How to Recover from Job Burnout - Geeks'n'Gears

How to Recover from Job Burnout

How to Recover from Job Burnout

If you’re feeling emotionally, physically, and mentally exhausted all the time, then it’s very likely you’re feeling burnt out. Usually, this happens because of prolonged stress from your workplace or business, and most people don’t realize they’re experiencing job burnout until they’re already in the thick of it. In fact, my life has been a tumult of bad career choices, social losses, separation, and more – so you can say that burnout and I are best buds!

Okay, so what is burnout, exactly?

Simply put, it’s what occurs after you’ve been under a state of excessive stress for too long. This makes you feel exhausted, cynical, and less capable to perform at work or in your daily life. Typically, this stress comes from your job but it can also be exacerbated by anything happening in your day-to-day life, whether it’s stress from family, friends, romantic relationships, or other extraneous situations. This also stems from thoughts of perfectionism, pessimism, or feelings of dissatisfaction with your current lifestyle. 

When you’re burnt out, your productivity and motivation are low – making you feel helpless, hopeless, and unhappy with yourself. It’s a very draining experience that causes you to feel tired most of the time. As your mental well-being suffers, it may translate into physical ailments like headaches, loss of appetite, high blood pressure, and poor sleep quality. From this, you might find yourself withdrawing from your friends and family, calling in sick more often at work, and generally feeling like a failure. 

Now, what kind of life is that?

If what I’ve just said hits a little too close to home, consider asking yourself the following questions:

  • Have you become cynical and forgetful at work?
  • Are you more irritable or impatient with clients, customers, or coworkers?
  • Do you lack the energy to be consistently productive?
  • Do you have no satisfaction with your job or life?
  • Are you relying on food, alcohol, or recreational drugs to feel better or stop feeling entirely?
  • Do you have increased/unexplained physical ailments like headaches, bowel issues, etc.?

If your answer is yes to most or all of these questions, then you’re very likely experiencing burnout. However, don’t feel alarmed or worried by this! Burnout has become a very common experience nowadays, and it’s important to recognize it early on before it can create any further problems in your life. 

There are also many causes of job burnout, such as:

  • Lack of control in your job
  • Unclear work expectations
  • Dysfunctional office dynamics
  • Consistently chaotic or monotonous activities
  • Lack of social support
  • Work-life imbalance 

Or, as I explain in my book, Imagine My Life!, you’re simply working too hard with little to no reward and your body can no longer keep up with it all. While this list doesn’t include all of them, these types of stressors can have a hugely negative impact on your mental and physical wellbeing.

So, how do you recover from job burnout?


Figure out the source of your burnout

This is an obvious point but also the most important one! If you don’t know what’s causing your burnout, then how will you be able to stop it? Think about what things are happening in your life and workplace that consistently cause you stress and identify whether it’s a low-impact stressor or a high-impact one. For example, when your job or business is too demanding or you have too few resources at work, you consistently expend more energy and effort than you can generate. Over time, this wears you down until your body can’t keep up anymore. 

Once you’ve figured out what is causing your burnout and why, you’ll be able to take further action toward recovery and improving your mental health. Here are some steps you can take:

1. Talk about it

This is possibly the hardest step; it’s always difficult to be vulnerable or tell someone when you’re not feeling okay, but talking about how you’re feeling is a great way to open opportunities for recovery! If you have a good support system or people you can confide in, don’t hesitate to reach out to them for advice or just to have someone who will listen. Sometimes, talking it out is the best way to figure out what your stressors are and can clear your mind so you can do something about it.

And don’t be afraid to talk to your boss. Tell them how you’re feeling and that you might need to take some time off, lessen your workload, reschedule some meetings, or be reassigned to a different team. If they’re a good boss, they will understand and work with you to help you recover. If they’re not, then you might want to consider a more permanent choice (which I’ll talk about later). 

However, if you’re the boss running your own business and the stress and workload are getting to you, then don’t hesitate to speak with your coworkers or employees about it and discuss the possibility of delegating some of the work to other staff. They’re also familiar with the effects of stress in the workplace, so don’t hesitate to show that you’re not immune either. 


2. Reconnect with what makes you happy

One of the best ways to recover from burnout is by reconnecting with the things you value that make you happy. Whether it’s reading, playing video games, spending time with family, exercising, or something else, set aside time for the things that give you a sense of joy, fulfillment, and meaning in your life. This can involve reducing your work hours, turning off your work phone or work-related notifications, delegating tasks, and/or ensuring that you don’t bring any work with you to your home. 


3. Take some time off

If you can’t mentally detach yourself from work, then physically do so by scheduling time off from work. While some jobs don’t offer two-week paid vacations, most employers need to provide some sort of time-off allotment to their employees. Do some research into what your company offers and take some much-needed time off. While you’re recharging, use this time to figure out longer-term solutions to prevent future burnout. 


4. Try life coaching/training

Sometimes, you just need a helping hand to figure your life out. This is where I come in! I offer affordable coaching and training services to help you take back control over your life. Trust me, I’ve been in the same rock bottom situation before, but I managed to take charge and pull myself out. I can help you do the same. With my services, I’ll help you define your dream life, improve your mindset, and even structure your business. 


5. Try journaling

It’s been proven that journaling acts as a great emotional decompressor. Set aside some time in your morning or evening routine to empty your mind onto paper, orient yourself for the day, or vent about your stressors before bed. This is a great alternative to “talking it out” if you don’t have a support person who can listen. 

6. Understand your limits and say no

We all like to think we’re superheroes that can take on the world and still have a good night’s sleep at the end of the day – but we’re not. One of the easiest ways to get burned out is by taking on more than we can handle. Oftentimes, we do this because we feel obligated to say “yes” to everything that’s asked of us, either because we’re afraid of seeming rude or unprofessional or we don’t want to let the person down. It’s difficult to set boundaries, especially with someone like your boss, but there are many ways to respectfully say no. Practice it for small things in your daily life until you have enough confidence to say it at work.


7. Practice self-compassion

If your friend confides in you about how burnt out and stressed they are, you won’t tell them that they’re a failure, they need to do better, or it’s not as bad as they’re making it out to be – would you? Of course not! So, why would you say the same things to yourself? We are our worst critics and always expect too much of ourselves. Remember that you’re as human as everyone else, not a superhero, and that you too aren’t perfect. Love and support yourself and know that it’s okay to take a break. 

8. Consider quitting

This isn’t an option for everyone, especially if you rely on your job to survive, but sometimes the only way to recover from burnout is to permanently remove yourself from the cause. One of the best actions you can take is leaving a toxic workplace, the kind where your boss and/or coworkers purposely bully, harass, or overwork you. If you can remove yourself from that situation, you’ll find a massive weight will be lifted off your shoulders. Quitting your job for mental health is not something to be ashamed or afraid of, and it’s sometimes necessary to figure out where you want to go in life. 

If you decide to quit, make it worthwhile by figuring out what your next steps are so that you don’t find yourself in the same situation again. This is something I can help out with, in fact, through my book and coaching services. 

Nowadays, it’s said that at least half of the workforce have or are currently experiencing some form of job burnout. Combine that with post-pandemic anxiety over politics, lack of job opportunities, sky-high inflation, and uncertainty about the future, I’d be surprised if you weren’t feeling burnt out! However, you’re not alone and there are many ways to identify and treat burnout. All it takes is at least one of the above steps and you’re already on the path to recovery.

If you’d like some one-on-one guidance and direction to help you through your burnout recovery, don’t hesitate to reach out to me! As someone who’s been in your shoes, I know exactly how you’re feeling and how to get out of that hopelessness. Feel free to explore my website, take a look at the different services I offer, and contact me if you have any questions. 

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