inspiration

4 Ways to Handle the Feelings of Burnout

Burnout is the worst. I’ve hit breaking points before and it’s never pretty. I do believe in working hard and getting things done, but it should never be at the expense of your sanity! (I learned this the hard way, so trust me on it.)

Want to avoid the burnout? Stop it before it happens. Maxie is sharing her tips for tapping the brakes before you get to that point.

Burnout

4 Ways to Handle the Feelings of Burnout

Guest post by Maxie McCoy

Have you ever felt like everything is wrong even though nothing is really wrong? Maybe you made a mountain out of a molehill. Maybe you feel so insanely overwhelmed by everything. Or maybe you found yourself crying on the subway on the way to meet Carly because you were just… so… tired (oh wait, that was me). Or maybe everything that normally excites you just feels blah and numb.

They’re true signs, every time, of the fact that your energy is wiped and you’re in bad need of a break. Resting is so integral, yet for some reason, we’re always biting off more, we’re pushing ourselves to hustle harder, and we’re not stopping to assess what we really need until it’s too late. Don’t be forced to slow down because your health deteriorates or your emotions are running you ragged. When you start to feel like you’re hitting the end of your active runway, you have to take a big step back.

When I met Carly off the subway last week, we both knew I looked as tired as I felt. Not because I was disheveled or unkempt, but because you could see it in my eyes: I needed the longest rest ever. And I needed to shut down my email. And I needed a break. So know, that everything below is the medicine I’m currently dosing myself with. This stuff happens… even the most aware people can realize they over hustled. Sometimes you just don’t know until ya know… ya know?

When the candle is burning at both ends, give these a try:

Sleep.
Until your body wakes up. And put an eye mask on and your phone away, so it’s really recovering in the way that’s natural – away from light. Studies show that 1 in 3 adults aren’t getting enough sleep, don’t be one of them. We need continuous rest. Nothing good comes from operating at a fraction of your optimum energy.

Step away.
Vacay. Long weekend. A day off. Whatever you can afford regarding flexibility, travel, and time, create space for it. We are in front of so much information day to day, especially when we’re trying to move the needle forward on our work, classes, or future. One of the best things you can do for your forward momentum is to give your brain time to process everything it’s learned and experienced by stepping away from all it all.

Spend a couple of hours with your people.
When I was so tired, lunch with Carly gave me life. Because she’s one of my “energizers,” as I like to call them – the people who no matter what fill you with energy and inspiration. Who you can let your guard down with. Who recharge you just by being near them. They’re your renewable energy source. Identify yours and schedule a little bit of time to just be with them.

Head to nature.
Mother nature is there to help you breathe, to give you perspective and to cradle your energy back to life. It’s what she does. So go outside and take in the night sky. Head to your favorite park (without your phone please). Get in some tree bathing at a local forest. Or hop in the car the nearest natural wonder. Trust me, fresh air and a long walk will do you wonders.

When you’re feeling burnt out, take action. Our energy is one of the most precious tools you have to connect and to create, let’s not take it for granted. And if you want more inspiration and tools, sign up for my weekly newsletter.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

14 Comments

Song

Every time I’m feeling overwhelmed and anxious, I yearn for the seaside. There’s something about the ocean that makes you feel so small and at ease. Take it easy!

Song Ebbesen | Lifestyle Blog
honestlysong.com

Reply
Helen

I couldn’t agree more with this post! I’ve experienced burnout so many times, and know how important it is to take care of yourself and prevent it from happening in the first place. I’ve definitely found that stepping into nature and unplugging is a great way to feel rejuvenated.

-Helen
http://www.sweethelengrace.com

Reply
Katherine

I happened to stumble upon this article as I am fighting off a cold. I think it was my PACKED schedule yesterday that put me over the edge. This post reminded me that it is okay (necessary) to make time for yourself to recover. Much needed!

Reply
Katie

I agree with these things – but they’re only temporary. Clearing your head does not prevent the work from piling up, or the pressure from your job to stop pushing you into a corner. I work in Higher Education, I spent 2 years getting a Master’s degree only to find out 2 years later that I (underline, bold, italic) HATE working in Higher Education. The long hours (92 hours of OT in the past 3.5 weeks), the thanklessness (from administrators, and students – the student’s you dedicate your life’s work to…) and not to mention the (incredibly) small paycheck we receive each moth has led to an unspeakable burnout that is beyond the fix of “sleeping more.” It’s time for action. When you are burnt out you need to start with reflection – start asking yourself the questions…”What is burning me out?” “Why am I crying everytime I hear the chime from my email..” “WHAT things can I do to make myself less burnt out both short term and long term?” …at the end of the day a giant change might be in store. You might need to change your job (something that I’m 100% looking at doing right now…), you might need to set boundaries (something I got pushback about…), you might need to step away (see Maxie’s advice for vacation – although if you can’t afford a vacation, I strongly recommend finding a groupon for a massage or spa and setting something affordable up, or meeting friends and spending an entire weekend NOT talking about your job…very hard when it consumes your life). Burnout is the realest thing that I’ve ever experienced, and it’s 100% defeating…if you start setting yourself up with a plan – however long that plan might take to achieve, you’re at least still moving forward and you’re still managing to keep yourself going even if it feels like you’re treading water in quicksand with weights on your ankles.

Reply
Lindsey

I’ve never actually commented on all of the posts I read on CP but this one spoke to me! Burnout is a word that we’ve all been casually tossing around the office but it’s definitely real and it has definitely hit my office. We decided to leave work early today to get our nails done and maybe we’ll have more emails tomorrow but for now, we are all relaxed and with perfectly polished nails! Thank you Maxie & Carly for the incredible advice that so many need without even realizing it!!

Reply
Erin

Burnout is so hard to avoid, especially with the glorification of “busy” we seem to suffer from.

I am a huge advocate for sleep. I need 8-hours to be “me” and 7-hours to function. Any less than that and I’m awful. I fully accept that some nights, I need to shut off my brain a little earlier and hit the sheets before 9PM and I’ve got no shame in that! It really helps!

Reply