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  • Writer's pictureCait Donovan

#straightfromcait: Burnout Risk Factors - A Holistic View

There are many risk factors for burnout. The good news is that each risk factor is multidirectional and by working on any one of them, you are likely to positively change others. It can feel overwhelming to confront all of the risk factors for burnout, so in today’s #straightfromcait episode, Cait breaks them all down into six overarching categories. These categories are workplace, family, self, culture, environment, and health.

Here in the United States there is an extreme amount of pressure and importance placed on hard work and individuality. The issue with these being the major cultural values is that overworking can and does quite literally cause death through having an overall negative impact on long-term health. In addition, relying completely on yourself to accomplish every single thing and not leaning into the strength of our communities is a large contributor to eventual burnout. When considering burnout, the majority of research comes from workplace studies, however, there are several other categories to consider for a broader view. How you were raised, the family you have currently, the environment you live and work in, and your physical and mental health conditions all contribute toward burnout in their own ways. By setting aside time for self care, making necessary lifestyle changes, and really considering each of the burnout risk factors that you identify with, you can make lasting and significant changes that help you to prevent or heal from burnout.

The risk factors for burnout are too numerous to count, but they do all tend to fall into six main interconnected categories. By making improvements in one area, you are likely influencing several others at the same time. Tune into this week’s #straightfromcait episode for a conversation about the six categories of burnout risk factors. Learn what to keep an eye out for and what changes to make in order to positively influence your burnout recovery or even to prevent burnout before it occurs.


We might be talking about some sort of family trauma, and you have to know that that affects your environment. And that also affects your health. And it also affects your sense of self and how you function in the world. Right? So there's a lot going on here. Everything affects everything else.” (4:28-4:45 | Cait)

“A study that was combined between the World Health Organization and the International Labor Org showed that working 55 plus hours a week resulted in approximately three quarters of a million deaths over the course of a year through stroke and heart attack mostly. And this was shown to be especially true for those over 45.” (5:38-5:59 | Cait)

“If it is an epigenetic change, we can affect change on it. Because epigenetics are fluid, right? We can move them, they can change. But it does require a lot of self care.” (12:20-12:31 | Cait)

“If you did not have access to or take advantage of access to green space, being in nature, your overall health will suffer and your energy will suffer and increase your risk of burnout.” (12:58-13:09 | Cait)


These references should be in the show notes:


Bar, M., & Maital, N. (2007) Visual elements of subjective preference modulate amygdala activation.” Neuropsychologia. 45(10). pp. 2191-2200. 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2007.03.008.

Berk, L. (2019). Exploring Adult and Adolescent Development. Pearson. Cht 3.

Ishizu, T., and Semir Z. (2011). Toward a brain-based theory of beauty. PLOS One,

Maslach, C., Schaufeli, W.B., Leiter, M.P. (2001). Job burnout. Annual Reviews of Psychology. 52. 397-422

World Health Organization. (2021). Long working hours increasing deaths from heart disease and stroke.



If you know that it’s time to actually DO something about the burnout cycle you’ve been in for too long - book your free consult today:


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