How To Prevent Burnout In The Workplace—Tips From An Expert!

As a life coach and psychotherapist, Asha Tarry has helped countless young professionals heal themselves from workplace trauma.

Woman smiling while working on her laptop computer
Photo by Anna Nekrashevich

As a life coach and psychotherapist, Asha Tarry has helped countless young professionals heal themselves from workplace trauma. With over two decades of experience as a mental health clinician, the Brooklyn native has seen firsthand the alarming increase of burnout in recent years. 

“Some typical signs of burnout are apathy, irritable mood, and lackluster attitudes about work and colleagues. Sometimes, burnout can also show up as anxiety and panic attacks,” she tells BrownStyle Magazine exclusively. “There’s also a physical component to burnout such as persistent body aches not associated with physical labor or exercise, labored breathing, and feeling on edge oftentimes.”

The author of Adulting as a Millennial: Everything Your Parents Didn’t Teach You says that most people experience workplace burnout due to over-performing and being unable to limit their daily workload. 

Woman posing in her office
Photo by Anna Nekrashevich

“What causes burnout is lack of self-compassion and consideration for humanity, including your own. This leads to emotional exhaustion, which is a component of burnout,” she notes. “It leaves people feeling depleted and alone, particularly when they’re misunderstood, not considered, and overburdened with tasks. This happens a lot to parents—usually, mothers.”

And while most influencers say the solution to workplace burnout is “setting boundaries,” Tarry says it is not always that simple.

“You can’t set boundaries with employers or managers who don’t have them. It can turn around and bite you in the butt,” she cautions. “Sometimes, the best thing to do is to take note of what you see happening around you, save your money, and make smart investments so that you can exit when needed,” Tarry adds, before encouraging anyone with symptoms of burnout to start job hunting while they are still receiving a paycheck from the current job they hate.

The Reality Of Being A High Achiever

Tarry says burnout can also come from setting high and unrealistic expectations for yourself and feeling pressured to meet those unrealistic demands. 

“The one thing I’ve learned about growing so quickly in my career is that I am a high achiever. I get great pleasure from learning new things and implementing strategies,” she notes. “I’m curious and I love to see things take shape, which means that I tend to exist in multiple roles at the same time.”

When asked if she’s ever experienced burnout herself, she explained that she experienced burnout many times in her life. 

“The first time was when I was working in an outpatient mental health. The approach to our work at that time didn’t consider the well-being of the clinicians. The organization had unrealistic goals for us, and the more you strived, the more work you received,” she revealed.

“I’ve also been a burnt-out caregiver. The first way I healed myself happened unexpectedly. The facility closed and I became unemployed for the 1st time in my career. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise. I took time off to rest, which was new for me as a young professional. I traveled and enjoyed my summer before studying for my state licensure exam and then I began my first course of self-employment as a contractor. It was a great time in my life!”

Feeling stressed trying to maintain a work-life balance? Below, see Tarry’s tips to prevent burnout in the workplace.

Do preliminary research about an organization before you accept a job offer. “I call that precare. Try to find out why employees leave or why a position has been vacated. You can do this by not only asking the interviewer about work-life culture but also reading reviews from former employees online.”

Ask for a tour of the workplace. “If it’s possible, get a look inside the office. How do people appear? Do they seem content or disgruntled? I’ve been in office places where you could feel the tension between staff. On the contrary, I’ve also been in other places where people were more relaxed and seemed to show appreciation and a general concern for one another. Investigate ahead of time, if you can.”

woman smiling while in the office
Photo by PICHA Stock

Pay attention to how your body responds to the people you work with. “Once you’re on the job, pay attention to how you feel. Are you tense? Do you feel nervous? Do you think you’re in over your head and you can’t relate to your coworkers? These are just some of the questions you should ask yourself when adjusting to your new environment.”

Be self-aware. “Much of my healing has come from deeply investigating my inner awareness. To see if your job is causing you burnout, pay close attention to how you respond to the questions coming from your peers and close friends when they inquire about your job and position. Do you have a hard time explaining what you like about the job? Do you find it challenging to articulate your position to other people? Does the job align with the goals you have for yourself? Sometimes, we don’t know how we fully feel about something until we talk about it with other people.”

Find ways to become more intentional with your time. “When dealing with burnout, l highly suggest creating intentional respite periods for yourself. It could be a month-long sabbatical once a year, short stints away from performing tasks, and outsourcing work. I personally like to unplug from my devices whenever I need to, and I do things that give me pleasure. 

Sometimes that includes sleeping until I’m ready to get up, or listening to podcasts and stories about the lives of interesting people, going to a museum, taking myself out on a solo dinner, or sightseeing. Either way, I find peace in centering my well-being because if I don’t, my body will send me messages letting me know that I am doing too much. 

I also suggest creating a tribe of people to help support your wellness goals. I also have a team of healers, which includes my Reiki practitioner, my astrologer, and great women friends who are invested in their own liberation work, so we talk and cry with one another. It’s an amazing experience to have a safe space to express your feelings.”

For more tips and advice from Tarry, visit

Editor’s Note: This story has been edited and condensed for clarity.

Tweety Elitou is not new to the publishing world. Nurtured by parents who are authors and publishers, the Philadelphia native began her career as a fashion writer at the age of 13. As the former Sr. Lifestyle Editor of BET, Tweety was a key player in expanding the audience and reshaping the lifestyle vertical on the brand’s website. After working for notable media brands, the editor took some time off to enjoy the peace and pleasure of self-care and soft living. It was during this period that BrownStyle Magazine was created.