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Revised:  03/04/2007

Burnout Busters


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Fight Your Burnout ... Do Something Right Now!


Perform an activity that is physiologically incompatible with stress ... Do it right now! Lock yourself in your office for 5 minutes alone and sing, dance or do something silly. This will give you a short respite from the emotional and physiological effects of stress. Don't sit there and roll your eyes ... Try it! 

Social Worker dancing to relieve stress

You might be pleasantly surprised! Want to really see the power of this technique? Invite a stressed out colleague to join you! The laughter and comaraderie can be huge tension relievers which set the tone for improved coping for the rest of your shift. Just try it!


Not into singing or dancing? Then keep a stash of stress-relieving toys handy. You can find some terrific yet inexpensive ones at Office Playground.



 Change Your Environment! 

Initiate positive changes in your work setting. Enlist the support of your colleagues. 


  • Pick up a copy of Leiter & Maslach's excellent book, Banishing Burnout. Let the authors show you how your work environment is causing your burnout ... and what to do about it! Or check out our other recommended books on burnout.

  • Share some smiles at work with our links for Morale Boosters. Or grab something humorous from the Fried Social Worker Store.

  • Promote personal and team excellence with some outstanding motivational and team-building materials

  • Make it a habit to Celebrate Social Work!

  • Learn more about changes you can initiate from our articles and web links about burnout.

  • Find out whether you suffer from burnout or compassion fatigue.

  • You have choices. You have options. Find a new job or start a home career. Get started today with our collection of Career Resources.


  • Don't overlook your "mental environment." Set appropriate limits on your time and your employer when you can. And don't forget all those relaxation exercises you've recommended for your clients. 


    • Get some helpful stress-busting tips from the Canadian Mental Health Association, where you'll find a whole mini-site about coping with stress.

    • Curl up with a good book. Stimulate your mind and reinvigorate your professional enthusiasm with a good social work book. .

  • Get away! Take a trip with a loved one. If you can't get time off work, make an overnight outing, take a day trip, or otherwise do something to provide yourself with a change of scenery.


 A Word of Encouragement to the Totally Fried

If you're feeling entirely burned out, exhausted, and just plain fed up, please get some help! Take some time off. Call in sick if you have to! Use your Employee Assistance Program or insurance benefit to get some counseling. 

Don't give up! As Maslach & Leiter's research has shown, your employer is largely responsible for your burnout. Stop blaming yourself and engaging in defeating self-talk, and start Banishing Burnout

Remember that you do have options. Even if you feel financially stuck and unable to leave a job, you can still explore second income opportunities with the ultimate goal of liberating yourself from that chained-to-this-job feeling.

Please try to count your blessings and appreciate the good things in your life. Don't lose sight of them while work is bringing you down. 







 Burnout Books

Please visit our Recommended Reading section for books and books reviews

 Humor Your Stress

We're huge fans of  Loretta LaRoche, the queen of reframing stressful situations with humor. She has some good advice for you!




Looking for stress relief in the office? Check out our humorous office accessories in the Fried Social Worker Store.


 Desktop Chuckles

Need a laugh? Visit our humor page and put a smile on your face.









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