How to Prevent Burnout – From Any Career

What really inspired this post was talking to my boyfriend the other night because he was having a very stressful week at work. I majored in social work and we talked A LOT about self-care and how to prevent being burned out from our careers. I thought this only had to do with people who work in direct care and came across very emotionally draining situations. After talking to him and seeing how down he was I realized everything I learned really pertains to everyone in any career situation – including being in school.

It’s so easy to have work overcome our lives and to forget that there’s so much more to live for. Even if you work at home I believe it’s so important to leave work at home and separate it from your family/friend life.

Here’s some tips I’ve picked up along the way that I thought would be great to share:

  1. Leave work at work:

    This means turning off your laptop, not checking your work emails and ignoring phone calls that can wait until work hours. Set a time frame that you allow yourself to continue working. So let’s say you have a 9-5 job, pick an hour of two after work or before work that you continue to allow yourself to work. So if you get home at 5:30 allow yourself to still check emails until 6:30 and then turn everything off. Or if you’re more of a morning person and want to get a jumpstart, begin working an hour before you get to work. This allows yourself to stop thinking about work and unwind for the night. If you don’t set this boundary you could find yourself up at night thinking of things you need to complete the next day.

  2. Don’t discuss work outside of work hours:

    I think this is very important. Even if you’ve done tip 1, don’t continue to talk about your day to your significant others, friends or family. This can keep your mind thinking about work and not allow you to physically separate your home life. The same as above, give yourself an hour to rant about Susie slacking off or your boss piling on more work than you can handle and then shut it off. Talk about other things that you love and that will take your mind off of your stressful day.

  3. Find a hobby you love:

    Do you love to read, knit or maybe even for you its blogging. Find something that won’t stress you out and that you look forward to doing. Even if this is something you’re not going to do everyday it helps to have an activity you look forward to doing and that excites you. This again helps you take your mind off work and creates a separation between your work life and your home life.

  4. Have a personal space for your thoughts:

    This is something that comes in many different forms for different people. Some great examples I’ve heard is to keep a journal by your bed. Before sleeping write down everything that’s still on your mind or that you know you need to complete tomorrow. This helps you get those thoughts out of your brain so you aren’t up thinking about them. Another tip I’ve heard is to take a long route home. If you hate traffic avoid it. Play your favorite artist after work and just sing along or let your thoughts wander. Give yourself the time and space to be able to think about your day so when you get home you’ve gotten it all out. Obviously these two ideas won’t work for everyone so it’s important to find what works for your and have your own safe space for your thoughts.

  5. Plan a weekend getaway:

    Go on vacation!! Have girls weekend, a romantic getaway with your significant other or even a solo adventure. Find something where you can just distress and relax all weekend. I love Groupon Getaways because you can find great one night or two night stays that aren’t too far away. Find a cute Bed & Breakfast within a short drive or a nice winery you’ve been dying to check out. The most important thing is don’t make the trip too stressful. Find something within your price range that will easily fit into your schedule.

  6. Start a planner:

    This is something I’m very new too. I bought a planner from Me & My Big Ideas and immediately fell in love. It’s able to be personalized to your needs and beyond cute. There’s so many way to design yours that I plan on doing a full post about this. It’s really helped me organize my ideas and feel set for the week ahead. If you already have a planner maybe set down and think of ways you can reorganize it to really meet your needs. I’ve seen people who have two planners one for work and one for home life. This can help you not stress about remembering certain dates and separate yourself from not having to think about your big meeting on Tuesday when you’re just trying to find out when your son’s basketball game is.

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3 Comments

  1. Such a wonderful post. I definitely feel like the biggest way to crash and burn when it comes to work is not being able to keep it separate from the rest of your life. It’s all well and good to love your work but there is also more to life than work and being so heavily involved in work and ignoring all the other parts of your life can come back to bite you. Especially when a burn out does occur yet the individual doesn’t even know how to unwind and recover.

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  2. I really could do to talk less about work when I get home but I find it difficult as my boyfriend and I work at the same place (although not together or in the same office) but I think that means that we discuss things more. As we travel to and from work together I think I am going to implement a new rule whereby we only talk about work on those journeys and once we get home we are not allowed to mention it again! x

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