There’s been a lot of talk about burnout lately … and rightly so.
It’s not just some buzzword, but a very real thing that more and more people are dealing with every day.
We’ve all been through a lot over the past couple of years, and no matter what else was going on in the news or in life, we’ve had to keep pushing — to keep the money flowing in, to keep the bills paid, and to keep our careers intact.
It’s been intense. Even though things are a little less so now, the after effect of it all is hitting people hard. So if you’re feeling this, you’re not alone.
In my case, I spent the past year in serious caregiver mode for two different family members. While I’m grateful that my business allowed me the flexibility to do that, I hit burnout mode — big time.
I knew that if I didn’t pull back, my own health would be on the line. So that’s what I did, and now I’m in bounce-back mode.
I’ve been here before — at different times, for different reasons — so the good news is, I knew what to do. Now I’ve got some tricks up my sleeve that I thought I’d share with you in case you’re finding yourself heading towards (or trying to recover from) burnout too.
Best case scenario: Take a break. Use your personal days, medical leave, or whatever you need to do to unplug completely. And do it BEFORE your body forces you to.
If that’s not an option — and let’s face it, it’s probably not — here’s what to do instead:
1. Step back from people, activities, responsibilities, and obligations that are not absolutely necessary. You just have to stop, even if it’s hard, even if it ruffles feathers. They’ll get over it … or not; it won’t be the end of the world. If you don’t quit, it could be the end of you. I’m not being dramatic here; your life depends on it.
2. Start spending more time in nature. This isn’t a nice-to-do, it’s a must-do. Put your feet in the grass and connect with the earth. Sit by the water. Find a park. Look up at the sky. Move your body. Nurturing yourself in nature calms your nervous system like nothing else. You’ll feel so much better.
3. “Quiet quit” your job — You’re hearing a lot about this right now, and it’s not to be confused with actually quitting. In case you’ve yet to hear about this, just google it. In a nutshell, the idea is to step back and do the bare minimum at work (even if you’re self-employed). That’s one interpretation, and the other, more what the original viral TikTok video was about, is to stop letting your job win. Don’t let it consume you, your energy, your sanity, and your mind space.
You choose which one you have to do. You won’t want to do the bare minimum forever, but do it while you’re in the process of recovering. No shame. Your survival depends on it. And the other version needs to be normalized. We, as a society, LIVE with work central to our well being.
Put yourself first for a while, and you’ll be okay. We’re all humans, not machines. We can’t keep grinding along neglecting our self-care. It may take longer than you think, and it might not be easy, but it’s definitely worth it.
Your career will be waiting for you on the other side — the one you have now or a new one, better suited to your well-being. When you’re ready, I’m here to help you make your next steps clear.
P.S. Burnout can also be a sign that you’re unfulfilled in your career, or that you don’t feel like you’re doing what you’re meant to be doing. Comment below and let me know if that hits home for you!