Combating burnout at work is more relevant today than ever. Whether you’re working 80 hours in a fast-paced and ever changing IT role at the office or 168 hours a week working from home as a stay-at-home mom, everyone can burn out. And once you do, it’s hard to recover without making a drastic change.
Though making a drastic change, such as quitting your job or hiring extensive babysitting help, is always an option, there are some other things you can try first. You may just need a little jolt or a recharge to get you going again.
It’s no wonder people are stressed and burnouts happen. Money is a major stressor, and just looking at personal finance statistics alone, it’s easy to see the stats keeping people stressed. This stress often leads to burnout.
How do you know if you’re burning out? If you’re constantly feeling tired, depressed, unmotivated, frustrated, and sick, you’re probably in the middle of a burnout. But don’t worry, because these are 5 things you can do to combat a burnout.
Suggestions to Combat a Burnout
1. Take a Vacation
This may seem obvious, but why haven’t you done it yet? I know, everything will fall apart if you go on a vacation. You don’t have the time or the money. But what’s going to happen if you don’t take a vacation? It could be much worse.
Everyone needs to take a vacation at least once a year.
Believe it or not, everything will still be afloat when you get back. The world won’t fall apart.
If you think you can’t afford it, look into cheap vacation options. If you plan for it, you can afford a vacation. Camping on the beach is always fun. Odds are, there is somewhere within driving distance that won’t even cost you one tank of gas. You can bring your lunch and have a picnic every day. Vacations don’t have to be expensive. In fact, it seems like the more money you spend, the less quality time you actually spend together with your family.
If you absolutely don’t see a way to take a vacation right now, you should evaluate your life and figure out if this is just a season or if it’s going to look like this for the next 20 years. If the latter is true, reconsider your current career.
You can also try the next idea if you absolutely can’t take a vacation.
2. Only Do the Necessities
You have a million things to do every day. But here’s the catch: you don’t actually have to do them every day. Understanding this perspective can help you combat a burnout.
There are plenty of things you could stop doing for a week to relax and get you back on track. Work with your spouse to delegate some of your weekly tasks. And then swap on a different week so that your spouse gets a break too.
This should free up a lot of your time. Use your extra time however you want. This is a partial vacation.
If you don’t have a significant other to share tasks with, just stop doing them. Sure, the kids have to eat and you need to take care of yourself, but everything else can wait.
At least for one week:
- Stop doing laundry.
- Stop cleaning the house.
- Stop checking your email.
- Stop preparing elaborate meals.
Take a week off and just relax. Read, watch TV, play games – what you like to do. Yes, the laundry may be piled up and the dishes may be overflowing in the sink, but after a week of recharging, it won’t be as difficult to deal with.
3. Get More Sleep
After you’ve taken all of the tasks that don’t have to be done of your schedule, you’ll have more time. Use it wisely. One way to use it very wisely is to get more sleep.
While you can’t technically “catch up” on sleep, you can sleep enough to reenergize, which will help you to get more done when you do get back into your routine, thus increasing your time to sleep during the normal week. Of course, you should be getting enough sleep to do that every night.
Here are 5 things you can do to get more (and better) sleep:
- Exercise regularly
- Invest in a high quality mattress and pillow
- Set the thermostat to a comfortable temperature, whether cool or warm
- Create a sleep sanctuary (blackout curtains, relaxing environment, etc.)
- Avoid heavy meals, alcohol and caffeine within the last 8 hours of the day
Sleep affects our bodies in more ways than we know. That may be all it takes to get out of your rut.
4. Go Back to Your Favorite Things
Are there old hobbies that you love, but don’t have time to do anymore? Do them.
You may feel like you don’t have time for them, but the truth is, if you’re burned out, you just don’t have the energy for them.
Taking a week off can not only combat a burnout and recharge your energy, and that means you can return to those beloved hobbies.
If you can’t think of any hobbies you enjoy, here are a few to try:
- Playing an Instrument
- Walking/Running/Weight Lifting
Life often breaks us away from the things we love. Get back to your roots.
5. Give Yourself
One of the best things to do when you’re feeling burned out is to take the focus off of yourself. Think about others, and you’ll be surprised at how much better it makes you feel. This is the “give and you shall receive” mindset.
We all tend to naturally think selfishly; we’re thinking about our own problems, and that is what ultimately leads you to burn out.
Turn that feeling around, and start thinking outwardly. Here are some great ways to give:
- Volunteer at a local soup kitchen
- Volunteer with your local Habitat for Humanity
- Seek opportunities in your church to reach out to your community
- Go get some gift cards to restaurants and hand them out to the homeless
You’ll be amazed at how fast you stop feeling burnt out, start feeling motivated again.
You can also try reducing your work hours and spending more time with your family, whether that means your family at home, or your extended family. Give yourself to your family. Obviously, this will work better if you’re burnt out at work. If you stay at home, and you’re burnt out, you may want to give elsewhere until you start feeling better.
It could be your boss’s fault that your burnt out. It could be your spouse’s. It could be your commitments. But the common factor here is you. And that’s the only thing you can change. If you want to be more productive, you need to make the steps to combat a burnout.
It’s perfectly fine to acknowledge that you’re burnt out and that it’s not your fault, but you can’t do anything about it unless you decide to change you. Change your environment. Change your work schedule. Change whatever you need to change to feel recharged and useful again.
You’ll thank yourself for it.
If things don’t change and you continue to feel burnt out and unmotivated, consider going to your church and speaking with someone for council, or seeking professional help.