Have you heard a coworker or friend mention struggling with burnout? Are YOU struggling with burnout? Burnout is a form of exhaustion caused by constantly feeling swamped. It’s a result of excessive and prolonged emotional, physical, and mental stress. In many cases, burnout is related to one’s job. Burnout happens when you’re overwhelmed, emotionally drained, and unable to keep up with life’s incessant demands.
Burnout tends to happen slowly over time, so oftentimes instead of realizing we are in the process of burning out, we tend to think we are becoming lazy and unmotivated, which is not the case. If constant stress has you feeling helpless, disillusioned, and completely exhausted, you may be on the road to burnout. Here are seven things you can do to regain your balance and feel positive and hopeful again.
Sleep is essential to your burnout recovery. We have all heard these two sayings: “Cars don’t run on empty” and “You can’t pour from an empty cup.” Both are incredibly true! Getting at least eight hours of sleep a night and listening to your brain and body to take naps when needed is the first step toward recovering from burnout.
Do the bare minimum for a few days
Once you realize you are headed towards burnout or are already burnt out, you need to take some time for yourself. If you are unable to take a couple of days completely off from work, do the bare minimum of what needs to be done daily and take the extra time to focus on yourself. Make a list of things that you like doing that give you peace of mind, and try to do a few every day. For me, I love to be creative and go on walks, so when I am struggling with burnout I always make sure to go on at least one walk a day and try to do something creative like painting or working on a crochet project.
Communicate with your boss, team, and loved ones
While you work on recovering from burnout, it is crucial to alert your colleagues and/or boss(es) of your mental space so they can be aware of and respect any boundaries you may have during this time. It is also important to let your team know that you may need some help with your usual workload. In addition, this makes it clear to your team that you respect mental health, and if they ever are struggling with burnout, they can count on you to help them through. They’ll know that you are someone to talk to or someone they can request a little extra help from with their workload. Alerting people you live with is also important. Letting them know you are not at your best will help them know to give a little more than their typical 50% at home.
Unplug from social media
While entertaining, social media can also be drastically draining. If possible, it is important to take some space away from social media and focus on your mental health. When we “un-plug” we stop worrying about others and have more time to focus on ourselves.
Outsource your everyday chores
Having to exist as a human can sometimes feel so heavy that it is all you can do in a day. Outsourcing your responsibilities for a bit, if financially feasible for you, can be a great way to reduce your stress at home. Order food from your favorite restaurant, hire a house cleaner, hire a babysitter to take the kids to the zoo, ask for help with other chores from anyone else in the house. Anything else you may have on your stressful to-do list can probably be outsourced as well!
This is one I struggle with a lot as an introvert with a low social battery, but for extroverts socializing can be a big help in recovering from burnout. Going out with friends helps get your mind off of work (or whatever is burning you out). It can be hard to actually get out of the house when you’re not feeling great, but try to tell yourself you’ll feel better once you go.
Shake up your routine
Sometimes when you’re burnt out, you tend to feel stuck in a rut. Trying to shake up your routine a bit can help. Take a different route to work, try a new restaurant for dinner, or wake up at a slightly different time to help your brain ‘reset’ itself.
There are many ways to aid in your recovery from burnout, but ultimately it is your recovery and while some things may work, some things won’t. It is crucial to be patient with yourself in a season of burnout. The important thing to remember is that typically it is temporary and there is a light at the end of the tunnel, you just have to figure out how to get there. If you’re feeling burned out, you’re not alone!