Even if you love your job, it’s common to feel burnt out from time to time. Perhaps you just wrapped up a big project and are having trouble mustering motivation for the next one. It could be that your home life is taking up more of your energy than usual. Or maybe you’re just bored. What’s the best way to recharge? Are some forms of rejuvenation better than others? How do you know if what you’re feeling is ordinary burnout or something else, like chronic dissatisfaction?
What the Experts Say
Burnout — the mental and physical exhaustion you experience when the demands of your work consistently exceed the amount of energy you have available — has been called the epidemic of the modern workplace. Here are some ideas for how to do that:
Talk to people you trust
If you feel unsure of how to begin sorting through the causes of burnout and looking for ways to ease your stress, that’s normal.
Burnout can become so overwhelming that determining how to address it still seems exhausting. It’s also hard to identify potential solutions when you feel completely spent.
Involving a trusted loved one can help you feel supported and less alone. Friends, family members, and partners can help you brainstorm possible solutions.
Take back control
Burnout can make you feel powerless. You might feel as if your life is rushing past and you can’t keep up.
If outside factors contributed to burnout, you might blame these circumstances and have a hard time seeing what you can do to change the situation.
You may not have had control over what happened to bring you to this point, but you do have the power to take back control and begin to recharge.
To start, try these tips:
- Prioritize. Some things just have to get done, but others can wait until you have more time and energy. Decide which tasks are less important and set them aside.
- Delegate. You can’t do everything yourself, so if more tasks than you can handle need immediate attention, pass them off to someone you trust.
- Leave work at work. Part of burnout recovery is learning to prioritize work-life balance. After leaving work, focus on relaxing and recharging for the next day.
- Be firm about your needs. Talk to others involved and let them know what’s happening. Explain that you need some support in order to take care of your health and manage your workload productively.
Reaching a point of burnout can bring up feelings of failure and a loss of purpose or life direction. You might feel as if you can’t do anything properly or you’ll never achieve your goals.
When you reach a point of burnout, you’ve probably pushed yourself past the point of what most people would really consider themselves capable of for some time.