We have all felt overworked and overwhelmed from time to time. Your brain and body can only handle those feelings for so long before you become emotionally and physically burned out. The signs you have gone from stressed to burned-out include lack of motivation, difficulty concentrating, frustration, and feeling like nothing you do matters. If you are suffering burnout, there are some steps you can take to help you recover.
Treat the cause not just the symptom
It might be hard to pinpoint the cause of burnout, but if you don’t identify the cause, you will struggle to heal. The source or sources might not be obvious, but it is worth reflecting on the root cause. More than one source may be contributing to your burnout. It may be the combination of those sources that are overwhelming you rather than one source.
Look for quick wins
Find some immediate changes you can make to relieve some of the pressure you feel. Look at your existing commitments and think about rescheduling or even canceling some of them. We never want to let people down, but continuing to people please will only add to your stress.
Show your body some love
Burnout affects the body and the mind. To recover, you need to go back to the basics of looking after yourself. You might not lack the motivation to exercise, but it will help reduce stress and boost your mood. Reduce your caffeine intake and get enough sleep. This might feel counter-intuitive because you are trying to squeeze so much into your day and there just aren’t enough hours to do everything. Stop putting the needs of others before your own. With good quality sleep, you will feel better both physically and mentally.
Identify your values and reassess your goals
It’s easy to let your professional life get out of line with your values or to forget what your goals are as you continue trudging along on the treadmill of life. When you dig deep into the reasons for your burnout, you often find that what you are doing either personally or professionally doesn’t align with your values or contribute to your long-term goals. Knowing your values can give you a foundation to build on. If your personal or professional life isn’t in alignment with those values, you are building your life on shaky ground. If what you are doing is moving you further away from your long-term goals, rather than closer to them, this imbalance could contribute to your burnout. Look at ways to bring your life back in alignment with your values and goals.
Talk to someone you trust
Burnout isn’t something to be ashamed of. If you feel you are suffering from burnout, reach out to someone you trust. Asking for help and support might make you feel vulnerable, but vulnerability is a strength, not a weakness.