As Q4 comes to a close, we can all agree that the majority of us are burned out and need ways to recover from burnout. 2021 was an eventful and rewarding year, jam-packed with new opportunities for marketing growth, stronger client relationships, and moments of determination to overcome the obstacles that came our way.
Truth is, however, accomplishing so many goals in succession definitely leaves you exhausted after a while. In other words, we get lost in the sauce that is professional development.
We can easily forget to focus on our well-being, resulting in fatigue, losing concentration, not feeling or performing at our best, not sleeping well, and experiencing unnecessary stress and anxiety.
If you have found yourself burning out in the past couple of months, it’s crucial to take a step back and rearrange your priorities. Your serious efforts paid off, but what’s always most important at the end of the day is your well-being.
Here are 7 ways to recover from burnout:
1. Recognize that you’re burned out.
The first step to overcoming a problem is recognizing that there is a problem in the first place. You may not even realize you’re burning out in the midst of the hustle and grind. While it’s great to be working so hard and diligently every day, don’t forget that you’re a human being with personal limitations. You cannot perform perfectly nor meet the high expectations you set for yourself every day. Also, more often than not, it’s perfectly normal to be burned out. We face a lot of responsibilities as adults in our personal lives in addition to our profession; there is always a task or chore that needs to be finished. Therefore, don’t blame yourself for being tired and amplify that state of being!
2. Take a step back from the source of stress that’s burning you out.
Yes, even if that source of stress is work. Give yourself five minutes to take a breather and identify your current stressor. The world isn’t going to end because you feel overwhelmed and want to stop, believe me. Once you do that, you can look at that specific stressor with an objective perspective and determine a clear path on how to best approach it.
3. Communicate your concerns with others.
Don’t suffer alone. While admitting you’re struggling isn’t enjoyable or sometimes intimidating, it can be cathartic and comforting to receive validation from others who empathize with us and have our best interests in mind. There are multiple people you can communicate with: your managers, loved ones, and even medical professionals such as a therapist–just to name a few examples.
Is your workload overwhelming you? Bring up to leadership that you need help on how to manage it or need the support of others to complete it. Have you frankly just been feeling awful and don’t know where to start on how to approach that? That’s 100% okay. A therapist can offer their perspectives, give you recommendations on coping mechanisms for stress, and help bring you out of the tunnel vision that burnout occasionally traps you in. Do you just need some extra love from friends and family? It may be a sign that it’s simply time to catch up and reconnect with them!
4. Set boundaries where needed.
Boundaries keep you sane and prevent you from becoming overwhelmed. For example, you can implement more breaks in your day, tackle a workload in bite-sized pieces rather than all at once, or remove yourself from any thoughts or concerns about work after you clock out.
Naturally, it’s going to take trial and error to determine which boundaries work best for you or follow through with respecting the boundaries themselves. From personal experience, I used to have a habit where I would try to work through exhaustion because I thought that I could finish a little more of a task, no big deal. At that point, I’ve already pushed past my limits and I’m just hurting myself for no reward except for the ability to say I finished a task. That’s not worth compromising your health, ever. The rule of thumb: if the line of personal and professional starts blurring, you need to set a boundary there.
5. Change your attitude.
As mentioned before, burnout can lead to tunnel vision–which can spiral into a negative hole of emotions. Ask yourself how you’re approaching life right now and if you can improve how you’re going about it. Burnout can help you understand that you may be emotionally investing yourself in areas that aren’t worth your time and energy. Be honest and realistic.
6. Set aside time for activities you enjoy outside of work.
Take the work-life balance seriously. Set aside time to simply enjoy your hobbies again or work on a personal passion project that never fails to excite you. On the flip side, if you’re in a job that is related to your hobbies–such as anything creative like web design, it’s normal to get burned out from that too.
For example, I’m a fiction writer outside of my position as Pulse’s Content Writer. While I love writing in all shapes and forms, I do my best to separate the creative muscles used for Temecula marketing versus developing characters in science fiction.
You need to be intentional about compartmentalizing how you approach your creative hobby versus your job. I personally do so by recognizing that writing comes in many shapes and forms and maintaining the habit of switching off certain creative muscles when I come home from work. That way, even though I would technically still be writing, it comes from a place that is solely dedicated to fiction without the influence of online marketing company structure tendencies.
7. Implement essential self-care into your routine.
Return to the basics: eating healthy, getting enough exercise and sunlight (especially if you’re working remotely or at home; don’t be a gremlin), and being adamant about practicing personal hygiene. We have all been there, brushing off the need for a shower or skipping a meal because cooking takes too much as well as sitting down (or standing) to eat. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you have to work to deserve moments of self-care. You don’t. You deserve self-care simply because you’re a person and your feelings and well-being matter.