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Counteracting Stress and Burnout

stress and burnout
  • Published
  • 21 January 2022
  • Category
  • General

We just released a video on Stress Management and Burnout Prevention featuring Brittany Busse, M.D., an Associate Medical Director at WorkCare. We invite you to check it out and share it with others.

You’ll learn about how stress can impair your physical and mental health, and how to counteract those effects. Insights you will gain from the video are particularly relevant as the COVID-19 pandemic drags on.

What Can You Do?

To better manage stress and help prevent burnout, here are some practices you may want to try yourself or promote in your workplace:

  1. Recognize symptoms. Stress-related physical symptoms include rapid heart rate, headache, upset stomach, diarrhea, muscle aches, fatigue and trouble sleeping. Psychological symptoms include depression, anxiety, irritability, concentration or memory problems, accident-proneness, feeling detached or overly emotional, hypervigilance and guilt about pursuing usual life tasks. An extreme response may involve aggression, substance abuse or suicidal thoughts.
  2. Understand reactions. The ability to manage stress improves when you identify sources of stress and understand how you react to them. What are your default modes, behavior patterns and emotional responses to stress? Can you identify specific stressful situations, or do just generally feel “stressed out?” What behavior patterns and stress triggers do you observe in others?
  3. Communicate without judgment. Try consciously using the phrase “I feel” instead of “I am” when expressing your emotions. When working with others, practice compassion and remain open to their thoughts and feelings. Be a good listener; don’t interrupt.
  4. Show gratitude. An attitude of gratitude diminishes stress effects and helps people appreciate positive aspects of their lives. That doesn’t mean you should ignore the reality of a difficult situation. Gratitude creates a safe space to seek solutions.
  5. Stay connected. Practice physical distancing, not social isolation. Use all available, safe options to maintain connections with employees, family, friends and neighbors.
  6. Promote wellness. Doing regular exercise, eating a healthy diet, spending time outdoors and getting quality sleep all help with stress management.

Professional Help

Employees who are struggling with issues that affect their quality of life and performance at work – such as substance abuse, relationship or financial problems, low morale, depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder or chronic pain – can be encouraged to seek professional help. Many companies offer access to Employee Assistance Programs and other behavioral health services through benefits packages. Community-based and church organizations are also a good source of support.

Confiding in a therapist, spiritual adviser, trusted partner, friend or family member helps control racing thoughts and provides valuable insights for stress management.

For more information on how WorkCare can help your employees manage stress and prevent burnout, visit us at

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