How To Deal With Work Burnout If You're Starting To Feel Exhausted AF

Ad failed to load

For the third year in a row, Bustle's Upstart Awards are honoring young women who are doing incredible things in the realms of business, STEM, fashion and beauty, the arts, philanthropy, and beyond. Want to be an Upstarts honoree one day? Read on for career tips, insights, and inspiration to help get you there.

Sometimes, it can almost seem like stress and exhaustion are just part of having a job — even a job you genuinely enjoy. People are much more likely to be heard complaining about work rather than speaking positively about it. It's so common to talk about job stress that it can sometimes be hard to recognize the signs of work burnout in your life.

Work burnout is a state of both physical and mental exhaustion that happens after feeling stress for a really long time. Work burnout symptoms include feeling completely unmotivated, bored, incapable, and kind of miserable. If you have work burnout, you probably feel like you can't do anything right, you might think your career future seems bleak, and you most likely have zero energy. While it can happen because of your job, it can negatively impact everything else in your life — and that's exactly why you need to learn how to deal with it.

Ad failed to load

It might seem like the most obvious solution is to find a new job. After all, if you're that unhappy, it must mean you need to change something, right? This might be true for some people, but most of the time, there are a lot of easier things you can do to deal with work burnout besides finding something else to do. Not only is finding a new job much easier said than done, it's also not guaranteed to help — it's kind of just pushing the problem aside to deal with it later. Your best bet is to focus on changing other aspects of your life that will make you feel happier and more satisfied with yourself. There are a lot of ways to deal with work burnout, and these suggestions will leave you feeling less stressed and make your job seem more manageable — even when things get tough.

Source: Pixabay
Ad failed to load

If you've found yourself feeling more burnt out than usual in the last few weeks or months, try to pinpoint the reason. Did something specific happen at work? Were you passed up for a promotion? Did a co-worker start treating you badly? If you can figure out the cause, you can start trying to make things better. If you feel like you deserve more money or a better title, speak with your boss. If something is going on with a co-worker, talk to them or talk to HR. Take matters into your hands to give yourself a feeling of control.

Sometimes, though, work burnout isn't caused by just one big event, and is instead just a collective feeling of exhaustion. If that's the case, just try to think of ways you can make work more enjoyable, and then make a game plan to at least try to accomplish a few of those things.

Ad failed to load
Source: Pixabay

If you have work burnout, then the feeling of being totally unmotivated to do anything isn't just happening at work — it's probably happening at home too. Maybe you come home and plop in front of the TV for the rest of the night, canceling social plans because you just can't deal with it. It's totally fine to relax and veg out sometimes, but if you're making it an everyday habit, you should switch things up. Coming home to do nothing isn't going to make you feel better — in fact, it will probably make you feel worse.

Instead, find things you can do that you genuinely enjoy. Set aside some time to cook, read, or go for a walk. Make plans with friends once or twice during the weekday. Start a new hobby. You might feel less than enthusiastic about it in the beginning, but push yourself and you'll find that it will eventually help. Part of work burnout is feeling blah, so doing things you enjoy is a great way to feel like you have a purpose.

Ad failed to load
Source: Pixabay

While you definitely need to fill your time with things you enjoy that also make you feel productive, you also need to make time to just relax and give yourself a break. It doesn't need to be an hour — it can be however much time fits into your schedule, even if that's just 15 minutes. Use that time to totally relax, which can include anything from reading to writing in a journal to taking a quick nap.

Ad failed to load

At this point, you've probably heard that most Americans don't use up the amount of vacation days they're given each year — and if you've been hoarding yours, now is the time to start using them. When you're feeling serious work burnout, the answer isn't always to keep doing more to distract yourself. Sometimes, the answer is stepping away and taking a short break. Don't plan a staycation where you only want to get things done around the house, either — plan an actual vacation. You can do this even if you don't have a ton of money! Go somewhere close by rather than something extravagant. Set up a few weekend trips over the next few months. Or, plan a staycation where you actually make a point of relaxing.

Ad failed to load
Source: Pixabay

Science has repeatedly shown that being social and having relationships with others is an important step in being happier. If you're feeling work burnout, you might just want to be alone, but you should push yourself to go out at least once or twice a week. Making time to see friends, even if you're just having a glass of wine in your kitchen, will cheer you up and keep you from focusing on your job so much.

Ad failed to load

On top of that, hanging with friends can give you people to vent to, and sometimes you might need that release. Opening up to others is a great way to get advice you might need and to feel a little bit less alone. Just make sure not every social gathering involves you talking about work.

Source: Pixabay
Ad failed to load

When you're experiencing job burnout, mornings can be really tough. You feel unmotivated, and waking up to get ready for another long day of work can feel impossible. Do something to make your mornings a little more enjoyable so they aren't just about getting ready for work. Wake up a little earlier and set aside time to eat breakfast, take a walk, read a book, or do some yoga. You can do whatever you want, and it doesn't have to be an extra hour — even an extra 20 minutes could make a difference.

Source: Pixabay
Ad failed to load

If you feel like you have no one to talk to at work, that can really make burnout worse. If possible, try to get friendly with the people you see every day. Work can really become so much more enjoyable if you have friends there. They don't need to be your best friends, but having someone you can talk to and laugh with throughout the day will definitely make things more bearable.

Source: Pixabay
Ad failed to load

Working out is a proven way to get rid of stress, anxiety, and general unhappiness. Exercise will make you feel more energetic and motivated — it can just make you feel a little more free. Find something you genuinely like to do so it doesn't feel like such a chore. Maybe some days, you need a relaxing yoga class, while other days you'd rather do something intense like cardio or kickboxing. If you can, take a walk or go for a run outside to get some fresh air for an extra boost of endorphins.
Ad failed to load

There's a reason breaks are mandatory for employees — sometimes you absolutely need them for the sake of your mental health. If you're feeling job burnout, start taking a small break at least once a day. If you get a lunch break, take it. Even if you just get 20 minutes, going for a walk, sitting somewhere that isn't your office, or even getting together with a friend can really make your entire day better.

Source: Pixabay
Ad failed to load

Once upon a time, it was easy to leave your job at the end of the day, go home, and disconnect for a few hours. Today, with email notifications popping up on your cell phone, it's not so easy. It can be hard to just ignore things, but your time off should be your time. So, give yourself at least a half hour without technology each night. Put your phone away, keep the TV off, and hide your laptop. Having that time to recharge without staring at a screen is way better than it sounds.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

7 Signs Your Partner Is "The One," Even If They Have Commitment Issues

There's nothing better than finding that one person you could actually see yourself spending the rest of your life with. However, realizing that your partner has commitment issues can put a damper on things. It may even have you questioning whether o…
By Kristine Fellizar

Bustle's Editors On Florida + Fergie

Welcome to a new week, Bustle readers! February is already more than halfway through, and the weather feels way more like spring than winter right now — but don't get used to it. There's a lot to recap today, from the latest on the tragic Parkland sh…
By Rachel Simon

Here's Where Your Next Trip Should Be, Based On Your Zodiac Sign

If you've been craving a vacation, now is a good time to take the plunge. According to data collected by travel site Expedia, late winters and early spring are pretty much the best times of the year to go on vacation. Based on average airfare ticket …
By Callie Tansill-Suddath

How This Quadriplegic Beauty Lover Beat Cancer & Became A Professional Makeup Artist

In 2010, one day before she was supposed to start cosmetology school, Steph Aiello was involved in a car crash that left her paralyzed from the waist down with limited ability to move her hands and one of her closest friends dead. She would spend the…
By Sara Tan

7 Common Marriage Rules That Aren't Good For Relationships

When it comes to marriage, everyone loves to give their two cents, and with all the warnings and advice floating around out there, no wonder people find marriage intimidating. Luckily, you don't always have to play by the rules, and there's some bad …
By Carina Wolff

The Infuriating Way Hollywood Movie Sets Are Designed To Make Life Harder For Women

Whitney Cummings is fed up — with the way Hollywood treats women, and in particular, the way the it treats female directors who have children. While the entertainment industry may be working hard to get more women behind the camera, Cummings wants to…
By Casey Cipriani

19 Things Your Parents Told You Were Illegal In The '90s

Kids say — and think — the darnedest things. We have overactive imaginations, adults like to mess with us, and we don't always understand everything we hear. That's why some kids call strawberries "straw babies" — a boo-boo so adorable, you don't eve…
By Megan Grant

Why Uggs Are Never Going Away, Whether You Like Them Or Not

Uggs. The word alone can conjure up memories of teenage years, regrettable outfits, and undeniable comfort. But if, like me, you thought that you've already said goodbye to those fleece-lined tan boots, you can think again. It seems fashion has adopt…
By Lauren Sharkey

I Never Want To Write This Essay Again

I don't know where you were when you heard about Wednesday's high school shooting in Parkland, Florida. I don't know what you were doing, or how you tried to process the news. I do know this: you thought to yourself, not again. And yet, again. Of cou…
By Jenny Hollander

Netflix's New Romantic Movie Will Have You Crying Like It's 'The Fault In Our Stars'

Cancer movies are a heartbreaking staple of Hollywood and have been for decades. It's almost a law of nature: new year, new cancer movie. This year, it's Netflix's Irreplaceable You, a heartbreaking original about a longtime couple who get thrown for…
By Olivia Truffaut-Wong

Here Are All The Terms You Need To Know If You’re Watching Olympic Ski Events Right Now

Every four years the Winter Olympics rolls around to remind me that A) there are so many important Winter Olympic sports, and B) I know virtually nothing any of them. And I know for a fact, I'm not alone, I bet most people don't know what the differe…
By Danielle Colin-Thome

Kate Middleton Made Sales Of This $1 Secret Accessory Spike & She'll Turn You Into A Believer

There's a royal epidemic going on, people. It's one that causes any and everyone to obsess over the royal family's wardrobe and beauty routines, even if it means breaking the bank to look like them. So a frenzy was expected when Kate Middleton report…
By Summer Arlexis

Adam Rippon and Mirai Nagasu Have Matching Tattoos & The Story Is So Cute

Olympic season gives people the feels. From those shipping Canadian ice dancing pair Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir to Shaun White's gold medal win on Tuesday, the feels are real. Now, there's another reason to get all up in your emotions. Adam Rippon a…
By Shea Simmons

A New Study Says Being In A Relationship Could Change Your Taste In Wine — Here's How

I’d be willing to bet that for many of you, a nice bottle of wine is awaiting you in your near future — and if you’re planning on sharing that bottle with a partner, there might be more to your choice than meets the eye: According to recent research,…
By Lucia Peters

Carrie Brownstein On Why Even The Obama Era Should Have Enraged You

An icy January morning soon after Hollywood's show of solidarity for the #MeToo movement at the Golden Globes and almost exactly one year into the Trump Administration feels like a momentous time to be sitting across from Carrie Brownstein. The Sleat…
By Samantha Rollins

Here’s What The Upcoming Year Of The Dog Means For Your Chinese Zodiac Sign

On Feb. 16 the world will celebrate the Chinese New Year, welcoming the Year of the Dog in like the good doggo it is — we hope. A new year means new zodiac predictions for the 365 days ahead. So, what does the Year of the Dog mean for your Chinese zo…
By Brittany Bennett

7 Signs You're Ready To Get Into A Relationship, According To Experts

It can be difficult to tell when you're ready to start dating again. Maybe you're coming off of a bad breakup, maybe you've just been focused on other things. And, ironically, one of the signs that you're ready to be in a relationship is that you're …
By Lea Rose Emery

I Got A Breast Reduction & It Was About So Much More Than The Size Of My Boobs

As a young teenager, I pretty much reached peak physical maturity overnight. One day I was wearing my first training bra a la Lizzie McGuire, and the next I was sweatily fumbling around a Victoria’s Secret with 32DD boobs, trying to summon up the cou…
By Sierra Taylor Horton

This Is, Hands Down, The *Grossest* Thing Babies Do Inside The Womb

Your baby's life in the womb may be safe and warm, but it's also kind of grody. Seriously, the whole process of growing into a human being includes more than a few icky moments along the way. But this is the grossest thing babies do inside the womb b…
via Romper

The 15 Best Fiction Books Of February Feature Tons Of Extraordinary Women

When the cold winds of February blow in, there's nothing I want more than to hide under my covers with a good book. Luckily, there's more than a few fantastic new fiction books coming out this month, so the only tough decision you'll have to make is …
By Melissa Ragsdale

17 Moms Reveal The Most Disgusting Part Of Their Pregnancy

Pregnant bodies do weird-ass things. Weird-ass, gross things. I mean, my pregnant body did (twice), and I have long-suspected I'm not alone. So I asked other moms to share the most disgusting part of their pregnancy and I learned that, not only am I …
via Romper