Published on June 30, 2021

Spilled ice cream cone

Jackets in July: An EAP Perspective on Burnout

"We would never wear our warmest clothes in, why wear your emotions like winter jackets in July?"

With July comes hot dogs, swimming pools, shorts and t-shirts. We adapt to the change of the season by peeling off the heavier clothing and donning the more appropriate outerwear to match the weather. Our need to be attentive to our mental health is year-round and just as important to be attentive to carrying around extra clothing. We would never wear our warmest clothes in July as you would be uncomfortable, sweaty, dehydrated and on the verge of over-heating. So, why wear your emotions like winter jackets in July? Let me help you with your emotional jacket and become more comfortable!

Within the mental health community, there is a term known as “burnout.” This was a very popular work during the peaks of the COVID pandemic, but what exactly defines it? In her article on the subject, Elizabeth Pearson differentiates between stress and burnout. She explains that stress is merely a symptom that can lead to burnout, which can be seen when employees become less productive, chronically exhausted, even more cynical overall.

In a survey completed by Deloitte, despite 87% of the professionals surveyed report that they are passionate for the work they are currently doing, 64% claim to experience high levels of stress and frustration between one a week and every day. A whole 77% report to have experienced burnout at their jobs, and more than half report that burnout has occurred more than once. It should also be noted that not all these people report to be dissatisfied with their current job, so anyone experiencing high levels of stress is vulnerable to face burnout.

What can you do for yourself to address or prevent burnout? Mayo Clinic offers several suggestions that most people can do to take immediate action. Firstly, look for support. Speak with your supervisor(s), loved ones, friends, and/or a therapist. The article even suggests that you explore whether your company has an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) to assist with finding someone to speak with as an employee benefit through your job. It goes on to cite exercise and proper sleep as two of the best ways to protect your physical and mental health. Additionally, it promotes the process of “mindfulness,” which entails becoming aware of your breathing and your surroundings, which helps you stay calm, collected, and clear-minded.

On top of these excellent suggestions, it is my conviction to add that you ought not to be hard on yourself if you are facing the symptoms of burnout. Experiencing this does not mean you are weak; rather, it means you are human. Look at the statistics above. Whether you enjoy your job or not, high amounts of stress lead to burnout. Understand that asking for help makes you stronger, not weaker! You have options to both address and prevent future burnout, and you owe it to yourself to practice self-care. Talk to someone. Get your stress off your chest and vent. Get rid of the Winter gear and wear something lighter and more comfortable. There is no need for you to wear a jacket in July, but you must be the one to take it off!

Consider shedding your emotional coat by calling your LifeWork Strategies EAP today at

(877) 252-8550.

We are your source for self-care!

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