mum sitting at her desk exhausted with two children running around in the background

Are you experiencing burnout?

Burnout, it’s something we’ve (unfortunately) probably all felt or seen within someone we care about at some point or another – to put simply, burnout is a state of mental and physical exhaustion.

In the 1970’s, psychologist Herbert Freudenberger coined the phrase “burnout” describing a severe stress condition that leads to emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion.

It’s a pretty serious topic because if ignored or left untreated it can lead to physical and/or psychological illnesses like depression, heart disease, and diabetes. Burnout makes it hard for individuals to cope with stress and handle daily activities and responsibilities. It can make people pessimistic and feel hopeless.

What are some of the signs of burnout?

Symptoms can vary from person to person, but if you’re experiencing one or more of the following things you might want to talk to someone or seek some assistance.

  • Feeling physically and emotionally depleted – or constantly exhausted.
  • Feeling overwhelmed or isolated
  • Feeling irritated in everyday situations
  • Frequent illness

A few ways to prevent burnout

Stress may be unavoidable in everyday life; however, burnout is preventable and can be avoided by making self-care part of your regular routine. 

  • Exercise. We all know that exercise good for our physical health, but, did you know it can also give us an awesome mental and emotional boost.
  • Eat the good stuff. Eating a well-rounded diet can help fuel your body with the good things that keep you cracking. It’s also good to add foods that are high in Omega-3 fatty acids they are packed with benefits for your body and brain.
  • Get enough sleep. Everyone need’s time to rest and reset. Regular sleep habits are essential for our well-being. Try and avoid things like caffeine late in the day and screen time before bed to help with this!
  • You’re never alone. It’s important to know who your support networks are; this may be family, friends, a colleague, an advocate or support person. To acknowledge that sometimes we all need help – and although it may be hard to ask for support – sometimes, it’s a great tool for getting back on track.
  • Selfcare. Keeping up momentum can be hard – sometimes it’s wise to stop or slow down.

How to help someone with burnout

Helping people with anything is always on a case by case basis, but you can help lighten their emotional load by offering support to someone experiencing burnout or stress.

Being exposed to constantly stressful situations can cause us to burnout.

Things you can do;

  • Listen – and don’t judge
  • Ensure you validate feelings and concerns – don’t tell them their feelings are silly
  • Offer specific types of help – suggest things you can do together or places/ people they can go to for support
  • Be kind – they’re already struggling, they don’t need any extra stress.
  • Ask if they need help reaching out to someone for further support – if they don’t feel comfortable asking for help, you can offer to do so
  • Research – don’t presume you know the answers, or how to fix things

If you think you may be experiencing burn out it might be time to start looking after yourself a little better; eating a well-balanced diet, participating in regular exercise, and getting a good night’s sleep can help.

If you’re working long or inconsistent hours, studying for exams, or taking care of family members, remember to find the good parts in each day and reach out for help if and when you need.


Support is never far for our staff and students at UNE.

Our team at Advocacy and Welfare offers confidential support to students! You can contact us here.
Student Success also has confidential counselling for students, you can find them here.
Lifeline is also a 24/7 hotline and you can call them on 13 11 14