8 Tips for Overcoming Burnout (Number 3 is my Favorite!)
Feeling burnt out? Overwhelmed? Rather stay home and catch up on the Bachelor and eat your weight in brownies rather than do anything productive?
I’ve been there. Several times actually. Burnout SUCKS. It likes to show up in different areas of our lives. Could be with our work, being a stay at home mom, trying to live healthier, keeping up with school. We’ve all experienced it.
Here are my best tips (backed up by science of course) for overcoming burnout and getting back to feeling your best.
8 Tips for Overcoming Burnout
1. Make a change.
If you’re feeling burnt out and unmotivated in an area of your life, making a change may be the best way to get out of it. Your burnout may just be boredom. You don’t have to make a drastic change (although that’s okay too if needed), but even a small change can help.
For example, a few months ago I was feeling the burnout when it came to my workouts. Boredom started to set in, so I knew it was time for a change. I simplified my strength training workouts and made specific strength goals that I could measure over time. I also started rock climbing more. The change really helped me get out of my slump and made working out fun again!
2. Set a specific goal.
Setting a specific goal or two helps bring focus and direction back to your life. If you’re feeling burnt out, it may be because you’re feeling a lack of direction and purpose.
Try setting a specific goal and measuring your progress. It could be a nutrition goal, fitness goal, spiritual goal, work goal, financial goal or any of the above! Just don’t overwhelm yourself with too much too soon.
3. Plan a trip.
Oh man, this one is probably my favorite way to prevent and overcome burnout. If I’m feeling unmotivated and bored, planning a trip (even just a small one) helps me have something to look forward to. I put it on my calendar and it keeps me motivated to work hard.
If you’re feeling blah and unmotivated, try planning a trip. It can be big or small, but having something fun to look forward to can help you keep going when you’d rather quit. Plus, taking vacations is beneficial for productivity and can help prevent long term burnout! Win-win.
4. Take a break.
Speaking of taking vacations, when was the last time you took a small break? Taking breaks is a great way to overcome burnout and prevent it.
I’m not saying you need to take a vacation every time you want a break. Simply taking a day off from the gym or taking a mental health day and not going into the office can do wonders.
5. Delegate to others.
One very common reason for burnout is we just feel overwhelmed and like we are doing too much. We take on too much too soon and eventually we just can’t keep up with it anymore.
Whether it’s at work or at home, try unloading some work to those willing to help. Maybe your co-worker can help you with some deadlines. Maybe your spouse or roommate can help with the dishes and cleaning.
Be open and honest with others how you’re feeling. Most people (especially those who love you) are willing to help take a load off.
6. Look for ways to help others.
Wait a minute Amy. I’m struggling with burnout and feeling overwhelmed, you want me to help someone else?
It seems contradictory and sometimes it really may not be appropriate to help others before taking care of yourself. BUT doing something nice for someone else is one of the best ways to relieve stress, find purpose, and feel like yourself again.
Who do you know that is even more overworked and overwhelmed than you? Who do you know that’s lonely or needs someone to talk to?
It doesn’t have to take up all your time. Send a text to let someone know you’re thinking of them. Help a neighbor take in the trash bins. Offer to buy a co-worker lunch. Simple acts of kindness can make someone’s day and help you feel better too.
7. Start a gratitude journal.
I don’t know about you, but sometimes I feel burnt out when I focus too much on all the things I don’t have or haven’t accomplished. When I feel like my to-do list never ends and that I’ll never catch up. Ya feel?
Zap those feelings in the butt with a daily gratitude journal. Writing down what you’re grateful for each day really puts things into perspective. You start to realize just how far you’ve really come and all the amazing things that happen each day that may be easy to miss.
If you need somewhere to start, download my free gratitude journal workbook. It has 7-days worth of prompts and a questionnaire to help you see the power of gratitude in action.
8. Get outside.
Okay, I know it’s February and there’s a good chance it’s freezing where you live (It’s a balmy 35 degrees and sunny today, feeling blessed lol) but TRUST me. Getting outdoors whenever possible is a great way to overcome burnout and feel more optimistic about life.
If weather permits (stay safe!) take a walk outside. Find an outdoor hobby. The fresh air, sunshine, and soothing nature sounds can help you feel more grounded, less stressed, and help you feel motivated again.
Wrapping it Up
When it comes to overcoming burnout, sometimes you just have to try different things and be patient with yourself. If you’re going through a season of burnout, hang in there. This too shall pass!
Remember, there’s often a reason WHY we start to feel burnt out in areas of our life. Maybe it’s your body telling you something needs to change or you do in fact need a break. Listen, readjust, keep trying and don’t give up!