Redefining Success: A Sustainable Approach to Avoid Burnout and Stress

Redefining Success

Burnout is a term most often associated with jobs and careers. This is typically accurate, but it’s also important to remember that other factors contribute to physical, emotional, and social exhaustion. After all, take a good look around. The past half-decade or so has been brimming with unrest, strife, and fear programming. All of this is definitely a factor in causing 8 out of 10 workers to report higher work-related stress.

Chronic stress is most often a cumulative concept. When you feel overworked and under-appreciated on the job, it can make you less resilient when navigating other sources of anxiety and frustration. It can all add up to burnout. 

Some of the Diverse Causes of Burnout 

Lifestyle and Personality 

Lifestyle burnout causes typically involve lack, e.g., lack of:

  • Downtime 
  • Physical activity and exercise
  • Sleep 
  • Social life and relationships 
  • Support from others 

Personality causes can range from perfectionism to pessimism to needing to be in control.


At the workplace (including work-from-home), stress can arise from scenarios like:

  • Doing work that is emotional, dangerous, or potentially traumatic 
  • Not feeling supported by management
  • Having little or no control over your workday
  • Repetition 
  • Feeling under-resourced
  • A workplace that is frenetic and chaotic 
  • Lacking clarity on your work duties 
  • Long hours and heavy workload

Common Signs of Burnout

  • Overthinking about the job
  • Irritability
  • Feeling overwhelmed, unmotivated, and frustrated
  • Exhaustion 
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Sleep disturbances 
  • Compromised immune system
  • Social withdrawal 
  • Absenteeism 
  • Reduced productivity 

A Sustainable Approach to Avoid Burnout and Stress

It begins with practical steps to decrease the immediate issues. In other words, you must relieve stress before facing up to the stressors (and their causes). This involves awareness steps like:

  • Recognize that you need help
  • Identify the causes 
  • Educate yourself about stress
  • Discover some relaxation techniques like meditation and breathing exercises 
  • Add more breaks to your schedule
  • Cultivate new, self-loving time management skills

The idea here is to take back a healthy sense of control. Burnout can leave you spiraling. Thus, it is essential to take steps to address the problems and their sources incrementally. The next phase requires a shift in your mindset.

Redefining Success

Burnout can often be fueled by embedded beliefs about success. We live in a paradoxical culture. We’re simultaneously bombarded with messaging about sticking to “the grind.” At the same time, there is a virtual competition over who is better at self-care. This conflict is enough to drive anyone to extremes. Sure, self-help measures can help mitigate the outcomes of such stress, but a big-picture view is needed if we wish to prevent similar issues in the future. 

Here are three excellent starting points for such work:

Busy Does Not Mean Productive 

The ideal goal is effectiveness, e.g., quality over quantity. This keeps management happy and keeps you from being run ragged. 

What Kind of Work Inspires You? 

Having a job that does not fulfill you is a one-way ticket to burnout. You may not be able to switch careers immediately, but you can get that process rolling. Think about what excites you, lifts your mood, and stretches your comfort zone. 

Maintain Balance

If work is stressful and the world feels like it’s going crazy, that still leaves plenty of personal space to work with. Start setting boundaries to make sure you have the time and space to experience joy, laughter, and bliss on a regular basis.

Easier Said Than Done

The above advice, admittedly, is challenging. We live in a profit-driven culture, and the expectations can be stifling. Bills must be paid, and obligations must be met. At Onyx, we understand this too well. However, our experienced and competent team can help with making healthy changes. Connect with our caring admin staff to book your session.

Redefining Success