Burnout occurs when you are overwhelmed by constant stresses at work and can be exacerbated by the worries and stresses of life in general. Burnout is serious as it can result in anxiety, depression, irritability and anger, sleep disturbances, lack of motivation or passion, memory loss or brain fog, withdrawal from others, physical symptoms and feeling emotionally fragile. The best way to avoid burnout is to recognise the signs and take action before things progress too far. If you think you are heading for burnout, look for these three important signs:
• You’re feeling exhausted or you energy levels are lower than usual.
• You are becoming cynical about your job, having negative thoughts about it, or you are mentally distancing yourself from your work.
• You are less effective at your job than you used to be.
Burnout occurs when chronic stress is not managed successfully. Recent studies by the UNSW’s School of Psychiatry have shown that people who are perfectionistic are more prone to burn out, whereas care-free and easy-going people are less likely to experience the problem. This provides a clue on how to protect yourself. Burnout can be managed if you are aware of the signs and finding time for yourself to relax or to be playful and experience joy can help to reduce the risk. Looking after yourself first is the key to managing stress and that includes self-care. Below is the SETTLES approach to managing self-care:

S – Stay focused in the here and now. Employing mindfulness practice into your day will help to avoid anxiety about the future.
E – Engage with friends and family. Being connected to people who care about you and interacting with your community helps you to feel less isolated and keeps things in perspective.
T – Thoughts are just thoughts. You are not your thoughts and your thoughts may not necessarily be true. Meditation can help you to acknowledge that thoughts are not reality and can help you to let them go.
T – Treat people with kindness. When you are under stress, acts of compassion can help you to disconnect from your worries.
E – Exercise is essential. Good physical health is highly protective in helping you to discharge the effects of stress.
S – Seek help. Reaching out to EAP Assist or seeing your GP for a mental health plan is a very healthy way of obtaining the support you may need.