Stress & Burnout (Causes & Recovery)

causes of burnout

What is burnout?

Burnout is a state where we feel emotionally, physically, and mentally drained. This is caused by excessive and prolonged stress. Burnout can cause us to feel extremely exhausted. Doing work may fill us with dread and we may start to withdraw and detach ourselves from commitments and the people around us. Feelings of being iincompetent and unproductive may also hit us. 

What are some signs that we may be burnt out?

  • Constantly feeling drained and tired 
  • Headaches and pains 
  • Disruptions in sleep & changing sleep quality 
  • Changes in appetite (loss of appetite or excessive bingeing)

What are some causes of stress & burnout?

Stress can be caused by both positive and negative events in our lives, depending on our perception and evaluation of situations. When events seem to be life changing, or beyond our control, it could result in stress. When this stress is prolonged, we may start to experience burnout. 

*Some events that can result in stress include: 

  • Relationships
  • Marriage 
  • Pregnancy 
  • Loss of loved ones
  • Relocation 
  • Uncertainties 
  • Increased responsibilities 
  • Debts 
  • Loss of income 

*above causes are cited in https://www.healthhub.sg/programmes/186/mindsg/caring-for-ourselves/coping-with-stress-adults?utm_source=google&utm_medium=sem&utm_campaign=fy22mh_ao&utm_content=stress_ad_group#home 

What could burnout lead to?

  • Insomnia
  • Depression 
  • High cholesterol 
  • Heart diseases

How can we manage stress and burnout? (aka stress relief)

  • Being aware of our stress levels. Observing and identifying what causes us stress is helpful in helping us cope with it. 
  • Time management. Being organised can help prevent unnecessary rushing and anxiety from deadlines.
  • Selfcare. Taking time to ourselves to recharge and spend time with ourselves helps us feel more grounded. Taking care of ourselves is important! 
  • Reaching out when we need help. There should not be any shame in confiding in others and seeking help when needed. Reaching out is a sign of courage and shows that we are trying to better our situation. 
  • Exercising. Being active keeps us mentally and physically healthy. Working out is also proven to be a good stress reliever!
  • Mindfulness. It is always good to be mindful and reflect on our daily activities – keeping track of the things we do, how we feel, etc. can help us keep track of our well-being and stress levels. 
  • Relaxation. We’re often so caught up in work,  we forget the importance of taking time to breathe and relax once in a while. Deep breathing and self-soothing exercises can help regulate stress and anxiety. 
  • Rest up. Getting good and sufficient sleep is important in helping us feel energised and ready for the day! Having good sleep can also prevent potential moodiness. 
  • Be positive. Sounds easier said than done, but looking at the bright side and looking for silver linings help us regain control from negative thoughts and can also significantly raise our moods! 
  • Healthy diet. You are what you eat – eating a healthy and balanced diet affects us more than just physically but mentally as well! 


In conclusion, managing burnout is crucial for maintaining physical, emotional, and mental well-being in our fast-paced and demanding world. It’s essential to recognize the signs of burnout early and take proactive steps to address it. Prioritizing self-care, setting boundaries, seeking support from friends, family, or professionals, and practicing stress-reduction techniques are all valuable strategies.

Remember that managing burnout is an ongoing process, and it’s okay to seek help when needed. By making self-care a priority and implementing these strategies, individuals can reduce the impact of burnout and lead healthier, more fulfilling lives. Ultimately, it’s a journey toward balance and resilience that allows us to thrive in the face of life’s challenges.


HealthHubSG, M. S. G. (n.d.). The importance of managing stress. HealthHub. Retrieved October 1, 2022, from https://www.healthhub.sg/programmes/186/mindsg/caring-for-ourselves/coping-with-stress-adults?utm_source=google&utm_medium=sem&utm_campaign=fy22mh_ao&utm_content=stress_ad_group#home 

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