As everyone ushers in 2024 and sets professional and personal goals, we at MySpectrum
Counseling & Coaching urge everyone to spend some time and energy on lifestyle changes to
prevent burnout and achieve a better work-life balance. The reality of burnout’s effects can be
quite serious, often leading to physical or psychological symptoms and at times, long-term
health conditions. The Harvard Business Review notes three characteristics common in
burnout, although people may experience only one, two, or all three simultaneously:
1) Feeling exhausted even when rested;
2) A negative or cynical attitude towards work; and
3) Feelings of inefficiency, or physical and/or mental distance from work
So how do we prevent burnout? Unfortunately, there is not a simple or easy answer. Lifestyle
changes, both in and out of work, are needed to treat and prevent the effects of burnout.
1) Ensure you are getting enough sleep. Doctors and psychologists across the country
agree that people need 7-9 hours of sleep nightly. Sleep allows our minds and bodies to
rest and disengage from the world around us. Inadequate sleep has been linked to
chronic health conditions such as obesity, heart disease, and diabetes, all of which are
exacerbated by chronic stress. Unplug from emails and electronic devices several hours
before bedtime to ensure you are able to rest and sleep soundly.
2) Set boundaries for your work and personal lives. As entrepreneurs, business
owners, and business leaders, we are often high achievers by nature, which often leads
to business success. That same behavior can also lead to chronic stress over time. Set
office hours for yourself, and push yourself to honor them to ensure you are not working
most or all of your waking hours. Use down-time settings on your phone or device to
prevent notifications from disturbing your “out of office” time. Define urgent needs to
yourself and your staff, and practice waiting to address non-urgent needs until your
“business hours” are active.
3) Build your support network. Figure out the people that restore your energy or “fill you
bucket,” and intentionally spend more time with them. Make sure you block time in your
schedule for hobbies and people that you genuinely enjoy to balance out the hours of
your day that may be mundane or frustrating. Switch up how you meet staff or clients at
times to incorporate new scenery such as walking meetings at the park or coffee in the
lobby instead of the same conference room or office each time. Changes in perspective
and routine will break up the work day and make it feel less monotonous.
4) Seek out professional help if needed. If you find that your stress is overwhelming your
daily life and you are unable to manage it alone, seek out the help of a professional
therapist. We offer convenient scheduling hours, accept most major insurances,
Medicaid, and Medicare, and have a large team of therapists that would be happy to
help you heal and prevent future burnout.
Preventing Burnout in 2024
By: Heather Fritz, LMSW
Community Outreach & Compliance Coordinator