How to Overcome Job Burnout (When You Can't Take Time Off)

by Michelle Guerrere

Have you ever had a job that is so mentally and physically draining that all of your energy has literally been sapped out of you? It may be because you can’t seem to keep up with the demands or it’s just not what you signed up for. Your natural instinct may be to quit, or take a vacation, but what if you just started or if you aren’t able to find a new job fast enough?

“There’s a lot of pressure in this 24/7 cycle,” says Heidi Grant Halvorson, a social psychologist and the author of No One Understands You and What to Do About It. “It can lead you to feel lethargic, stressed, and depleted — literally spent.” Thankfully, Halvorson says that there are ways to “put gas back in your tank” without having to physically leave your current role. Below, we’ve rounded up the top ways you can overcome job burnout and take back your life at the same time.

Put yourself first: No one else is going to, so this is key. Continue to work hard, but set boundaries when you need to leave on time for a personal function. It’s also wise to limit checking your work emails after-hours because you won’t be able to shut off that part of your brain. When you start thinking about your job as a means to pay your bills—and only that—you won’t be so upset.

Make a work friend: They say misery loves company, but in this case, you want to pick a positive friend! Befriend someone in the office who sees the good side of things—with the hope that their positivity will rub off. Also make sure to step away for coffee or lunch for a change of scenery once in a while.

Shorten your to-do list: There’s nothing worse than a daunting to-do list. Maintain one longer list that you refer to occasionally, but break down your daily tasks into three to four things, tops. Otherwise, you won’t feel like you’re accomplishing anything.

Find a new hobby: What have you always wanted to try? Is it voice lessons, a new type of yoga or just reading for fun? Find something outside of the office to focus on so your life doesn’t revolve around work.

Be sure to read about why meditation can change everything, and tell us what you think about these tips in the comments.

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