Recovering From Professional Burnout
The symptoms are fatigue, irritability, disinterest, disorganization and more. You feel wiped out. Your performance levels have fallen. You can feel it. What started out as a promising career now seems a drudgery. You are suffering from a professional burnout.
What is important is to recognize that we have burnt-out. At the worst, our mistakes and oversights might become noticeable. But sometimes, realizing our mistakes charges us up, motivating us to do something and regain control.
1. Short-Term Coping With Professional Burnout
When it first becomes noticeable, there are everyday things that can be done to cope with a professional burnout. Some of them are dietary; a boost of sugar and caffeine to make it through a meeting, a cup of coffee and a cat nap before delving into briefs. Taking your work to a sunny spot or an open window can freshen up your perspective. Sometimes a brisk ten-minute walk on the stairs can get the blood pumping. Jumping jacks can help. You may have to do this in the morning, in the middle of the day or in the afternoon. Once home, take a long bath, do some stretches, and make some fun-filled week-end plans for yourself.
Having something to look forward to takes you out of the present and projects you into the anticipated mood of the future. You have something to look forward to so the present becomes attractive. Dark moods and fatigue have a more difficult time settling in when you are preoccupied with a weekend trip or a new hobby.
2. Long-Term Tactics Against Professional Burnout
Once you’ve established what works for you as far as short-term coping, you need to think ahead. Professional burnout is brought on by taking on too much without restoring yourself.
You depleted yourself without replenishing yourself.
Did you bring it on yourself by taking on too many tasks at work or did you forgo too much sleep? You can’t skimp on sleep. Sleep rejuvenates and helps in keeping good health.
You need to also look at the work-load that brought on the professional burnout. Did you say yes to too much? Because being a great professional isn’t always about being all accommodating, but being strategic. Could you have said no to anything? Could you have asked for help? Could tasks have been delegated? Learning to manage your work-load is a large part of success. Yes, you might be the most capable, but where are your talents truly needed and warranted.
And lastly, are you being appreciated or are you being taken for granted. Needing and appreciating are two different things. Are your contributions getting noticed? And do you really value your contributions? Do you feel that what you are doing is worthy? Have you forgotten to appreciate yourself?
3. Knowing When It Is Not Professional Burnout
The tricky thing about professional burnout is understanding that it may not be a professional burn-out. You may be suffering from something that is clinical and needs medical treatment, for example, depression. If you can’t shake the symptoms after a couple of months or if they increase or less manageable, seek professional help.
4. Keeping It Interesting
Childhood can be fun and exciting largely because life is new and interesting. But then we settle down into our daily lives and necessary routines. Maybe the monotony of responsibility gets to be too much at times. So what can you do to keep your career interesting? Are you already planning retirement or can you take on a new challenge? Many workplaces allow employees to take on special projects or orchestrate events or parties. Such activities unite people from different departments and infuse the spirit of camaraderie. So look for opportunities to branch out.
We give a great deal of our time to our professional lives and neglect our personal lives. We want to feel good about what we do and we want to feel good while doing it. The best way to achieve that is to replenish ourselves and appreciate ourselves. We’ll find we have more to give.