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What Causes Burnout?

Burnout is a topic that has been widely discussed in relation to the workforce: work hours, work tasks, work environment, performance feedback, job autonomy, and so much more. But it’s related to more than just work. It’s related to family, romantic and non-romantic relationships, caregiving, and other aspects of life that affect you greatly. Burnout takes a toll. It’s something you feel, something that takes over. You know something is off, but you may not know exactly what it is. Here are some examples of the different ways burnout can affect you: 


  • Feeling tired and drained most of the time
  • Lowered immunity, frequent illnesses
  • Change in appetite or sleep habits


  • Sense of failure and self-doubt
  • Feeling helpless, trapped, defeated
  • Detachment, alone in the world
  • Loss of motivation. Increasingly cynical and negative outlook


  • Withdrawing from responsibilities
  • Isolating from others
  • Procrastinating, taking longer to get things done
  • Using food, drugs, or alcohol to cope
  • Taking frustrations out on others

Even with these responses, you can find ways to manage your burnout and even push yourself out of it:

Find your people

Reach out to those that support you and lean into them. Express how you’re feeling about and be open to discussions.

Reframe your mindset

In those aspects of your life that are feeling the effects of burnout, think about your positive impact. You have a purpose in what you do, and you need to remind yourself of what that purpose is. 

Make exercise a priority

Exercising will help you put all of your focus on moving your body instead of everything else that’s going on in your life. It gives your mind a break, while at the same time tiring you out so you don’t feel so overwhelmed.

Evaluate your options

Do you need to continue participating in the situation that is causing this burnout? I know it’s easier said than done to change things, but it may be worth it to put effort into trying. Is there a different position at your job that will be less stressful? Is there someone who can help you take care of your children during the day? Are all of your relationships healthy and bringing you peace?

Try relaxing activities

Relax that mind. Find something you enjoy: meditating, journaling, walking, or being outside. Anything that brings you peace and allows you to feel serenity — even if it’s for a short amount of time.

Mayo Clinic 

Psychology Today

National Library of Medicine