When an employee begins to suffer from burnout, it can lead employees down a dangerous path reducing productivity, affecting mood, increasing sick time, financial worry and fear of unemployment.

Shay, a program coordinator for a non-profit organization I met with recently coordinates events, manages a museum and writes grant proposals. She works under a new manager that makes unreasonable demands, communicates poorly, fails to plan in advance and responds to Shay’s requests at the last minute, increasing time pressure on important events and causing her additional stress. 

While off work on the advice of her doctor, her manager sends her a request to complete a grant proposal, which only adds to Shay’s distress. She dreads returning to work, but is not in a financial position to risk leaving.

Financial Wellbeing Burnout

Poor Financial Wellbeing Can Also Cause Burnout

When people are overworked the likelihood of mental health problems rise. But few people are in a financial position to address workload issues with their manager or leave their job. As a result they feel trapped and their mental health declines further. 

They may not have the skills, or feel their manager is approachable about the problem. They may also need help financially but can’t afford to pay for financial help. Continuing work under these circumstances is bad for both employers as well as employees. Employers risk losing money due to lost productivity, increased absenteeism and long-term disability. Employees themselves feel increasingly disconnected and disengaged, and as a result decline mentally and emotionally, which affects their productivity, performance and confidence.

In a recent survey 86% of respondents who have had a mental illness say that their financial situation had made their mental health problems worse. And 72% of respondents say that mental health problems impacted their financial decisions. 

The combination of financial problems, mental illness, and the stigma of both can lead to a negative cycle that makes it extremely difficult for people to problem solve or seek help. 

Burnout Financial Wellbeing

Are You Suffering From Stress or Burnout?

Are you experiencing signs of stress or are you on the verge of burnout? 

The table below describes the differences between the two.



Characterized by over-engagement

Characterized by disengagement

Emotions are overreactive

Emotions are blunted

Produces urgency and hyperactivity

Produced helplessness and hopelessness

Loss of energy

Loss of motivation, ideals and hope

Leads to anxiety disorders

Leads to detachment and depression

Primary damage is physical

Primary damage is emotional

May kill you prematurely

Make life seem not worth living

Financial wellbeing plays an important role in mental health. It provides you with a sense of security and confidence in your ability to make decisions and address problems in your life. It allows you to feel in control of your day-to-day finances so you can make necessary choices.

Accountant Financial Wellbeing

Reduce Workplace Burnout

  • Watch for subtle signs of stress and burnout in yourself and your co-workers
  • Take action to reduce stressors or seek help from others to get to the root of          the problem
  • Decide if it’s safe to talk to your manager or supervisor about your workload           and set new workplace boundaries
  • When you're off the clock, take that time to focus on yourself, rest, recharge,         and do things you enjoy
Five Star Wellbeing Action Item

This week, evaluate your wellbeing. What factors may be causing fatigue or burnout. Set aside time to address problems at work you may be avoiding. Assess also your financial situation. Who can help you problem solve, set goals or help?

Talk to someone who can help you address challenges or plan for change.  

If you are a manager or HR leader, ensure opportunities for employees to talk about problems without the fear or repercussions. Provide employees with resources at work, and outside of work that reduce stress and prevent burnout.

Take good care, 


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About the Author:

Derrick McEachern is a Registered Counselling Therapist (RCT) in Nova Scotia, and a Canadian Certified Counsellor.  He specializes in providing mindfulness-based cognitive therapy in the areas of addiction, healthy relationships, grief and loss, and career and life transitions. He offers workshops and webinars and consults with businesses on ways to improve employee wellbeing and mental health.

Derrick McEachern

Derrick McEachern, M.Ed., RCT, CCC
Counselling Therapist, Owner
Five Star Wellbeing Counselling and Mental Health
tel: 902 698 1194

Nova Scotia College of Counselling Therapists
Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association

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