Handling Stress and Avoiding Burnout


Stress is inevitable. It walks in and out of our lives on a regular basis. A burnout is a mixture of professional exhaustion, and disillusionment with other people, the organization, or the career, over the long term.

Fortunately, there are many things you can do to minimize and cope with stress and learn how to avoid a burnout.

Main Aims:

  • Career guidance and counselling

  • Combating failure in education

  • Fight against school/university failure & link school/university and work

  • Inclusive approaches

  • Pedagogy and didactics

  • School/university improvement & quality evaluation

Specific objectives of the course are:  Introduce holistic model of stress and raise understanding of stress causes, mechanisms and effects  Raise understanding of how stress impacts teaching ability  Provide the participants with practical tools for dealing with stress  Reduce the consequences of stress (such as poor health, absenteeism, lack of creativity, ineffective communication, inability to focus, more conflicts etc.) and develop healthy ways of dealing with everyday work demands  Prevent burn-out syndrome in educators  Enhance emotional self-awareness  Introduce practical tools for coping with difficult emotions  Improve the participants’ emotional balance  Help the participants to identify their stress triggers and emotional triggers at work context and come up with new, more resourceful strategies  Enhance in the participants the ability to relax  Broaden the understanding of health

Programme Elements:

  • Introduction and course overview

  • Ice breaking

  • Individual expectations

  • What is stress?

  • Definitions

  • Understanding the stress response (fight/flight versus prolonged stress)

  • Physical, emotional, mental and behavioural symptoms of stress

  • Relation between our thinking and stress

  • Effective and ineffective ways of dealing with stress

  • Relaxation exercises that help to manage stress effectively – part 1

  • The impact of emotions on teaching and learning ability

  • Tools for dealing with disturbing emotions

  • Effects of stress in educational setting

  • Assessing your personal stress triggers

  • Changing not resourceful strategies

  • Self-talk awareness

  • Relaxation exercises - part 2

  • How can I be more mindful and resourceful in the classroom? – action plan

  • Summary, course evaluation and closure



Participants will receive a list of study material prior to their arrival for the seminar along with the links for the websites which are relevant to the content of the course.


The course will provide theory necessary to understand the nature of stress as well as practical tools for managing stress and difficult emotions. Attention will be given on how to implement the findings and skills in real life situations after the seminar.

Methods such as debate, role play, body movement, individual mind management technologies, pair and group exercises and mini -coaching will be used throughout the course.

The methodology of the course includes learner – centered approach and utilizes self-learning methods.

The aim of the course is not to produce ready-made solutions (passive learning), but to inspire the participants to search creatively for knowledge and effective solutions which are connected with their needs and challenges (active learning). In this way the participants take responsibility for their own learning process and act as active partners of the course.


The participants will be encouraged to form a network in order to continue an exchange of ideas and support one another. Up to 6 months after completion of the workshop, the participants will have an opportunity to ask for advice (via email or Skype) if they face obstacles in using the new skills or if they have any questions or concerns.

More info would be useful

Hey, so is this a proposal to run the course at the OpenVillage Fest?

If so, I suggest a way to narrow the goals to one or two, and think of a format that fits into maximum a few hours.

@evelina what do you think? Also, what’s the story behind it the course seems really ambitious, is this something you do at the university or as a freelancer and have found helpful for those attending?

1 Like

Hey! Thanks for your comment… I do agree it might be too intense for few hours but I can always squeeze into smaller version of course! This course can be both two days or half day workshop…

A question

Yeah, when you have a few minutes do formulate one question that participants will be able to answer (or move closer to the answers). I think it will make a difference and we’ll also be able to promote it in order to see who else is interested. A question (my framing) and story I recommend reading is this one, although not sure how it would be addressed at OpenVillage. Probably a discussion… Given culture and creativity are anyway your other interest, maybe you can tailor the course so as to connect to this discussion? Just a thought for how it could be narrowed down, feel free to ignore if it’s far from what you wish to do.

My question

Hi @evelina

I would be interested in exploring the differences between burn-out (a hyped up phenomenon nowadays) and stuff that has been around longer, eg. nervous breakdown and depression. My doctor briefly told me about the differences once and what I took from it is that the difference is vital, as cures are different for each (apart from the fact that a cure is also different for each person). With the hype of burnout, people are sometimes pushed into the wrong ‘diagnosis’. This is clearly bad for finding the right cure, but in my experience, understanding of what you are going through is also a big factor towards getting better.

How do we help people find the ‘affliction’ they have?

Super interested!

Hello @evelina,

I’m super interested in this session! Mainly because I work in my university’s mental health office (added a link to more info on this at the bottom). What I’m curious about is one of the points you outline relates to combating school/university failure as it relates to burnout.

I think this is a needed topic of discussion, and in my experience is an ever ongoing issue. However, it seems that students (myself included), often cut back on self-care when the workload is highest because they struggle with time management. This is a problem because it is precisely these times where they can most benefit from self-care practices. Would you be able to address how students can best integrate burnout prevention into their lives, and how you view universities can support them in these efforts?


Not so long ago, I faced a lot of pressure at work and the stress level was very high, and because of the mortgage, I could not quit, and at first I drank, agreed to visit website with bets and hung on it, then I turned to a specialist and tried to observe sleep hygiene, pills, but all the same, only dismissal and a complete change in the type of activity helped