Let's Chat: Burn Out
I see you.
I see you working hard every day to move the smallest inch in your career. You’re working through lunch, checking email at night, arriving early and staying through dinner just to try to get that next thing crossed off your to-do list.
You’re hyper-focused on being the best and succeeding. I see you.
You feel a twinge of guilt when you tell a friend, spouse or partner that you’ll be done with work at 5:40, but its 6:15 when you’re shutting your computer down and walking to your car. You second-guess if you should really be responding to that email at 9 p.m., but obsess about it if you don’t - because what if?
I see you, but it’s gotta stop. Pump the brakes, slow the “full send,” and take a deep breath. If you keep going at this speed and continue pushing, pushING, PUSHING without a break, without a chance to refocus and without stepping away, it’ll all come crashing down.
Day-to-day stress can be normal, especially depending on the field in which you work. But when that stress leads you to overwhelming anxiety, a lack of desire to go to work, or strong apathy for the work you’re doing, it’s time to recognize it for what it is and make changes.
Burn out is real and is something we don’t talk about enough. People feel it every day and typically don’t recognize it until it begins affecting their job, their career and their mental health. As burn out gets worse, work output decreases, attitudes change and supervisors and colleagues see that. Don’t allow your future references to change their opinion on your work ethic, simply because you don’t want to devote time to yourself to refocus.
For those of us who have perfectionist tendencies and yearn for success, accepting the presence of burn out in our lives can be difficult. We want to showcase our world as put-together and ideal, so when burn out and exhaustion creeps it, it can hit really hard; I know it has for me.
It is for that reason that we need to set boundaries early in our career to ensure we’re making space to release the expectations of work — to ensure that we’re taking a step back to re-energize ourselves. This could be planning a vacation every three months, taking time to walk on your lunch break, or setting a rule that you won’t check email after 8 p.m. These boundaries are different for every career, so take time to evaluate where you can add some barriers to burn out.
For me, I’ve found that not checking my email after I get home and making sure I take my lunch break (it’s easier now that we have a dog to let out) have been huge components of keeping burn out at bay. As a recovering perfectionist and someone who’s identity is strong in the work I do, it can be hard to make this a priority, but I know that if I don’t, my work - something I strongly pride myself on - will only suffer.
Tell me, how do you combat burn out? What boundaries do you want to create to keep burn out at bay? Share in the comments or send me a message on Instagram. I’d love to keep this conversation going.