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How to Deal with Burnout

Suicidal Ideation and CyberbullyingWe all know what it feels like when you’ve had enough. It’s that listless, weary feeling of not wanting to proceed but knowing that you have to.

Some refer to it as ennui; others simply call it burnout.

It happens when the stress of performing a certain task overrides its enjoyment. It can take place in every facet of your life, from your job to your home life to your relationships.

Many people have trouble with burnout when they feel tired or obligated about something. The truth is, everyone has things they might not enjoy doing but are required to do to maintain their current life situation.

What to do about burnout, though? There are several methods that help.

Take some time to yourself.

Removing distractions for a short time and learning to relax can take you out of the burnout situation for however long you need. Whether it’s meditation, taking a nap, sitting down with a good book or just lying on your couch with soft music playing, taking a break and taking time for yourself to unwind can work wonders on the feeling of burnout.

Take a walk.

Exercise has proven to be beneficial not only for physical health but also for mental health. It boosts serotonin and dopamine and creates a calming experience for those who exercise regularly. There’s also something about getting out in nature that seems to relax you.  It also gives you ample time to think and go over the things that are bothering you. Maybe you can come up with a solution.

It doesn’t have to be vigorous exercise either. Just getting out and taking a walk can ease the feeling of burnout and improve your outlook on things, even if just for a bit.

Treat yourself.

Whether it’s a couple of beers on a Friday night, a good dinner and a movie or a little shopping trip, treating yourself well and letting go of the burdens of work and money (if only just for a night) can be a great way to relieve burnout. Whatever indulgences you have, don’t be afraid to use them if you feel like things are going downhill. Of course, moderation is key — you don’t want to get burned out on your favorite things.

Get a good night’s sleep.

One of the major benefits of a good night’s sleep is the seemingly magic way it melts away stress. There’s nothing like waking up feeling refreshed and rested to give you the boost you need to deal with whatever life has in store. If sleep is a problem, you may want to consult your doctor about different sleep aid options. There truly is nothing better for restoring a restless soul than a good night’s sleep.

Keep in mind that these are all temporary fixes that can help in the short term. If the problem persists, it may be time to reevaluate things and make some life changes that have been waiting in the wings for a while. The easiest way to avoid burnout is to enjoy what you do. It may be time to seek that out if things are dire.

How to Deal with Burnout

Michael Hedrick

Mike Hedrick is a writer and photographer in Boulder, CO. He has lived with schizophrenia for many years and his work has been published in Salon, Scientific American and The New York Times. His book is available here You can follow his blog on living with schizophrenia here

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APA Reference
Hedrick, M. (2018). How to Deal with Burnout. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 3, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Jul 2018 (Originally: 14 Jul 2014)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Jul 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.