We’ve all been there. One day, you are rocking and rolling at your job. You feel a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day, you have pride in your work, and people seem to be drawn to you and your cause. And another day, you just can’t seem to bring yourself to answer another email, make another phone call, or handle another issue at work. You wake up tired and dreading the day ahead. Burnout. It happens to the best of us when we go, go, go for too long. Check out these tips for combatting burnout.
Step 1: Admit that you are burned out.
The first step to getting past the burnout is being aware of the problem in the first place. If you feel frustrated and/or exhausted about your job, then you are likely experiencing burnout to some degree. Below are a few of the signs to look for:
- Dreading going to work
- Trouble sleeping or decreased energy
- Irritability, especially with co-workers
- Feeling unrecognized or unappreciated
- Negative attitude
- Thoughts of quitting
- Frequent illnesses or headaches
- Decreased productivity or drive
- Lack of creativity
If you exhibit one or more of these symptoms of burnout, it’s time to take action.
Ways to Combat Burnout
Like many things, many of the “treatment” options for burnout are the same as prevention. If you adopt these practices into your life, you are far less likely to become burned out in the first place.
Take a Break
I’m not talking about a coffee break. I’m talking about a full-on vacation, with no phones, computers, or work-related anything. You need to disconnect from your work completely from time to time in order to stay refreshed.
Even if it’s just for 10 minutes, taking time to just breathe can be extremely powerful. Meditation helps reduce stress and re-focuses the mind and refreshes body. Learn more about the benefits of mediation here.
Often, burnout results from not being able to keep up with the demands of your job. Most people can keep up with being overworked for a while, but eventually it will get you down. If you have the ability to hire someone to take care of tasks that don’t have to be done by you, do it. If you work for someone else, consider a candid conversation with your boss about your workload.
I often say I only do the things that only I can do. If it doesn’t have to be done by you, delegate some tasks to others so you can focus on what is most important.
You may also need to evaluate if you are in the habit of saying yes too much. Check out this post to learn more about saying no.
Don’t just schedule it; prioritize it. Being intentional about making time for yourself is crucial to staying on top of your game. Make time to head to the gym, spend time with friends, take a bath, read a book. . .whatever it is that helps you relax. Find time daily, weekly, and monthly to squeeze in a bit of self care. Learn more about the importance of self care.
Change Your Attitude
When you feel overwhelmed, focus on gratitude for the job you have and the skills that got you there. Feeling pressured? Focus on joy for the ability to work. When you feel frustrated, focus on forgiveness and appreciation for the opportunity to grow. You get the idea. Instead of dwelling on the negative, seek out the positive.
Try Some Aromatherapy
It’s often difficult to push through frustrations and put on a happy face amidst irritation and challenges. Essential oils have profound effects on the emotions. Try diffusing an uplifting blend at work or try a roll on for motivation. Check out this post, 10 Essential Oils for Motivation!
Leave Work at Work
This one is pretty straightforward. If you work all day and bring your work home with you, it doesn’t allow your mind to detach and fully relax. This can be more of a challenge if you work from home. Schedule set work hours and stick to them. To fully combat burnout, make sure to turn off computers, phones, and other distractions so you can fully disconnect.
Consider a Change
If you implement these changes and you still experience burnout, it may be time for a change. Most experts say that the best solution for burnout is pursuing work that you are passionate about. If your work is unfulfilling and unrewarding, it will be a constant battle to stay positive and motivated. Even people who love their jobs get burned out, but it is far less likely and frequent.
You’ll burn out much faster working five hours a day at a job that hurts your soul than you would working 15 hours a day at a job that feeds your soul.
To learn more about being an empowered decision-maker, download this free ebook, Empowered Choice.