Handling Stress and Anxiety: Avoiding Burnout

Dr. Clifford N. Lazarus


“You’ve got to stop burning the candle at both ends!” Lorenzo’s wife Sylvia warned. “The kids and I never see you, and the hours you’re keeping are going to kill you! ” Her prediction nearly came true: Lorenzo was forced to slow down when he landed in the hospital after collapsing at work.


The term “burnout” is now part of our everyday language. It refers to those who overwork to such an extent that they become bored, exhausted, listless, unmotivated, depressed and even physically ill.

It doesn’t take much for some people to feel burned out. We all react differently to stress, deadlines, pressures, demands, monotony and responsibility.  What feels O.K. to one individual may be experienced by someone else as extremely irritating and disturbing. Nevertheless, there are specific tactics that everyone can follow to prevent burnout.

• Evaluate your goals and priorities. What do you really want to get out of life?

• Pursue other interests besides work.

• At work, try to do some things that have personal meaning.

• Become an active agent in making your life what you want it to be.

• Think of ways to bring variety into your work if at all possible.

• Attend to your health through adequate sleep, exercise, good nutrition and relaxation.

• Never jeopardize your health for any job.

• Learn specific methods to reduce stress on the job and at home.

• Learn to ask for what you want, but don’t expect always to get it.

• If at all possible, delegate responsibility—don’t take the entire load on your shoulders.

• Don’t assume burdens that are actually the responsibility of others.

• Watch out for and get rid of any perfectionism in yourself.

• Learn your own limits and learn to set limits with others.

• If things are really tough, try to form a support group with colleagues to share feelings and to find a way of diminishing frustration.

• Learn to forgive yourself when you make a mistake or do not live up to your ideals.

• If necessary, consider seeking counseling for personal development or stress management.


Dr. Clifford N. Lazarus is a licensed psychologist, Co-founder and Clinical Director of The Lazarus Institute. In addition to his general psychotherapy practice, Dr. Clifford Lazarus specializes in health and neuropsychology.

Dr. Clifford Lazarus received his B.A., M.S., and Ph.D. in psychology from Rutgers University where he was a Henry Rutgers Research Scholar.  Seen here are excerpts from one of his books, The 60-Second Shrink – 101 Strategies For Staying Sane In a Crazy World, a book, he co-authored with his father “One of the ten most influential psychotherapists in America”  Arnold A. Lazarus, Ph.D.  For more details on Dr. Clifford Lazarus visit this link to The Lazarus Institute.  Or visit his page here on friendlysuggestions.com.


Books available at Amazon by Arnold and Clifford Lazarus

Direct links to two highly recommended books by Dr. Clifford Lazarus and Dr. Arnold A. Lazarus:

The 60-Second Shrink: 101 Strategies for Staying Sane in a Crazy World 

Don’t Believe It for a Minute!: Forty Toxic Ideas That Are Driving You Crazy

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1 comment for “Handling Stress and Anxiety: Avoiding Burnout

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