Select Page

Mindfulness and Self Care
to Prevent Burnout
Dr. Dawn-Elise Snipes, PhD, LPC-MHSP
Counselor Toolbox Podcast

CEUs available at:

– Identify signs and causes of burnout
– Explore techniques for burnout prevention
Signs of Burnout
– Physical and emotional exhaustion
– Insomnia
– Impaired concentration or memory
– Physical symptoms (heart palpitations, HBP)
– Appetite changes
– Increased illness
– Increases in depression and/or anxiety

– Absence of positive emotions
– Cynicism and disillusionment
– Lack of patience
– Lack of resilience (everything is a crisis)
– Relationship deterioration
– Substance abuse
– Forgoing important personal activities

Causes of Burnout
– Excessive workload
– Emotionally draining work
– Lack of support
– Lack of resources
– Lack of rewards
– Lack of a sense of control/say
– Unclear or everchanging requirements
– Severe consequences of mistakes
– Work/life imbalance
– Perfectionistic tendencies; nothing is ever good enough
– Pessimistic view of yourself and the world
– The need to be in control; reluctance to delegate to others
– High-achieving, Type A personality
– Poor work/person fit

Interventions: Physical
– Sleep
– Nutrition
– Easy on the stimulants
– Circadian rhythms and bright light
– Pain management
– Exericse
Interventions: Affective and Cognitive
– Set SMART goals for work
– Brainstorm ways to work smarter, not harder
– Squeegee (Cleansing) breath
– Take time to add in the positive DAILY
– Each day identify 3-5 things that went well
– Keep a scrapbook or journal of your positive experiences (no PHI)
– Perennial Garden
– Ornaments/windchimes/stepping stones/Lego wall/backsplash tile wall
– Journal

Interventions: Affective and Cognitive
– Use psychological flexibility
– To me, a rich and meaningful life is…
– Is what I am doing/thinking/feeling helping me move toward those things?
– If not, what can I do to improve the next moment
– Perspective taking
– Decision making
– Coping and emotion regulation
– Assertiveness
– Relaxation
– Cognitive restructuring

Interventions: Affective and Cognitive
– Identify the strengths and resources you do have
– Mental Agility:
– The ability to look at situations from multiple perspectives and to think creatively and flexibly. (state the other perspectives or solve from multiple approaches: cheap, fast or right)
– Practice mindfulness
– How do you feel emotionally and where is it coming from?
– How do you feel physically and what does it mean?
– What are your current thoughts and where are they coming from?
– Be aware of your trauma triggers

Interventions: Affective and Cognitive
– Develop resiliency
– Vulnerability prevention and mitigation
– Awareness of what you can and cannot control
– Distress tolerance
– Optimism and hope
– Gratitude
– Optimistic explanatory style: the ability to notice and expect the positive, to focus on what you can control, and to take purposeful action
– Character strengths: Use your top strengths to engage authentically, overcome challenges, and create a life aligned with your values
Interventions: Affective and Cognitive
– Describe why you got into the field and visualize that intention (collage, etc)—money, help, adrenaline, status/power
– Check your need for perfectionism and control

Interventions: Environmental and Relational
– Develop support (co-workers, peers, supervisor)
– Know and ask for what you need in terms of resources
– Create Work/Life Balance
– Develop and nurture relationships (schedule it in if needed)
– Leave work at work (sorta)
– Take time for self-care and relaxation

Interventions: Environmental and Relational
– Limit your contact with negative people.
– Connect with a cause or a community group that is personally meaningful to you.
– Advocate for yourself and others with your supervisor/human resources
– Resources
– Consistency
– Transparency
– Ability to admit mistakes
– Support and celebration
– Boundaries
– Job control

– Burnout work environments are a reality
– Burnout does not have to be
– Burnout causes problems in
– Health
– Mental Health
– Relationships
– Work environment and employee retention
– Ability to provide client services
– Develop resilience and identifying the sources and interventions for your burnout