Heidi McIvor-Allen - Owner of McIvor Marketing LLC


In the chaotic world that we live in today, it’s not uncommon that most people feel stressed and burn themselves out. Between personal obligations, heavy workloads & deadline pressures, and making time for friends and family it can feel like there aren’t enough hours in a day. Burnout doesn’t just affect your own performance and wellbeing- it can seriously affect the people you surround yourself with.

“When you change one thing, you have the ability to change EVERYTHING.”

While an increasing number of adults report being seriously impacted by burnout, some professions reported rates as high as 50%, like among medical residents, and up to 85% among financial professionals. In 2019, burnout was officially recognized as a work-related phenomenon by the World Health Organization.


Psychologist Christina Maslach and several other collaborators researched burnout for many years and have broken it down into a three-component syndrome that arises from chronic job stress.


Exhaustion is the primary symptom of burnout. It leads to physical, cognitive, and emotional fatigue compromising people’s ability to work effectively and sustain a positive mindset. Exhaustion stems from society’s 24/7 organizational culture, the pressure of not having enough time, demands of always being on the go, and simply having too much to get done in a day. This exhaustion is heightened when you feel a lack of control, dislike your work, or are over worked. Tasks that should be enjoyable and simple feel like they are too much to handle. This is how burnout begins – when your fuel level is low, and you don’t take the proper time to replenish it.


Cynicism is also referred to as depersonalization, representing a decrease in engagement. It is a way that you distance yourself from you work mentally, not physically. You begin to feel un-invested in work tasks, colleagues, and customers. Feelings like negativity, detachedness, and even callous begin to consume your being. Work overload, conflict, unfairness, and lack of participation all lead to the result of cynicism. When you are constantly cynical that is a sign that you have lost your connection, enjoyment, and pride in your work and/or life.


The third component of burnout involves feelings of incompetence and a lack of achievement and productivity. Those dealing with burnout worry struggle to accomplish tasks on time. They may begin to feel their skills slipping away, which can affect confidence levels and lead to the belief that they can’t achieve success. When you lack the proper resources to do a job well such as time, information, clear expectations, autonomy, and good relationships it can leave you confused about the purpose of your work. You feel unappreciated, unmotivated, frustrated and adrift.

Professional Burnout, Office Worker Burnout


You may not be feeling all three components of burnout syndrome, that does not mean that you aren’t burnt out. If you think you are feeling any of the symptoms, you probably are. Like anything, the first step is acknowledging the signs and figuring out how you can better care for yourself and how to take the proper steps to regain your positivity, confidence, and success. We have put together a list of strategies to practice leaving burnout behind.


Putting yourself first and replenishing your physical and emotional energy is essential to beating burnout. When you take the time to replenish your energy, you maintain your capacity to focus. Prioritize good sleep habits, nutrition, exercise and social connections to enhance your well-being. Incorporate daily practices like meditating, journaling, and enjoying time in nature.

If thinking of including these practices into your busy schedule makes you feel stressed, take a week to assess how you spend your time. For each block of time, record what you’re doing, who you’re with, the value of the activity and most importantly how you feel (on a scale of 1 to 10). Once you realize how your time is being spent, take out some of the activities that don’t make you feel your best. 

One thing we say a lot here at McIvor Marketing is “Say NO to things that don’t NOurish you anymore.” Sometimes when you temporarily say NO to something that you normally love to do, it can actually NOurish your mind & body even more!

Then replace it with some of the self-care practices listed above, we promise it will be worth it in the long run. Lean into things that fill you up and enhance your positive energy instead of things that drain you. Be intentional with the time you take for yourself.

“For me, I have learned the signs of when I start to feel “burnout”. Sometimes I have to just spend the weekend relaxing and binge-watching a new show or series to decompress and help me get back to 100%. Listen to your mind & body and you too can get out of the burnout feelings quicker.”Heidi McIvor-Allen


While the self-care practices above can ease exhaustion, curb cynicism, and enhance efficacy, they don’t address the root causes of your burnout. Look at your mindset, the way you view your daily tasks. Are you waking up each day assuming the worst will come of your day, or are you staying positive about the day ahead? When you alter your perspective, your whole life takes a positive shift.

If exhaustion is the main source of your burnout, take a couple of minutes to delegate your day. Ask yourself which tasks are critical to getting done, and which ones you could eliminate to create some free time for self-care practices. Is there a way that you can reshape your job to gain more control and confidence, or focus on the most fulfilling tasks?

If cynicism is the root cause of your burnout, try to focus on the purpose of your work. By focusing on what you accomplish as you complete each task, you can start to appreciate the work you’re doing more.

If your main struggle is feeling effective, what assistance can you seek out from co-workers or your boss? What developmental changes can you make that increase your efficiency and self-esteem? If you feel you are lacking recognition, try engaging in some personal branding to showcase your work.


Ditch activities and relationships that trigger unhealthy stress. Take a step back and analyze how you feel when you are around certain people, and when you’re participating in certain activities. Try to find people you work with to form positive, supportive relationships as opposed to relationships that drain you.

Reset your expectations of how much you can take on and set boundaries with your energy. You might get some negative reactions from those not willing to adhere to your new boundaries and expectations. Those who provide a negative reaction are clearly triggers of unhealthy stress. Those who are supportive of these changes understand that you’re taking necessary steps to better yourself, improve your long-term productivity, and protect your health.


Finding rich interpersonal interactions both personally and professionally is one of the best ways to beat burnout. Try connecting with coaches and mentors that can help you identify and activate positive healthy relationships and new learning opportunities.

If your burnout is being caused by overwhelming work expectations, chances are others in your organization are feeling it too. You can join forces with these people as someone to confide in, offer mutual support, identify problems, and brainstorm solutions. This will allow you to regain your sense of control and connection.


Kira Schabram is an assistant professor of management in the Foster School of Business at the University of Washington, where she studies how to mitigate burnout in employees. Her researched focuses on what people can do to help themselves instead of thinking someone else is going to pull them out of their burnout. “Employees who cannot leave and are not getting support can still help themselves.” Everything you need to heal is within you – how cool is that? You hold the power to your own recovery and success.

Dr. Schabram’s research suggests that small, intentional acts of compassion toward yourself and others can reduce your feelings of burnout. If it is mainly caused by exhaustion, you can carve out time in your schedule to do kind things for yourself, like cooking yourself a nourishing meal, going for a walk in nature, or five minutes of meditation. If you incorporate these self-care practices into your routine a few times a week then it will become something you look forward to.


Taking short self-care breaks during your workday has been proven to be essential to managing burnout. Dr. Schabram has found that burnout rates tend to be higher in people who view their work as a calling, and “not just a paycheck.” Teachers are a prime example of this. They feel overwhelmed by how much they care about their students and their well-being. They tend to put the needs of others before personal needs.

One of the best ways to recharge your mind and spirit is to focus on gratitude. When you list everything you’re grateful for in a journal and focus on that instead of the things that overwhelm you, an emotional weight is lifted off your shoulders.


When you overwhelm your workload because you want to “do it all,” you increase your chances of being burnt out. This is where cynicism can manifest. When you are focusing on work for others instead of yourself, you can start to feel resentful. It’s important to support others at work, but not at a high cost to yourself. Don’t be afraid to say ‘no!’.


One of the best ways to beat burnout is to use tools to stay balanced when dealing with anxiety and stress factors. This is our advice on how to do that!


1. Essentialism: The Discipline Pursuit of Less – By Greg McKeown

2. Do Nothing: How to Break Away from Overworking, Overdoing, and Underliving – By Celeste Headlee

3. Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life – By Henry Cloud

4. High Performance Habits: How Extraordinary People Become That Way – By Brendon Burchard

5. Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones – By James Clear

6. How to Beat Burnout: For Yourself, Your Family, and Your Team – By Stanley Wars and Joshua Ungerecht

7. The Burnout Fix: Overcome Overwhelm, Beat Busy, and Sustain Success in the New World of Work – By Jacinta M. Jimenez

8. Becoming Bulletproof: Protect Yourself, Read People, Influence Situation, and Live Fearlessly – By Evy Poumpouras

9. Burnout to Breakthrough: Building Resilience to Refuel, Recharge, and Reclaim What Matters – By Eileen McDargh

10. Burning Bright: Rituals, Reiki, and Self-Care to Heal Burnout, Anxiety, and Stress – By Kelsey J. Patel


Burnout can feel insurmountable. The sense of being constantly overwhelmed is pervasive, but it does not need to be an end game feeling. This is a chapter in your book. We believe that mental health matters, and when it is not at its best, neither is your work or your quality of life. By understanding symptoms, causes, and self-care strategies you can recover from burnout, or even try to prevent it. Sometimes it takes hitting your lowest point to take a stand for yourself into a more sustainable career and a happier, healthier life.


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Not ready to dive into hiring a full-time marketing director? Maybe you’re just curious about how your marketing is performing. We can help you set up trackable ways to measure your marketing ROI with a project-based digital audit to gauge current performance. We can also help you get your social media advertising portals set up. We also offer training on Google Analytics, Facebook Business Manager, Facebook Ads, Google Ads, Canva, as well as how to plan content and brainstorm ideas to help you grow through research.

Check out our full list of services and reach out with any questions. 

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