Spotting the early signs of burnout is key to preventing it from causing damage to physical and mental health later down the line. Put simply, burnout is a state of mental and physical exhaustion due to continual exposure to emotionally demanding situations.

Man holding his head in stress

A recent study showed that in the UK, reports of burnout have doubled amongst employees over the last year.


Here are a few ways you can help your friends/loved ones cope with and overcome burnout in order to prevent damage to their physical and mental health:


1. Do Kind Things To Prevent Burnout

You don’t have to aim for a Nobel Prize, instead you can write a thoughtful text message to someone, buy some flowers for someone you know has been struggling or perhaps send someone a card.


The fact is that people who experience burnout usually feel quite isolated, underappreciated and alone in their struggle so small gestures of kindness mean the world to them.



2. Offer Help


Burnout is extremely tiring so most likely will not ask other people for help due to not wanting to burden others with their struggles. Perhaps you could offer to take some household jobs off their hands like doing a load of washing or ironing, tidying up for them or even cooking a meal for them.



3. Empathise With Feelings And Concerns


When someone is struggling and feeling the pressure of burnout, the worst thing you can do is to say “it doesn’t sound that bad” or “ I’m sure you’ll be fine”. 


People with burnout are often keen to open up and connect with others regarding their current feelings and struggles. You can offer reassurance and support that you will be there for them if they want to chat about what’s happening or how they feel. It’s also a good idea to show understanding for why they feel the way they do and to let them know that it isn’t their fault.



4. Do Research


If you think your friend or loved one is displaying symptoms of physical or mental health damage, it’s definitely a good idea to chat with them about it and suggest they get professional help. Visit information pages about burnout like this one.


People with burnout are often in denial about their situation and how they feel so are likely to ignore their more serious kinds of symptoms like weight loss, depression, isolation and stress and anxiety.



The Bottom Line


Burnout is on the rise and there is a high chance that someone in your friendship group or family is suffering.


Following the steps laid out here will allow them to cope with and come out of their burnout phase so that their mental and physical health is protected. It’s important that everyone is ready to act in support of those with burnout and understand how they can play a positive role in helping others.