Executive Coach Patrice Ford Lyn, CPC PCC, sees firsthand the effects that burnout and stress can have on professionals. As the owner of Catapult Change, an executive coaching and consulting firm she founded in 2010, Ford Lyn works with Black men and women who are breaking barriers of race and gender in their respective fields, and also teaches them about leadership rest in order to maintain a healthy work/life balance. As we move through Mental Health Awareness month, we spoke more with the coach to understand ways to better take of ourselves professionally.

"As a Black, bisexual, immigrant woman, I bring a deep appreciation of the ongoing pressures faced by marginalized groups. I work 1-on-1 with individuals and facilitate retreats for leadership teams and ERGs that provide tools and create shared insights on how to elevate individual and collective leadership competencies," shares Ford Lyn. "My clients are often high-achievers who want to enjoy life and do work that matters. Yet, they feel a disconnect. Something is telling them there is more, there has to be more. It’s okay for a good life to not be good enough. It’s okay to want your life to be great."

Society often forces Black men and women to overachieve within their careers in order to receive the same respect as non-Black counterparts. Often, many fall victim to "hustle culture" in hopes of climbing industry and corporate ladders. This can mean working long hours, taking on added tasks not required of them, as well as sacrifice time away from family and friends in order to reach career milestones. But, what much of this leads to is added weight on one's mental health, which leads to burnout or, worse, depression.

"When we are experiencing burnout day-to-day, life can feel hard," Ford Lyn shares. "We often experience both cognitive and emotional effects, including emotional exhaustion and difficulty solving problems and concentrating. Many persons aren't actually choosing to work through burnout. Choosing implies a level of self-awareness and mindful decision-making. Instead, what I see is that persons are in a habit loop that leads to burnout."

Below, the 25+ year veteran executive coach shares ways that we can better protect ourselves from the damaging effects of burnout and career fatigue. As you continue to better educate yourself about mental health at work, be sure to implement Ford Lyn’s 3 tips below.

Set and maintain boundaries

Both setting and maintaining boundaries can be difficult. It helps to have an accountability partner—a family member, friend or colleague. Check in with them on the boundary you said you wanted to set and maintain it.

Don't believe everything you think

"Our minds are hard-wired to look for danger, resulting in a negativity bias. So when you have a troubling thought, check in with yourself and others to see if there is evidence to support or refute the thought," advises the veteran executive coach.

Honor when your mental health needs rest and rejuvenation

" If you imagine your body is a car, parking means it gets rest. However, taking it to the gas station is how it gets rejuvenated. Listen to what your body needs so that you can give it the resources it requires," shares Ford Lyn.