9 Ways To Recover From Burnout And Love Your Job Again
It seems like lately, more and more people are feeling burned out at work. Burnout, or the overwhelming feeling of mental and physical exhaustion, even affects those who typically enjoy their jobs. The problem has become so widespread that companies are reporting that they are facing an employee burnout crisis.
But being burnt out does not necessarily mean you need a new job. As a career coach, I have had many clients come to me outlining signs of burnout and thinking they need to do a 180 flip on their entire career. While that may be the case for some people, that isn’t always the only solution. Burnout means you need to slow down and take care of yourself so that you can not only love your job again, but be happier in your non-work time as well.
While I work with clients who are on the hunt for clarity on their career path, or a new job, I also have found it’s necessary to tackle their burnout, as it’s a huge block to their purpose and next step forward.
You must first acknowledge that you have reached burnout. Some key indicators are mental and physical exhaustion induced by repeated pressures and stresses in your life. If you feel drained and unable to complete tasks, and if you feel as though your life-force battery is running dangerously low, then you may be burnt out. One indicator of burnout is that after a long night’s sleep, you don’t wake up feeling rested. Psychology Today listed out the telltale signs of burnout as the following:
How do you know if you have burnout?
While there isn’t an exact way to confirm that you have burnout, use the WHO’s three criteria as a guide. Are you feeling emotional or physical exhaustion? Are you extremely negative about your current role? Are you less effective than usual at work?
“Persistence is the quickest answer,” said Robert Bogue, president of AvailTek LLC and co-author of Extinguish Burnout: A Practical Guide to Prevention and Recovery. “Everyone has a bad day, but just like depression, if the feeling lasts for a long time, then it’s something different than just a bad day. Another test is to take a day of rest. If you rest and feel recharged the next day, then it’s probably not burnout. Burnout persists even after you take a break.”
Brief online self-assessments can also help put your feelings into context. If you’re unsure whether or not you have burnout, take a few online tests and use those results as a guide. The scores can be helpful, but the questions are just as valuable. Study what questions are being asked to better understand the signs of burnout. Mind Tools and Psychology Today both offer tools to test burnout.
Test results shouldn’t be taken as definitive proof, but they can help you determine if what you’re experiencing is burnout or fatigue. Be sure to monitor your emotional exhaustion, not just how you feel physically. Emotional exhaustion is one of the more common burnout symptoms. Other symptoms include the inability to get a good night’s sleep, being unreasonably angry at work or at home, and compassion fatigue, which refers to the inability to be compassionate on a regular basis. If you find yourself being ruder than normal at work, this may be a warning sign of workplace burnout.
14 tips on how to recover from burnout
1. Track your stress levels
2. Identify your stressors
3. Create a habit of journaling
4. Seek professional help from a coach or therapist
5. Build a support network
6. Get enough exercise
7. Speak up for yourself
Being honest about your situation with a boss or manager may result in a reduced workload and prevent you from working long hours. Don’t be afraid to speak up for yourself to create change that could better suit your mental and emotional needs.
8. Learn stress management techniques
9. Create a work-life balance
10. Do things that you enjoy
If you want to know how to recover from mental exhaustion, having fun is a good place to start. Committing to things that make you happy will calibrate stress levels and help you reconnect with yourself on an emotional level.
11. Create a healthy sleep schedule
12. Follow a healthy diet
13. Practice mindfulness and meditation
14. Set boundaries
How long does it take to recover from burnout?
Stage 1: Admit the problem
Stage 2: Take a break
Taking a break from work is not always possible. But it will help alleviate the strain and give your body and mind the time it desperately needs to relax and gather energy again.
Stage 3: Focus on well-being
Stage 4: Reflect on personal values
Stage 5: Explore new opportunities
There’s more than one way to make money. If your current roles and responsibilities are proving more draining than fulfilling, perhaps it’s time to explore new opportunities and find a career path that better suits your lifestyle and ideals.
Stage 6: Make a change
Although change can sometimes be scary, it’s better than sacrificing your personal health. If you’re experiencing burnout, chances are something needs to change in order to get your mental and physical health back on track.