It’s one thing to feel stressed and overworked, but sometimes, things reach a boiling point, and you experience full-on burnout. It’s a terrible thing to go through, but as confidence coach Steve Errey writes in a terrific Daily Muse post titled “How to Bounce Back from a Burnout Better Than Ever Before,” it’s possible to get yourself back on track.
Read on for a summary of Errey’s five pieces of expert advice, and next time you’re feeling overwhelmed and uninspired, get yourself on the comeback trail.
1. Feed Your Mind, Body, and Soul — When you’re feeling physically and mentally exhausted, the first step is to better fuel your body. Make sure you’re eating healthy foods and getting plenty of sleep and regular exercise. Also, nourish your mind. Make it a priority to spend time with friends and loved ones, and don’t neglect your hobbies and passions. It’s about “putting gas back in the tank,” as Errey says.
2. Shoulder Some Blame — While it’s possible that your employer routinely saddles its workers with too much work, you’ve got to own your burnout, Errey says, and admit that you let yourself reach that point. Maybe you tried to please everyone or constantly took on extra assignments. Once you acknowledge the problem, Errey says, you’ll be more likely to prevent future burnout.
3. Set New Boundaries — Once you figure out what led to your burnout, set “guide rails,” as Errey calls them, designed to keep you from reaching that point again. You might decide you’re willing to work late one night a week but unwilling to skip your kid’s birthday party or your wedding anniversary to finish up a project. It’s all about establishing limits and sticking to them.
4. Seek Help — Burnout is a tough thing to overcome, and as Errey writes, you shouldn’t go it alone. Your company’s HR rep might be able to help, and by having a conversation with your boss, you might be able to cut back on some of your responsibilities. Got vacation time? Consider using it — and definitely share your struggles with the colleagues you’re closest with. They might be able to help.
5. Seize the Moment — Many see crisis as opportunity, and as Errey writes, burnout could be a sign it’s time to make some major changes in your life and try something completely different. Maybe you need a new job within the company — or a new career altogether. “Sometimes, being in a crappy place can be the perfect opportunity to make some new choices,” he writes.