3 Strategies for Coping with Job Burnout

Moriel Mcduffy
3 min readJul 10, 2020

By Dr. Moriel McDuffy

Thousands of workers suffer from job burnout each year. During the pandemic, burnout crept into the lives of many healthcare and essential workers. I can only imagine the stress and anxiety felt by workers who put their lives on the line against an invisible enemy. To understand how to cope with burnout, you must first understand burnout.

What is Burnout?

Psychologist Herbert Freudenberger defined burnout is a negative psychological state comprising symptoms such as physical fatigue, emotional exhaustion, and loss of motivation. Early studies often confused job burnout with depression. I highlighted the signs below.

Physical Symptoms include:s leep deprivation, insomnia, fatigue loss of appetite increased illness, chest pains, shortness of breath, cynicism, and social isolation.

Emotional Symptoms include: depersonalization, reduced personal accomplishment, changed feelings about the clients, anxiety, and detachment, and emotional exhaustion.

Do the symptoms sound familiar? You may have noticed that depression causes the same symptoms as burnout. There are two differences between job burnout and depression.

  1. Burnout is always job-related
  2. Burnout affects job performance

If you feel any of these symptoms when at work or while thinking about your job, you may suffer from job burnout. Below are some suggestions to help with Job burnout.

Detach from Work

Repeatedly thinking about unpleasant events can exacerbate depressed moods. Frequently thinking about the same issue is called rumination. When workers are home, it is important to leave work behind. Ruminating about work can contribute to the burnout symptoms and make them worse. That is why taking part in fun, meaningful activities that take your mind off of work is essential to wellness.

Use Social Supports

Humans are social creatures. Social supports are essential wellness. The number of social contacts individuals need can vary. Decreasing the amount of social interaction can lead to social isolation. Social isolation can worsen burnout symptoms. Those with burnout should still…

Moriel Mcduffy

Dr. Moriel McDuffy has has a Ph.D. in Psychology. He has over 25 years of experience working with communities, and educating at multiple Universities.