Stress vs burnout — what’s the difference?


In the workplace, the words stress and burnout are often used interchangeably. However, they’re two completely different states of mind that shouldn’t be confused with one another.
Burnout is a cycle of negative emotions that’s often a result of investing too much into something physically, emotionally, and intellectually for extended periods of time. It’s like fatigue, only much worse. It’s basically the meaner, larger, older cousin of stress.
Stress, on the other hand, occurs when you’re struggling to cope with pressures. It’s the body’s reaction to a challenge or demand that requires too much of you physically and mentally. However, stress isn’t a constant state of mind like burnout; stressed individuals can still see the light at the end of the tunnel, so to speak, even though getting there might be difficult.
And that’s the main difference between stress and burnout: with stress, there is an end in sight. Relief comes when a challenge or obstacle is overcome.
Burnout is perpetual and seemingly unending. Once burnout occurs, you’re essentially out of gas and you’ve given up hope of overcoming obstacles.
Burnout can’t exist without stress. Most of the time, they come hand-in-hand. Stress, however, can exist without burnout.

High functioning anxiety

I meet more and more clients who are beyond capable yet struggling with their inner dialogue.  On the surface they  appear to be,  and often are are;   supremely talented, operating at  a senior level, calm and  collected…… yet  the person  is exhausted, anxious and full of self doubt.

This diagram really resonated with me because it really demonstrates the reality for some  no matter how capable or  in control they look.

Imposter syndrome? Poor self esteem?  Burn out?

Whatever it is we need to change the narrative – coaching is a great way  to support with this.  Working with someone you trust, giving yourself the time to explore  your limiting  beliefs  and develop strategies to overcome then can be life changing literally.

Please do get in touch if you would  like support.


5 Minutes for the NEXT 50 Years of Your LIFE

I watched this via a friend on Linkedin  this week and felt compelled to share. It really is quality over quantity.


What killed the frog?

I use this a lot in coaching. #stress #Resilience #wellbeing

Put a frog into a vessel filled with water and start heating the water. As the temperature of the water begins to rise, the frog adjust its body temperature accordingly. The frog keeps adjusting its body temperature with the increasing temperature of the water. Just when the water is about to reach boiling point, the frog cannot adjust anymore. At this point the frog decides to jump out. The frog tries to jump but it is unable to do so because it has lost all its strength in adjusting with the rising water temperature. Very soon the frog dies.

What killed the frog?

Think about it!

I know many of us will say the boiling water. But the truth about what killed the frog was its own inability to decide when to jump out.

We all need to adjust with people & situations, but we need to be sure when we need to adjust & when we need to move on. There are times when we need to face the situation and take appropriate actions.
If we allow people to exploit us physically, emotionally, financially, spiritually or mentally they will continue to do so.

Let us decide when to jump!

Let’s jump while we still have the strength.

Helen Crossland Consulting