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Spring into Better Habits: Mindfulness, Stress and Burnout

Mindfulness, stress, and burnout

Practical tips on addressing stress and burnout on a daily basis.  Not intended to substitute for counseling or treatment by licensed healthcare professionals.
Students are encouraged to contact the UToledo Counseling Center for information on their services and/or referrals.

See specific tips for stress and burnout below. Also consider mindfulness techniques below.

Mindfulness overview

Mindfulness is a 2500-year-old Buddhist practice and is a fundamental part of the Buddhist  path to spiritual awakening

The most popular definition of mindfulness in the mental health literature is the practice of paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally .

Other definitions employed in the clinical literature describe mindfulness as theprocess of engaging a full, direct, and active awareness of experienced phenomenathat is:
(i) spiritual in aspect, and (ii) maintained from one moment to the next .


Mindfulness Audio Resources

A sampling of instructions from McMaster University Health Science Library— Guides and Tutorials— Student Wellness— Mindfulness
Lengths vary from 15 minutes to 1 1/2 hours. Some have related PDF materials.

    UCSD Center for Mindfulness: Audio Downloads


    MIT  Medical Community Wellness Download


     The Mindfulness Solution



Recording lengths from 5 to 10 minutes.
Topics include Breath and Sound Medication, Loving-Kindness Mediation, 4-Part Bell sound Practice

Stress reliever tips and resources

Some ideas for managing stress

  •  Be aware - monitor your levels of stress and ask whether they are helpful  or getting you down   
  • Take stock - think about things in your life or pressures you place on yourself that may be increasing your stress

  •  Take charge - deal with unhelpful sources of stress before they build up and become a bigger problem
  •  Make choices - look at areas in your life where you could manage your situation better or change the way you respond


Some examples of good ways to deal with stress

  • Take some deep breaths

  •  Talk to someone you trust
  • Create a stress diary,  note down when you feel stressed and why. Have a health check with your doctor

Additional practical stress relieving tips


Exercise  -  Aim for 30 minutes/day 



Eat well - Minimize sugars, refined carbs, caffeine, chemical preservatives,hormones

       Eat more Omega-3 fatty acids to give your mood a boost.
         The best sources are fatty fish(salmon, herring, mackerel, anchovies, sardines), seaweed, flaxseed, and walnuts.

Burnout prevention/relief tips and resources

Burnout - Practical Ways to Extinguish

Turn to others

  • Reach out to those closest to you
       Confide, open up, and share good times 
  • Be more sociable with your coworkers
  • Limit your contact with negative people        



Frame the way you look at work
  • Try to find some value in what you do                                          
  • Find balance in your life
       Consider more time with family,  friends, volunteering

  • Make friends at work and/or school


Reevaluate priorities
  • Set boundaries— Say “no” to requests beyond your limits
  •  Take a daily break from technology
  • Nourish your creative side
         Choose activities that are fun and satisfying

Consider Relaxation Tools