How Mindfulness Can Overcome Burnout at Work

Adriana Girdler

WHO says burnout is a medical condition, leading to the big question: What is the answer? Burnout has long been a widely discussed mental health …

WHO says burnout is a medical condition, leading to the big question: What is the answer?

Burnout has long been a widely discussed mental health concern. And while it’s not news to most of us that burnout exists, the World Health Organization’s recent announcement that burnout is now an official medical diagnosis highlights the severity of the issue. This leaves many thinking; how can burnout be cured? Or better yet, how can it be avoided?

The answer to this health concern is both simple to learn and easy to implement. Mindfulness has been proven to combat the effects of stress and burnout, making it necessary to implement for both individuals and organizations.

Why mindfulness?

The World Health Organization outlined some symptoms of burnout, including:

  • Decreased energy and exhaustion
  • Feeling mentally distanced from or negative towards one’s job
  • Becoming less effective at one’s job

Elaine Cheung, a professor of medical social sciences, outlined some important aspects of an employee’s work life that employers should be paying attention to. Her list included:

  • Whether employees have a solid community in the workplace
  • The quality of a worker’s social relationships
  • How manageable employees’ workloads are

While these are important guidelines, the truth of the matter is that work-life balance is almost never a 50/50 split and workloads often fluctuate. The question then becomes, what do you do if you can’t guarantee to keep these factors consistent 100% of the time?

The answer is mindfulness. Mindfulness has been proven to reduce and effectively manage stress – which is where burnout typically stems from. It also empowers employees to do their best, deal with emotions efficiently, and make sound decisions based on their thoughts, beliefs, and values. Ultimately, mindfulness is about paying attention to the present moment on purpose. Awareness of the present moment encourages positive reactions to difficult experiences and gives individuals more compassion for themselves.

Simply speaking, mindfulness is a sure way to take care of yourself 100% of the time. While external factors such as employee workload and social relationships may not be consistent 24/7, an individual is always able to choose mindfulness practices which will keep them feeling empowered and energized rather than burnt out.

How to incorporate mindfulness in your work life

As someone who has implemented, studied, and taught mindfulness for years, there is no doubt in my mind that this is the best response to burnout and the best preventative measure for burnout. Through my experience as an executive and personal mindfulness coach, I have seen the positive impacts of mindfulness unfold in the lives of many individuals, both in their personal lives and their work lives. I’ve seen organizations transformed by the power of mindfulness after receiving my workshops or employee sessions on mindfulness training. I believe in mindfulness not simply because I’ve heard that it works, but because I’ve seen it combat employee burnout time and time again.

For more information on how I can help you and your organization combat the negative effects of burnout, or to find out more about the mindfulness services I offer, visit

Thanks For Sharing!

Photo of author

Adriana Girdler is a project manager, productivity specialist, entrepreneur, professional speaker, facilitator, visioning wizard, and author. As President of CornerStone Dynamics, Adriana is one of Canada’s prominent business productivity and project management specialists—helping both individuals and businesses do what they do, only better. She is a certified master black belt lean six sigma with over 20 years’ experience improving how companies work.

She also holds both PMP (project management professional) and CET (certified engineering technologist) designations. She’s a Tedx speaker, as well as a HuffPost and Thrive Global contributor. She has been interviewed on Global, CBC, CTV, CHCH, 680News Radio, Newstalk 1010, Sirius XM and published in the Globe and Mail and numerous industry magazines. WANT ADRIANA'S FREE ONLINE TRAINING? In 45 min, learn Adriana's 5 project management secrets she use on EVERY project. Sign up for the Free Webinar here: THE FAB FIVE FUNDAMENTALS OF PROJECT MANAGEMENT

SLAY Project Management

Online Course

5 Sections and 24 step-by-step HOW TO Videos! The only 5-hour on-line course that teaches you the PRACTICAL side of project management. This course will guide you step-by-step on HOW to successfully run a project and provides you with all the templates and tips you need to be successful.

Fab 5 Fundamentals

Free Training

Are you striving for successful projects, but get overwhelmed figuring out what elements of project management to focus on for the best results? In the Fab Five Fundamentals of Project Management, you’ll learn the five things you need to do on EVERY project to bring it to success.

Why Projects Fail?

Free Download

If you're new to projects or need a refresher, here's a guide of all the things I learned during my journey. Project success is about knowing how to navigate and stay clear of roadblocks, issues and problems. Understand the top 10 reasons why projects fail and how to avoid them.

Interested In Working Together?

We are business productivity experts. Contact us to learn how we can help your business become more efficient and increase profitability.

Join Our Newsletter

Join over 50,000 subscribers. Get the latest and the best in project management information delivered straight to your inbox.

Follow Us