw from social circles, as they also register the feeling of negativity and lack of love.

Once the person succeeds in isolating, the negativity they already feel can then sip into depression.

4.Burnout can impact the health through anxiety

It is no longer a hidden thing that anxiety is a frequency people who experience burnout are met with.

Imagine having to be on a fight, flight and freeze response mode at all times. Or being hyper-vigilant because of the stress you experience.

This all finds its way to your own muscles as it is either often clenched or  set for ‘pull-grabbing’.

Having understood the impact of burnout on the health, lets throw light on how to deal with burnout.

How to deal with burnout

Accept That You Are Spent

Recognizing and accepting that you need a break when others are grinding is not a moral failure. The longer you take in accepting that you have gotten to your limit, the longer the stress builds up in your body; which can lead to severe health hazards.

The increase in the amygdala perfectly explains the inexplicable anxiety you feel when you feel pressure of any kind.  

When you recognize that you need a break, it is time to take it in strides.

It takes a human being to have limits and feel exhausted on occasions. A break gives your body the chance to regroup and bounce back for better functioning.

Learn To Say No

Lack of healthy love towards self can lead to people-pleasing which can make you go beyond your limit and crash as a result. It is okay to render help when necessary, it is also okay to say No for your emotional well-being.

Having a balance between both is a vital key to avoid burn out or deal with it when it arises. When you say no as often as you require, you teach others to respect your boundaries and treat you in the humane way that you deserve. Trying to do everything and be everywhere is never sustainable.

Focus On Your Strength

Every human being is endowed with endless potentials, for the reason of being a person at all. However, these potentials vary from person to person. You can do something that another cannot do.

In all things, find your natural rhythm. Do not try to take up everything because you cannot do it all. Delegate responsibilities. It is okay to not know. Sometimes, people find it difficult to accept their reality for fear they would let others down.

When you focus on your strength, you keep yourself from exhausting through worry and hopelessness.


Exercises such as meditations and physical activities are a great way to relax the body, muscles and the mind. The tension created in the body is often caused by the stress hormone released into the brain. This is such that it impacts negatively on not just the sufferer, but also on the people around him or her. When you exercise, it increases your heart rate and carries more oxygen to your brain.

This oxygen is accompanied by endorphins-feel good hormone, which inevitably increases productivity and helps you feel more positive.


In every step, try to remember that your availability makes your desired output in life possible. To be able to take care of yourself is to be in control of your life.

When you let burnout drive you into taking positive action, you have a better chance of coming back stronger and more productive. Burnout at work does not happen in a flash. It gives you ample time to see that something is amiss and to take action. However, while this is not a given, having a daily action plan is never out of place.

Burnout creates danger for both the sufferer and those around them. Take responsibility!

More attention should be given to Nurses as this profession is largely inundated with the responsibility of other lives in remission.

To deal with burnout, take time to plan your daily activities. Ask for help when and where necessary and keep up with what you can deliver. Always remember, that it takes one who is healthy to dream, plan and execute.

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