“It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it.” ~ Lou Holtz

Stress is an inevitable part of life, but it’s not meant to be so heavy that we get crushed under the weight of it. When that happens you’ve likely allowed chronic stress to turn to burnout, and that’s not a good thing.

When you can recognize the signs of stress and burnout, you can better equip yourself to properly carry the load, and a lot of that comes down to rest and recovery.

As I explore stress and burnout, this week I’m highlighting the differences between the two, and sharing four ways to mitigate workday stress. Watch the video below, or read the transcript that follows.

Hey, Michelle Cederberg here, keeping it somewhat short and sweet this week as I explain the difference between stress and burnout.

Some people use the terms interchangeably, and while they operate on the same spectrum there are some notable differences.

Stress increases when our mental, physical or emotional reserves are strained beyond our comfort level. This can happen when you’re pushing to meet a challenging deadline, or when you’re doing something positive like pushing through a challenging workout. Stress like this that’s temporary or tied to a particular event is a normal part of life that we all experience now and again.

Burnout, on the other hand occurs following extreme exposure to stress and leaves you mentally and physically drained, cynical, detached and less effective as a result.

Let’s explore the differences:

STRESS                                                                         BURNOUT

Over-reactive and irritable                                      Disengaged and numb
Worried and anxious                                              Apathetic and cynical
Frantically trying to fix things                                  Discouraged and unmotivated
Edgy, amped, wired & tired                                     Physically & mentally exhausted
Mind racing                                                              Brain fog, decreased cognitive function
Insomnia or waking up too early                             Excessive sleep, waking up not refreshed


With burnout the predominant state is lack of energy, motivation and purpose, and feeling like it won’t change.

Burnout is a big, bad deal, and as I mentioned in video 1 of this series, 35% of Canadian workers are experiencing it.

To mitigate stress, and keep burnout at bay, recognize these signs. If you start to notice them creeping in, don’t ignore them…and implement one or more of these ideas:

Take time off if you can, to rest, refocus and recover. I know that’s not always possible, but if you can, do it! And if you can’t take time off, then at least take your breaks!

Ask for help. Please ask for help. You’re not alone in this, and there are people in your life who want to help you, whether you realize it or not. So do the courageous act of asking for help. If you don’t know who to ask, reach out to me, and I will have a conversation with you.

Find time to DO, just for YOU! Even if you feel too busy to stop, give yourself small doses of ME time. Focus on hobbies and interests that make you feel good; a funny show, some good music, a page-turning book, a hot bath… anything that’s going to nurture in a healthy way and to help you feel better.

Look for ways to make your work more meaningful. You may not be able to overhaul your whole job but focus on the small things you can change. It can never hurt to ask. Talk with your boss about projects that excite you, and remind them where your strengths lie. It can’t hurt to ask, because if you’re happier and engaged, everyone wins!

Until next time I’m Michelle Cederberg reminding you we’ve got one chance to do this life, I say Dare to Live It Big, and dare to do FOR YOU when burnout is bearing down.

Don’t forget to join me on ALL my social channels below (including TikTok and Threads) so we can stay connected!

I’m booking 2024 speaking engagements across North America RIGHT NOW. If you’d like to chat about how to bring me in to your organization to help your team eliminate burnout, increase engagement, and ignite high performance, pop me an email at hello@michellecederberg.com. I’d love to chat.

In fact… I’ve got a NEW KEYNOTE and you can learn about it here: MichelleSPEAKS_2024

Don’t forget to join me on my social channels below.

Resources Galore!

1) Hey, I’m super excited to share a great product that I can’t wait for you all to see. It’s my new Success-Energy Equation mouse pad. Remember the equation? Some of you have seen it. Links to purchase are below. SO FUN!

Buy single mousepad
Buy 5 mousepad value-pack

2) Don’t forget to check out my new ‘What’s Your Motivation Type?’ QUIZ!  Click the link and answer 5 quick questions to identify your Motivation Type. It’s going to give you daily doses of inspiration based on your category, and you’ll get all sorts of resources along the way.

3) SPEAKING: Does your workplace or conference need a good dose of re-energizing in the months ahead? Ask me about energizing keynotes, or half and full day Success-Energy Equation sessions (or any of my other topics, which you can download here: MichelleSPEAKS_2024) to help you fire up your drive, recommit to growth, and ignite high performance in all you do. Contact me to chat.

4) Buy my new book via my website and I’ll send you a signed copy!

5) Sign up for my socials below, because there’s all sorts of interesting stuff coming down the pipe.



Michelle Cederberg, Health and Productivity Expert, MKin, BA Psyc, CEP, CPCC
Hall of Fame Speaker, CSP, Certified Coach & Best-Selling Author



Using science-based strategies to eliminate burnout, increase engagement, and ignite high performance


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