5 Tips to Overcome Burnout

Young Asian woman in a dark business suit sitting behind a computer looks unhappy as three people standing around and behind her all hand her paperwork to do.

Chronic workplace stress can take a toll on your physical and mental health. (Image: Psisaa via Dreamstime)

It’s no secret that burnout is a real problem in today’s workforce. So how do you overcome burnout? With the ever-increasing demands of the modern world, it’s only natural that more and more people are feeling overwhelmed and exhausted. In fact, according to a recent poll, nearly three in four Americans say they’ve experienced burnout at their job.

But what is burnout, exactly? The 11th Revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) defines it to be “a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.” In other words, it’s when the demands of your job start to take a toll on your physical and mental health. And it can have serious consequences. Studies have linked burnout to everything from high blood pressure and heart disease to depression and anxiety. If you’re dealing with burnout, you might feel like you need a vacation—and you very well might—but there are other things you can do to start feeling better.

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5 suggestions to overcome burnout

1. Talk to your boss

If you’re feeling overwhelmed at work, the first step is to talk to your boss. It can be helpful to explain how you’re feeling and what, specifically, is causing you stress. This way, he or she can be aware of the situation and help you find a solution. Maybe there’s a way for you to delegate some of your tasks or take on a different role within the company. Or maybe the boss can give you some flexibility with your hours. The important thing is to have an open conversation about what’s going on and come up with a plan together to help you overcome burnout.

A red wooden figure sits in the middle of a group of 5 other brown wooden figures with colored arrows pointing from the central figure to the ones surrounding it to illustrate the concept of delegating.
Talk to the boss and see if there is some way you can delegate some of your tasks to other people. (Image: Designer491 via Dreamstime)

2. Take care of yourself

It’s important to remember that burnout doesn’t just happen at work. It can also be brought on by other stressors in your life, like your personal relationships or financial situation. That’s why it’s so important to take care of yourself both inside and outside of the office. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, and exercising regularly. It might also be helpful to find a hobby or activity that you enjoy and make time for it in your schedule. If you don’t change things in your life, it will be very difficult to overcome burnout.

3. Take a break

Sometimes, the best solution is to simply take a break. This could mean taking a vacation from work or just taking some time off to relax and recharge. It might also be helpful to scale back your hours or work fewer days per week. If possible, try to take some time for yourself every day, even if it’s just a few minutes, disconnect from technology and focus on something that brings you joy.

Sometimes you need to take a break and go on a trip to overcome burnout.
Sometimes you need a vacation from work to relax and recharge. (Image: Hd3dsh via Dreamstime)

4. Seek professional help

If you’ve tried all of the above and you’re still feeling overwhelmed, it might be time to seek professional help. A therapist can work with you to identify the root cause of your stress and develop a plan to address it. In some cases, medication might also be recommended. If you’re dealing with burnout, don’t hesitate to reach out for help.

5. Find a new job

If nothing at all is helping and you feel like you’ve tried everything, it might be time to find a new job. It can be difficult to make this decision, but sometimes it’s the best thing for your mental health. If your current job is causing you undue stress, it might be worth considering a change. Talk to your boss about your options and look for openings at other companies. Sometimes, a fresh start is all you need to feel better and overcome burnout.

Make a plan, take action, and be patient

Once you’ve identified the root cause of your stress, it’s time to make a plan to address it. This could involve making some changes at work, seeking professional help, or taking a break from work. After you’ve made a plan, you can take action and start working towards a solution.

Recovering from burnout can take time, so it’s important to be patient. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is your recovery. It might take some time to make changes or to find a new job. And it could take even longer to recover from the physical and emotional effects of burnout. But if you’re patient and you keep working towards a solution, eventually you will start to feel better and find you can overcome burnout.

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