Find Your Way Back From Burnout

Available with English captions and subtitles in Spanish.

Not only is burnout an actual syndrome, but it’s everywhere. Chronic stress can be detrimental to physical health and mental health—and impacts the person experiencing the stress and those around them as well.

So how can we identify burnout and address it before we’re completely zapped?

Audience Questions

Lisa W. Coyne, PhD, provides tips on how to detect early signs of burnout, offers ways to lower our daily stressors, and answers audience questions about how to fight back from feeling burned out.

  • What is burnout, and what are some of the symptoms of it?
  • How do we know if we’re burnt out to the point of becoming depressed?
  • Do you have any advice you’d give to health care providers about how they can continue to help others without letting their own mental health fall to the wayside?
  • Can you explain the difference between fatigue and burnout?
  • How can we accurately convey burnout to a partner who may not understand what we’re going through? How can we support our partner who might be experiencing burnout?
  • How can health care professionals help improve the stressors that we encounter in our work environments?
  • Do you have any tips or ways to break the ice around discussing burnout with our supervisors or managers?
  • If you’re a boss, manager, or supervisor, would you advise similar behavior in how to break the ice about burnout with your employees?
  • I’m employed at a counseling center and see so much burnout around me. Are there strategies to address burnout on a more systemic level when the messaging we receive has constantly been “get the work done”?
  • Do you have any advice for students in health professions who are already experiencing academic burnout and are worried about developing professional burnout once they enter the workforce?
  • Do you have any suggestions for health care grad students actively trying to combat burnout when they don’t have a defined workday?
  • Some of us are people pleasers or are willing to take on more work than is reasonable. How do we manage boundaries and burnout?
  • You mentioned people having a short fuse as being a sign of burnout. Are there typical signs or symptoms that someone is experiencing burnout?
  • How can we gently encourage our partner—who may be resistant to talking to a therapist—to start talking to someone about burnout?
  • Can teens experience burnout? There are so many kids learning online and they’re “over it” and not engaging anymore.
  • Is there an official diagnosis for burnout?
  • How can we get ourselves off of social media before we go to bed?

The information discussed is intended to be educational and should not be used as a substitute for guidance provided by your health care provider. Please consult with your treatment team before making any changes to your care plan.


You may find this additional information helpful:

About Dr. Coyne

Lisa W. Coyne, PhD, is an assistant professor of psychology in the Department of Psychiatry, part-time, at Harvard Medical School, and is a senior clinical consultant at the Child and Adolescent OCD Institute (OCDI Jr.) at McLean Hospital.

Dr. Coyne has published numerous peer-reviewed articles and chapters on anxiety, OCD, and parenting. She is the author of “The Joy of Parenting: An Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Guide to Effective Parenting in the Early Years,” a book for parents of young children.

Recent books by Dr. Coyne:

Learn more about Dr. Coyne.

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Originally aired February 18, 2021