The workaholic community consists of top-notch sprinters. While winning medals and fame, they never touch any track and field. Then where they run? Mostly, in the burnout circle, trying hard to avoid the finish line. Meanwhile, some of them are so peculiar that they run for 40 years, 20 years avoiding burnout, there are the not so awesome ones with a maximum of 1-2 years. Once in awhile the old stagers’ shoelaces get loose too and welter in the dust, but getting in the peculiar team is a noble goal.

But how do we get to the peculiar team?

I’m sure, you heard about stress before, maybe good and bad stress too. However everybody wants to get into the good stress team without effort, sadly, resilience requires a lot of work. To build it let’s check what kind of resources do we need:

  • EQ – self-awareness, social skills, knowing yourself and others, giving feedback from your heart, listening to others
  • Positive thinking – positive self-image – solution focus, building on your strength, optimism, trust, humility
  • Growth mindset – openness for new challenges, believing in ourselves
  • Agility – spiritual peace, adaptiveness, flexibility, versatility
  • Energy – knowing our limits, maintaining balance, recharging
  • Ready to change – Being prepared for losses, ability to learn quickly
  • Willpower – self-control – perseverance, discipline
  • Stress management – being aware of our stress factors, managing stress, letting go of our beliefs
  • Clear vision – having our own goals and missions
  • Authenticity – being honest and being you
  • An environment that supports us

That’s a hella lot of skills, and you can add to this list and read more about it on positivepsychology. There are many self-help books, coaches, training, and courses that can help you find these resources in you. (If you subscribe to our newsletter, then our workbook can be a help too.) In reality, being the perfect human in today’s society is nearly impossible. Regardless, we can be in a constant fight for our well-being, and why not? First, we have to know our enemy.

How do we know that we are sliding down?

The Mental health continuum mentions 3 main phase at this rollercoaster and there is one additional

well-being bar







  • Stable mood
  • A calm and peaceful state of mind
  • Energetic
  • Contentment with life
  • Physically healthy




  • Constant worry
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Doubt causing anxiety
  • Always tired, lack of energy




  • Persistent sadness and irritability
  • Lack of motivation for new challenges
  • Apathy and unexplained fatigue to perform daily duties
  • Losing personal and professional relationships
  • Restlessness and irritability
  • Lack of empathy


You go girl and see a specialist phase if

  • Social isolation, social anxiety kick in
  • You have sleeping and eating disorders, headaches, change in blood pressure
  • Have extreme mood swings
  • Inability to perform daily responsibilities, including basic self-care
  • You get memory losses, concentration problems
  • Have self hurting thoughts

How do we get the burnout symptoms?

We have many alternatives. I believe everybody can list one or two things that’ll toss them into that deep loop. Regarding me, overworking, losing control, lack of money, lack of self space and just breathing can make it difficult. So I don’t really have to look for it in the hay.

Burnout jumps out of the bush as a monster in a category ZS movie. You know it’s coming however you don’t want to believe in it and hope that it won’t see you. Just try to hide your face with your palm. Did it help?

If not then here are some category zs monsters, Beck’s cognitive distortion squad, that can make our problems bigger:

  • All or Nothing Thinking: The basic perfectionist. Just peeking back to the past, you will see awkward moments and failures. And the future? Oh, it’s much darker.
  • Overgeneralization: If it rains now then we’ll never see the sun again, won’t we?
  • Mental Filter: A single negative detail can kill a day altogether. Maybe staying in bed is the best, forever.
  • Disqualifying the Positive: Winning the Olympics is basic, you trained for that for your whole life. It’s just expected. It doesn’t count.
  • Jumping to conclusions: The negative mind reader and fortune teller. Do you know this joke?
    • Bunny is walking to Bear to borrow his chainsaw. Bunny is constantly thinking during his journey. After 1 km he thinks: “Maybe Bear doesn’t want to lend me his chainsaw.” Takes 1 more km: “He wasn’t that nice last time.” At the last km: “He didn’t lend it to Fox the last time and he was ranting about it in the tavern.” Then he arrives at Bear’s doorstep and knocks. Bear opens the door with a smile and Bunny angrily shouts in his face: “F*** you and your chainsaw!” and goes home.
  • Magnification: The impact on the world. To be precise the impact of your awkward moments in the world.
  • Emotional Reasoning: Mastery is a mindset. If you want to be the master of self-sorrow, then you sure can be.
  • Should Statements: You should have done that, and today it shouldn’t have rained. Sadly, it did.
  • Labeling and Mislabeling: The extreme form of overgeneralization. You attach a negative label to yourself and the Pygmalion effect gets the work done.
  • Personalization: The penguins die because of you. Maybe you can do something about it, but thinking that it’s entirely is your fault is a bit cocky, don’t you think?

Okay, we know most of the horsemen of the apocalypse now, but how to fight them?

How to delay the burnout apocalypse?

There are 3 different life orientations that narrow your options when you have to choose your life goals. Everybody lives their life in the mixture of these three but as you know if you are a conflict seeker or you hide from them, you can tell which suits you the best. What happens if you decide on one of these? Nothing. But if you are a hedonist, then joining a cult isn’t the best for you. (Therefore you can find that specific cult)

The pleasant Life – The hedonist

  • Searching and finding the positive side of life. Being happy, living life with delight without worries.
  • In a working environment, loving your work because it’s fun or helps you to do fun things.

The meaningful Life – The believer

  • Working toward a higher purpose and never stopping.
  • In a working environment, loving your work because it helps people or you can save the world.

The engaged Life – The flow searcher

  • Searching for flow-eliciting activities.
  • In a working environment, loving your work because you can get into the flow. It’s kind of hedonistic, right?

Knowing which path is the most accurate for you, can help you to make the right decisions when you try to stay out of the burnout zone. If you are the believer type, then earning more money is nice, but if there isn’t any higher purpose, then you will hate your job. If you spend most of your day in the right state, then you’ll be more resilient. Don’t forget that work can be a tool too and not just the end-goal. But to work at a shitty place for a bunch of money, you need some extra happy, out of work activities to recharge. The more you drain, the more happiness you need to recharge.

Spot stress factors

Break your problems into smaller chunks and ask yourself these questions at every chunk:

  • What kind of situations causes stress for me?
  • Why does this situation add to my stress level? 
  • How do I maintain my sanity? How do I relax?
  • Can I say no to unreal expectations?
  • What kind of feelings and thoughts do I have?
  • How do I communicate in a stressful situation? Do I share my needs with the other party?
  • What are my needs?
courage the coward dog

What kind of sockets do we need for recharge?

Sadly, we aren’t phones that need just one socket to recharge. This process demands effort from 3 different aspects.

Physical effort

Emotional effort

Mental effort

  • The right diet
  • Sport
  • Sleep quality
  • Energizing
  • Time management
  • Managing triggers
  • Positivity
  • Aligning values to long-term goals
  • Expand comfort zone


  • The right diet
    • The perfect diet can change your world. It’s really amazing what food does with our brain and hormone system. Just a small change can do the trick.
  • Sport
    • Regarding sports, I’m the lazy and the lame one, but I can do it too. So search for a sport that makes you the least uncomfortable. Walking is a sport too.
  • Sleep quality
    • Sleeping is a must. Meditate, listen to podcasts. Seek help if it’s required.
  • Work-life balance
    • Work-life balance can be tricky. It’s different for everybody. You can work 14 hours straight and feel energized but maybe that’s not your path. Experiment and find your path.
  • Energizing
    • Find something different, a hobby, that lets you disconnect from your computer and mobile. Make some off-screen time.
  • Time management
    • You can’t be at two or more places at one time. Multitasking doesn’t work, we aren’t capable to do it. If you don’t believe me, then read Thinking, Fast and Slow.
  • Managing triggers
    • After you ventilated. Look at your inner stories from above and decide if you need them.
    • Maybe it will help you to forgive yourself and others.
    • There are things that out of your league and can’t change (like the weather)
    • Ask for a different point of view
    • Tell others if you are triggered by something. It makes things easier.
    • Avoid traps. Go round them.
  • Being positive
    • Express your gratitude toward your friends, coworkers, family, and don’t forget yourself. Maybe you should write a diary.
    • Volunteering or acts of kindnesses can make your day. Just be sure you stay on the right side and don’t be the yes man.
    • Try to practice spirituality. Maybe it’s not your piece of cake but believing in God, the universe, science, or yourself isn’t that big of a difference.
    • Practice optimism. What can you lose with you can do it attitude? Believe in yourself.
    • Let yourself have some fun in hard times too. Laughing at yourself can ease hard situations.
  • Aligning values to long-term goals
    • Set doable but challenging goals.
      • List your abilities and limits
      • Say no when you can’t allocate the required time
      • Engage in flow experiences
      • Write them on paper and stick it to a well-seen place. At hard times it’ll help you stay hooked.
  • Expanding comfort zone
    • Spend time with your social circle
      • Find people that make you happy or just don’t make you frustrated
      • Search for social activities
      • Forget overthinking
    • Listen to others
    • Let our social circle influence us
      • Avoid social comparison
    • Compromise


Regarding researchers, gratitude can help you avoid neuroticism, lead an open and positive life. (You can read more about it here.) It helps you maintain positive emotions, raise your relationships to a higher level, getting more engaged, finding meaning, and live your successes.

It’s pretty awesome, isn’t it?

Try out a bullet journal or an app, that helps you keep track of your appreciation bonbons. (I use dailyo, but there are countless fish in the sea.) Just try it out, if it’s not your piece of cake, you can always change it.

After you found the perfect plan, don’t forget to follow it and track the effects. Alter it if needed.

Have blissful days and don’t forget a baby step is a step forward!