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Decreasing Burnout and Increasing Self-Care

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burnout is real

What is burnout?

”Burnout is a syndrome of emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and reduced personal accomplishment that can occur among individuals who work with people in some capacity” (Maslach, Jackson, and Leiter, 1996).

decreasing burnout

Symptoms and behaviors related to burnout include:

• Absenteeism

• Frequent illness

• Other physical symptoms

• Withdrawal from social interaction

• Negative language when talking about work

• Avoidance of work tasks

Effects of Burnout

Individual level and organizational level

• Absenteeism

• Turnover

• Service disruption

• Additional stress for those that stay when others leave

• Poor performance by those that stay instead of leave when burnt out

Risk Factors of Burnout

• High/unrealistic work demands

• Imbalance between demand and resources

• Conflict within the workplace

• Younger employees

• Single employees

• Employees that define work as a primary source of feelings of accomplishments

• Longer work days

• Isolation/lack of social support

• Higher levels of education

• Challenging client behaviors (specific to special education/behavior health settings)

(Plantiveau,C., Dounabi, K., and Virues-Ortega, J. (2018)

So what do we do?

Assess. Intervene. Monitor.

so tired need help

Maslach Burnout Inventory:

The Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) is the most commonly used tool to self-assess whether you might
be at risk of burnout. To determine the risk of burnout, the MBI explores three components: exhaustion,
depersonalization and personal achievement. While this tool may be useful, it must not be used as a
scientific diagnostic technique, regardless of the results. The objective is simply to make you aware that
anyone may be at risk of burnout.
For each question, indicate the score that corresponds to your response. Add up your score for each
section and compare your results with the scoring results interpretation at the bottom of this document.

Burnout Self-Test:

Burnout spreadsheet section A Burnout spreadsheet section B Burnout spreadsheet section C


Section A: Burnout

Burnout (or depressive anxiety syndrome): Testifies to fatigue at the very idea of work, chronic fatigue, trouble sleeping, physical problems. For the MBI, as well as for most authors, “exhaustion would be the key component of the syndrome.” Unlike depression, the problems disappear outside work.

Total 17 or less: Low-level burnout

Total between 18 and 29 inclusive: Moderate burnout

Total over 30: High-level burnout

Section B: Depersonalization

“Depersonalization” (or loss of empathy): Rather a “dehumanization” in interpersonal relations. The notion of detachment is excessive, leading to cynicism with negative attitudes with regard to patients or colleagues, feeling of guilt, avoidance of social contacts and withdrawing into oneself. The professional blocks the empathy he can show to his patients and/or colleagues.

Total 5 or less: Low-level burnout

Total between 6 and 11 inclusive: Moderate burnout

Total of 12 and greater: High-level burnout

Section C: Personal Achievement

The reduction of personal achievement: The individual assesses himself negatively, feels he is unable to move the situation forward. This component represents the demotivating effects of a difficult, repetitive situation leading to failure despite efforts. The person begins to doubt his genuine abilities to accomplish things. This aspect is a consequence of the first two.

Total 33 or less: High-level burnout

Total between 34 and 39 inclusive: Moderate burnout

Total greater than 40: Low-level burnout

A high score in the first two sections and a low score in the last section may indicate burnout. 

Note: Different people react to stress and burnout differently. This test is not intended to be a scientific analysis or assessment. The information is not designed to diagnose or treat your stress or symptoms of burnout. Consult your medical doctor, counselor or mental health professional if you feel that you need help regarding stress management or dealing with burnout.

C. Maslach, S.E. Jackson, M.P. Leiter (Eds.), Maslach Burnout Inventory manual (3rd ed.), Consulting Psychologists Press (1996)

MBI addresses three scales:

Emotional Exhaustion measures feelings of being emotionally overextended and exhausted by one’s work

Depersonalization measures an unfeeling and impersonal response toward recipients of one’s service, care treatment, or instruction

Personal Accomplishment measures feelings of competence and successful achievement in one’s work

Self-Care as an Intervention:

• Develop and follow a healthy eating plan

• Take time away from work if the burnout is resulting in impairment in the ability to function or requires treatment

• Ensure that the recovery process includes the development of a healthy approach to work

• Exercise

• Walk in green space

• Garden

• Find a creative outlet such as painting

“Less Stress, More Happiness”


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