In the era of the Great Resignation and quiet quitting, more people are aware of burnout than ever before. Burnout occurs when the stress and overwhelm of your work and/or working environment build up so much that you shut down and find it almost impossible to bring yourself to care about or complete your assigned role anymore. Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness sap you of motivation and engagement.
If you’re experiencing burnout, quitting your job might be preferable, but not practical. Here are some concrete tips to help you tackle your difficulties.
Address what’s not working
Take a critical look at factors in your work or workplace that are contributing to your burnout.
Are you mired down in too many tasks, or assigned projects you didn’t foresee when you accepted the job? Talk to your supervisor about clarifying your role, so that work outside that scope can be reassigned or delegated to others.
Are you struggling with interpersonal dynamics in your workplace? Do your best to mend fences with that coworker you always butt heads with or search for an informal mentor if your boss’ teaching and leadership skills are lacking.
Be firm about sticking to your assigned schedule. Take your full lunch break, every day, and clock out or close your laptop promptly at quitting time. Working late has quickly diminishing returns — there’s always more things to be done, and you can’t get back the time that you should have spent relaxing.
Prevent further burnout
When you’re already experiencing burnout, it’s especially important to keep more work stress from mounting. Practice saying no — no to that planning committee that meets before the start of the work day, no to picking up the pieces of that presentation your coworker slacked on, no to covering an extra weekend shift “just this once”.
Staying organized can help you feel less overwhelmed and focused on what’s a need to have versus a nice to have. Improving organization may also help you notice more big picture problems with your role that you could work with your team and supervisor to address in a more comprehensive way.
Take care of yourself
Remember that your first responsibility is to yourself, not your job. Ensure that you have appropriate work life balance in place, so that you’re enjoying your friends, family, and the interests and activities outside of work that you care about. Always take your paid time off — even if you can’t afford to take a vacation, lounging around at home for a few days makes a world of difference.
Make any mindset changes you may need to promote your wellbeing. Reject the idea that feeling stress at work is somehow proof of how committed you are or how much effort you put in — focus on how you can weave rest, mindfulness, movement, and other healthy habits into your day instead.
Take an attitude of looking for areas of work you can control or impact and feel a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction, while also minimizing the time you spend on aspects that are overly frustrating or problems that cannot be meaningfully resolved. View yourself with self-compassion, celebrate your successes at work instead of fixating only on the things that are going wrong.
When you need more help
Tackling burnout is really hard — even more so if you start to slip into depression. If you’re feeling stuck with your struggle with burnout or concerned that it’s affecting your mental health in a bigger way, reach out to a therapist for support. I’m available to help — schedule a free phone consultation with me today by clicking the button below, and we can chat about the specifics of your situation and discuss how to get started on working together.