Over half of all workers in the U.S. experienced burnout at some point. It can cause all areas of your life to suffer by sucking the enjoyment out of every day. But you don’t have to let it continue, in fact, you can prevent it from happening in the first place.
“The No. 1 cause of burnout is doing the same thing over and over again and not seeing results.”
— Steve Kaczmarski
It’s caused by being exhausted, stressed out, and not seeing the results you want. It can happen to anyone. Also, it doesn’t necessarily have to be work-related, you can be burned out by stressful relationships.
It’s caused by feeling like you have the world on your shoulders, and you can’t finish everything you need to do. Even having negative co-workers can run you down emotionally.
There are many reasons your job or life might overwhelm you. Therefore, it’s essential that you learn the symptoms of burnout so you can crush it before it causes damage to your life.
Do you have these signs of burnout:
- Feeling disconnected.
- Apathy: not caring about your work anymore.
- Feeling like you’re not in control of your life or your goals.
- Insomnia and exhaustion.
- Unproductive: shifting from one thing to another.
- Decreased performance: Unable to focus on important tasks.
- Physical issues: Headaches, migraines, heartburn, and stomach problems.
- Procrastination: sleeping in too late, doing other things than work, and social media.
- Escapism: Playing video games or watching too much TV.
- Feeling anxious.
- Bitterness: feeling resentful about your job and irritable for no apparent reason.
You might brush these symptoms off like they’re nothing, but they are signals from your body and mind. So listen to them.
But don’t confuse burnout with depression, which has symptoms like fatigue, sadness, or suicidal thoughts. If you think you’re depressed, then it’s best to get the appropriate help you need. Never feel ashamed of how you’re feeling, you’re human, and it’s natural. So, do whatever you need to do to feel better again.
Are you at risk of burnout?
There are some factors that will put you at risk of burning out, and the following is what to look out for.
- If you’re working too much and feel pressured to do more
- You don’t have a choice what or how to do tasks
- If you’re bored with tedious assignments
- You have insane deadlines and huge consequences
- If you don’t feel encouraged by your boss
- You have co-workers that irritate or mistreat you
- If you’re a caregiver
- You don’t feel like your opinion or ideas matter at work
Do any of these risk factors apply to you? Then you need to know what to do when your motivation drains.
This is how to bounce back from burnout:
1. Rebuild your confidence
“You are braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”
You might feel exhausted because you don’t feel good enough to do your job. But many people feel that way at some point. When you feel your self-esteem dwindling, remind yourself of how amazing you are. You’ve secured a job because someone saw value in what you do. Chances are you’re pretty good at it too!
2. Be thankful for your job
“Adopting the right attitude can convert a negative stress into a positive one.”
— Hans Selye
Imagine if you didn’t have a job. That would be much worse than how things are going right now. So be thankful for it. There are many people out there who would love to take your place.
3. Laugh away burnout
“Every time you find some humor in a difficult situation, you win.”
Don’t be all work and no play. You need to have times of laugher and having fun! It’s necessary to maintain your well-being and to boost your motivation. So, watch a comedy or call up a funny friend and have a laugh.
4. Encourage yourself
“It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it.”
— Lou Holtz
You can conquer burnout with encouragement. So, think about all the times you did an exceptional job. Tell yourself every day that you’re going to be amazing today, and everything will flow easily. You can even post some inspiring quotes on your computer, so you feel encouraged when you see them.
Remember why you’re working so hard. Is it for money or to help others? Do you feel you’re making a meaningful difference? Will it lead to something more rewarding?
5. Give your workspace a burnout free makeover
“When we commit to action, to actually doing something rather than feeling trapped by events, the stress in our life becomes manageable.”
— Greg Anderson
Your environment can make a massive impact on your emotions and your productivity. So, revamp your workspace to be more inspiring and motivating. Clear out any junk and add some personal touches. When you feel in control of your immediate surroundings, you’ll be much more at ease.
6. Pamper yourself
“Self-care is how you take your power back.”
— Lalah Delia
It’s easy to forget about taking care of your needs when you’re stressed about everything you need to do. But it’s vital that you take some time for yourself so you can recharge. Get plenty of sleep and relaxation. A constantly stressed brain is an unproductive brain. Then not getting crucial tasks finished will cause more worries.
Spoil yourself! Not necessarily with gifts, but with care.
“If you are in a bad mood go for a walk. If you are still in a bad mood go for another walk.”
Try these tips:
- Do yoga
- Go for a walk
- Spend some time doing absolutely nothing
- Do something enjoyable
- Take a vacation or some time off of work
Self-care is crucial when you’re feeling burned out, it’s a sign that you need to stop and take the time to recharge.
7. Help brighten someone else’s day
“Be a rainbow in someone else’s cloud.”
— Maya Angelou
If you encourage someone else, it will instantly boost your mood as well! You’ll feel better and more empowered when you help someone else. Also, they’ll probably return the favor!
8. Reach out when you need to talk
“The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.”
— William James
If you feel like you’re really dragging, don’t continue the torture. Instead, call a good friend or family member that always knows how to uplift your mood. This can encourage you and help you see things from a fresh perspective.
9. Consider taking another route
“Say NO to the demands of the world. Say YES to the longings of your own heart.”
— Jonathan Lockwood Huie
If you’re miserable every day at work, maybe you should be doing something else? Browse posted jobs online (not while you’re supposed to be working), and maybe you’ll stumble upon the perfect job for you?
10. Lessen your workload
“Nothing is worth your health. Nothing is worth poisoning yourself into stress, anxiety, and fear.”
― Steve Maraboli
It will help if you can cut out some of your daily tasks until you recover from the overwhelm. See if you can have someone else do them or figure out a way to do them more efficiently. Some things don’t help you finish projects, so don’t spend so much time on them. If you can’t give these things to someone else, rearrange your schedule so you can complete everything. Try batching tasks too!
In the end, burnout can feel devastating, but there are things you can do to crush it and get fired up again. Be thankful for your job, laugh every day, revamp your work area, and call a friend if you need to talk. Also, consider that you might be better off working somewhere where you feel more valued and supported. But, don’t quit your job until you’ve secured another one.
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