Techniques for Coping With Stress and Preventing Burnout

May 16, 2012 by  Filed under: Management 

Over time, the demands of your role can wear you down. You may have developed great time management or stress coping skills, however at some point you might find you can’t see things getting any better, you don’t have enough energy to get through your day, maybe you’ve withdrawn from friends, family or your partner, or perhaps you’ve started to use alcohol more often to numb your feelings. All of these are potential signs of professional burnout.

Burnout is not an event, it’s a process that occurs over time and can be mitigated if caught early. The hard truth though, is that for many, it’s not until there is some significant life or career event that they recognize they are suffering from burnout. In fact, in many cases individuals can continue to produce results and be relatively effective in their role while experiencing burnout. The capability to do the job is still there, it’s the ‘will’ – the motivation and desire to make a difference and the enjoyment in the work, that are gone.

Some people can find their way back from burnout and still remain in the same career; however sometimes the solution is to leave or to change careers altogether.

You only have one life so take the time to manage your life in a way that is fulfilling and brings you joy – don’t allow your work to run your life, or worse yet to ruin or end it prematurely.

Here are a few techniques to help you prevent or recover from burnout.

1. Take stock of stressors

  • Identify demands you have at work, home and community, identify which ones are causing you stress, which ones are draining you most?
  • List what can you influence by asking for help, delegating, saying NO more or YES more (i.e. Don’t keep sacrificing your needs or values for the benefit of the organization or for others)

2. Enhance self-care

  • Revisit what’s important to you, your dreams, values, goals and priorities.
  • Identify what you love to do – do more of these
  • Review and put plans in place to improve your sleep, healthy eating, or exercise habits
  • Take time away to self-rejuvenate (short breaks several times daily and time off/vacation)

3. Develop stress resiliency

  • Use techniques such as deep breathing, visualization, and meditation
  • Find ways to laugh and smile more
  • Be Ok with decisions you make
  • Build and use a supportive community

4. Make a commitment to change

  • Make yourself top priority – Put ‘you’ time in your schedule
  • Identify changes you could make this week, this month, this year
  • Discuss your situation with a professional such as a counselor, coach or mental health professional
  • Get clear on your goals and have plans in place to reach for them

In closing consider what OG Mandino asks in his book ‘The Choice”:”Are you in control of your life? Are you content? Are you at peace with yourself and those around you? Are you and your family enjoying the fruits of your labor?”

Rob Pineau is a 30 year veteran of the Corporate world and certified professional coach. His clients include C-Suite executives and successful professionals who want to create a richer life and more fulfilling career by mitigating burnout and developing increased leadership resiliency. Rob is also an experienced facilitator and trainer and conducts workshops on coaching and leadership skills. For more info visit

Don’t let your business be your life – make your life your business!

Rob offers complimentary consultations and can be reached by email at

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