How to Give to Others Without Burning Out

Instead of burning out, you'll feel nourished and uplifted.

n our over-stressed world, many health care providers, social workers, and caregivers are suffering slow yet painful burnout. Many of the rest of us, working long hours and raising families, seem to be approaching burnout, too. Sometimes we may feel that we’re too exhausted to keep giving to others, even though giving is a primary source of happiness in our lives.


So how can we keep giving without burning out? We’re told that self-care is the answer: Give yourself a treat; you deserve it. Take some time for yourself. Say no. Indeed, a research review found that psychologists in training who practice more self-care report feeling less distressed, less stressed, and more satisfied with life. The question is: What does self-care look like, and how much do we need?


As it turns out, the trick is to be other-focused and kind, and to balance that with taking care of yourself as well. Here are some practices to help you do that:

1. Self-compassion

One particularly potent form of self-care involves transforming our relationship with ourselves — in particular, practicing self-compassion.