How to Avoid Burnout as an Essential Worker

May 14, 2020

As an essential worker during a global pandemic, you face more than just continuing to work while it feels like the rest of the planet gets a vacation. You also face the emotional strain that comes with risk of exposing yourself to the coronavirus—or bringing it home to the people you love. Burnout (emotional exhaustion that comes from being involved too long in a demanding situation) is hitting essential workers hard during this time, so it’s important to use tools like the following to protect yourself.

Find Purpose

It takes more than a paycheck to make you happy in your work. Identify what you do that brings value to others or meaning to your own life. If you’re an essential worker, what you do is important, whether it’s helping to save lives in a hospital or facilitating connection, communication, and the health of the economy by delivering mail. Finding your purpose can give you motivation to do your job each day.


Trying to get everything done each day can be overwhelming—especially during this demanding time. What are the essential tasks in your job? Focus on getting those done first. Then, if you have time and energy, you can work on the other tasks. Work with your boss and coworkers to determine what’s truly important, and what can be eliminated or delegated.

Learn to Manage Stress

Burnout is a form of long-term stress, so learning how to effectively manage stress is important in helping you combat burnout as an essential worker. Take good care of yourself, make time to relax and do the things you enjoy, nurture your relationships, and practice mindfulness to reduce stress and help you feel more in control.

If you are struggling with feelings of exhaustion or anxiety in your job, contact us for a session. We can help you identify the triggers that are causing you to feel worn out, and can suggest ways you can better manage your stress and avoid burnout. We are grateful for the important work you do and are here to support you in your job as an essential worker during a time of crisis.

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