I’m Feeling Burnt Out, Now What?
Emotionally exhausted? Pessimistic and detached from your work? Feeling as though you are inadequate with no personal accomplishment? These are three common signs of burnout. Burnout stirs from job-related exhaustion which effects emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual well-being.
While burnout can often stem from your environment, there are many ways to help lessen the impact of burnout on your overall health.
- Sleep. 7-9 hours of sleep a night can help you process the days events and heal the ups and downs you experience throughout your day. Follow these good practices to improve sleep quality as well as everyday function.
- Create a routine. Wake up and go to sleep the same time everyday to allow your body consistent sleep.
- Wind down from your day by decreasing blue-light exposure. Quiet your mind with a book instead.
- Avoid stimulants that reduce sleep quality such as alcohol or caffeine before bed.
- Sleeping in a dark cool room promotes deeper sleep and regulates body temperature.
- Consider a white noise machine to drown out sounds that may be hard to fall asleep to.
- Get active. Even just 30 minutes of physical activity, 3 days a week, can improve physical and emotional health. The options are endless. Here’s a few 15-minute workouts you can do at home to get you started.
- Eat well and intuitively. Do you eat a heavy meal and feel the day is dragging on? Or, are you lacking energy throughout your day because you ate light? Diet and mental health are interconnected. Think about what you eat and how you feel afterwards to get a better gauge on how your eating habits might be affecting your emotional and mental health.
- Meditate. If you feel anxious and need to regroup, there are many breathing techniques that can help relieve anxiety and help you feel calm. For starters, try these two breathing techniques you can practice right at your desk.
- 4–4–4–4 Technique: Breathe in through your nose to the count of 4, hold it in for a count of 4, breathe out through your mouth to the count of 4, hold for a count of 4 and then repeat.
- 1-minute guided deep breathing exercise.
- Journal. Keep a journal to write in after work or before you go to sleep. Allow yourself to let go of unresolved issues and thoughts from the days happenings so it won’t impact your time to recharge.
- Set boundaries. Your time away from work is vital to rest and recuperate. Setting boundaries between your work and personal life can improve your headspace and decrease stress.
- Interaction. Reflect on the ways you interact with those around you. Do you interact with your co-workers and the people in your life in a way that is positive and constructive?
- Affirmations. There is power in the way you think. It is important to acknowledge the things we are exceptionally good at. Write them down or speak them and ask, “Do I believe it? Do I feel better?” If you do, you are on the right track!
- Clean and/or change your space. Your surroundings are important because they impact your mood and motivation. Clean and change your space to free yourself of the same emotions and feelings.
Your employer may offer free mental health resources and counseling through Employee Assistance Program (EAP), or similar programs that may be available to you. There are also confidential mental health support services, such as NAMI and Your Life Iowa, that are there to listen and/or help connect to support services if that is what you want.
Learn more about burnout prevention and treatment here. When you feel burned out, listen here.