Tip #1 – Pay attention to the person’s mental health.

• If you notice the person isn’t coping, ask them what’s going on.
• Check in with them about how they ’re feeling.
• It’s okay to express concern. But be careful not to overpower them with your own.

Tip #2 – Don’t judge or compare them to others

Don’t say.

"At least you don’t have it as bad as…"

Telling someone that they don’t deserve to experience what they ’re going through because someone else has it worse is very unhelpful! Everyone’s experiences are valid. Each person is an individual, with their own unique experience. Just because someone else’s life might be harder, it doesn’t mean their experience of their life as hard isn’t true to them.

“Don’t think that”

Telling someone that they shouldn’t think or feel what they are thinking or feeling isn’t helpful. No one has control over what they think and feel. All we have control over is how we react to our thoughts and feelings. If you judge them for what they can’t control, you just add extra difficult thoughts and feelings to what they ’re already struggling to deal with.

“Be positive”

Reacting to someone’s difficult experience by telling them to just be grateful or positive, can leave them feeling even worse about themselves. It also increases their feelings of guilt and shame. Just because someone is struggling with burnout, it doesn’t mean they ’re not grateful. You can be grateful for what you’ve got (e.g., your job) AND be burnt out at the same time.

Tip # 3 – Focus on what’s in your control

If you don’t let your feelings out, they WILL take control. Numbing or ignoring your feelings doesn’t take them away. They will continue to impact your functioning.

Tip # 4 – Give them space to share.

  • You can be a safe space for them to share how their feelings impact them.
  • Don’t underestimate the power of listening without judgment.
  • You don’t have to have a response or something to say to make them feel better. You can just show them that you’re listening, and you hear them and what they ’re going through.
  • It can be hard to listen and not give advice. It is even harder if what they’re sharing is very distressing for you. You also need to care for yourself. If what they are sharing is too much, or if they ’re needing professional assistance, that’s okay. You can suggest other spaces where they can share and get the right support

Tip # 5 – Share helpful thoughts.

  •  Instead of telling someone to not think something, you can suggest viewpoints that could also be true, and which are more helpful to focus attention on.
  • Share compassionate thoughts with them, ones that express kindness and patience.

Such as

  • You’re doing the best that you can.
  • You’re good enough, even if you don’t feel like it.
  •  It’s okay to make a mistake, it happens.
  • You’re allowed to not always be at your best.
  • It’s okay to not have control of things that are outside of your control.
  • Point out their strengths and what they ’re already doing to cope

Tip # 6 – Encourage them to seek support

Reflect on the strength it takes to be open and vulnerable and that you will be there to help them find the support they need. It’s very helpful to encourage them to seek professional assistance if they are experiencing burnout.