Whether you’re feeling stressed about a never-ending list of to-dos or worried about a fast-approaching deadline, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed, overworked, stressed and even anxious. Don’t you let the work pile up. These feelings get out of hand, it’s easy to find yourself in a state of burnout. However, rather than allowing yourself to give into burnout, it’s important to take actionable steps towards pulling yourself out.
From developing an ownership mindset to leaving work at work, here are nine things you can do to overcome burnout.
1. Pay attention to what your body is telling you
One major cause of burnout is ignoring the needs of your body. When your body is tired, it’s time to go to bed. When your body signals that it is hungry, it’s best to feed it with a healthy snack or meal. If you are not attentive to what your body is trying to tell you, then you’re merely setting yourself up to crash.
According to an article published in Harvard Business Review, in order to recover from burnout you have to pay attention and respond to your body’s physical and emotional needs. When you’re in a state of burnout, you will have to be extra sensitive to your body; overcoming burnout requires extra sleep and taking more breaks during work in order to restore your energy levels throughout the day.
2. Take inventory
Before you can begin overcoming burnout, it’s important to know the source of it first. To start, begin by writing down a list of all of the situations that may have caused you to feel stressed. Why are you feeling anxious or overwhelmed. And while doing so, remember to take your time.
When making your list, Psychology Today advises, “Don’t rush through it. It’s not a race; it’s a process. In fact, you should consider it a work in process, adding to it as things enter your mind.”
3. Find new meaning in your work
In most cases, burnout is a direct result of feeling overloaded at work. However, rather than letting yourself feel defeated and even angered by the amount of work that’s on your plate, try taking a different approach.
According to an article published in Forbes, it’s about reigniting interest in your work. As the article advises: “Identify the most fulfilling elements of your work and dedicate more time to them. If you can, talk to your supervisor about better aligning your responsibilities with your strengths and interests.”
4. Focus on being proactive
Typically, when you’re driven into a state of burnout it’s because you have been approaching your days reactively rather than proactively. That’s why, in order to get over burnout, you have to change your mindset, and that starts by setting the right tone at the very beginning of your day.
Natalie Ellis, entrepreneur and CEO of BossBabe, tells Entrepreneur, “It’s so important to start your day proactively rather than reactively. I always spend time with my coffee, my journal and a book to get into a good head space before the day begins.”
5. Adopt an ownership mindset
When experiencing burnout, it’s easy to blame others for pushing you into this state. The truth is, you are in control of your moods and your fate. So, instead of playing the victim, one of the most important and effective things you can do is to adopt an “ownership mindset.” An ownership mindset might sound something like: “While others have contributed to my current situation, I have the power to make my own choices and change my present and future.” This type of self-talk will help you recharge and take back control of your life.
6. Develop relationships at work
From avoiding colleagues to screening phone calls, resisting socializing is a key sign of burnout. However, in order to get out of this funk, it’s important to step out of your comfort zone and begin recultivating those relationships. And that’s especially true in the office.
Life and business coach Maria Pastore tells Forbes, “Building positive social supports in the workplace can help buffer you from work burnout. When you take a break, engage with your colleagues or schedule social events together after work.”
7. Take breaks regularly
Whether you’re trying to prevent burnout or overcome it, one important habit to develop is to take breaks regularly throughout the workday. When you’re jumping from one stressful task to another, without anytime in between to reset and recharge, you’re putting your body into a fragile state prone to burnout.
According to Psychology Today, “Burnout puts your mind and body in a weakened state, so avoid jumping from one stressful, time-consuming project to the next in order to give your mind and body a chance to recover.”
When you’re feeling burnt out, one quick fix is some high intensity cardio. Try going for a run or a bicycle ride. At least that’s what Andrew Vest of Preferling suggests: “When I feel so mentally burnt out from juggling multiple projects, there’s only one thing that can recharge my brain and my enthusiasm—working out. It’s a way to unplug and just focus on the task in front of me. Whether I go for a long run or a four-hour bike ride around my city. When I’m done, I have a high so powerful that all of the stress from my day-to-day activities is gone.”
9. Don’t take your work home
It’s time to leave work at the office. Most of the time, when you’re feeling burnt out, it’s a product of feeling overwhelmed or overworked in the office.
When you bring the office home with you, you’re only allowing yourself to cultivate these feelings further. All of this racing around mentality and the act of trying to get everything done fast is going to drive you straight into burnout.
As psychologist Sherrie Bourg Carter says in her book, High Octane Women: How Superachievers Can Avoid Burnout, “When you’re recovering from burnout, you can’t be on the Danica Patrick racetrack. You have to slow down a notch until you can safely get back up to that speed.”
Rose is a writer and artist living in New York City. She writes for magazines, startups and websites, including Entrepreneur Magazine, Frontrunner Magazine, Homepolish and more.