6 Tips For Combatting Burnout
Dr. Ashley Margeson
The dangers of work burnout are pretty clear. There’s that familiar creeping feeling as we get further and further along a path that isn’t working for us. We know that we’re starting to feel fatigued or just blah — and that any joy we’ve found in our work is just disappearing. We become worse at our jobs and, often we’re not so good in the rest of our lives either. But how can you tell exactly when you’re actually burnt out — and how can you deal with work burnout? Well, it starts by checking in with yourself.
Luckily, you’re not alone, because it’s more common than you think. Of course it’s best to deal with burnout before it gets too bad, but there are ways to come back from it. So how do you come back from burnout? Here are 6 tips.
Find Some Short Term Coping Skills
You NEED an outlet to let out your frustration. That could be at the gym, swimming, playing video games, basketball, etc. Whatever your outlet is for letting out that aggression and intensity you feel, do it on the regular. It’ll help keep you grounded and focused. If you don’t have a go-to coping mechanism, start by trying new things — like yoga, hiking or baking — until you find something that works for you.
Embrace Saying No
You. Can. Say. No. I know it’s hard to believe — and many of us have people-pleasing wired into us, myself included. But you can turn down things that just don’t work for you. The first step is to say “no” to the things making your burnout worse and “yes” to the things that make you better. Focus on creating boundaries for yourself for fun and say yes to things that feel restorative. It sounds simple, but it can take a while if you’re used to saying “yes” to everything.
Change Your Routine
It might not be how much you’re working that’s driving you to burnout — it could be what you’re doing. Sometimes burnout happens from doing the same thing day in and day out and a switch up in your routine can help. Communication is key. Talk to your manager about taking on new tasks, or switching to other clients that may require different efforts from you. A chance of scenery like this can also make your job more exciting. This is where we look for little changes that can make a big difference.
Take Time Off (And Away!)
Whether you are definitely burnt out or just approaching it, consider taking a break — maybe for an afternoon or much longer. This doesn’t mean that you need to go away on vacation. Sometimes vacation actually makes things worse! But consider getting away for a weekend, a staycation, or at least turn off your phone!
Often, when we’re feeling at the end of our rope, we find it easier to focus on trying to keep the stress at bay and eventually just … implode. Remember, you have people around you and you can reach out to them. Spend time outside of work with people you don’t work with. Ask them for help, and then make sure to spend your time with them focusing on things other than work too!
One of the worst things about burnout is that it often makes more likely to burn out further. We keep trying to take on more and more to counterbalance it and show we’re “good”. It’s a vicious cycle and one you should try to break. Focus on setting boundaries to leave work at a certain time, take planned days off to rest, make your weekends more fulfilling. Stop committing to things that you can’t or won’t fulfill. Instead protect your time at all costs. Rather than take on more, try focusing on doing well on the tasks at hand — while protecting your mental health.
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