Leaving Burnout Behind: Lessons Learned

Image via @parkandoakdesign

By: Gabriela Yareliz

I once heard a conversation between Erwin and Aaron McManus on Battle Ready, where they were discussing the concept of burnout. Basically, what was expressed is that burnout doesn’t typically stem from having too much to do but rather by not finding fulfillment in the work you are doing. I found that to be deep, as I, at the time, was at a job that made me feel limited and drained.

What can you do if you are experiencing this terrible feeling of burnout? Here are some of the things I’ve learned along the way:

  1. Explore your values and skills: Sometimes, we need to take a long hard look at who we want to be and see if where we are aligns with that. No paycheck is worth being miserable, abused or silenced. You have one life. If you are in a place that isn’t utilizing your skills and abilities in the way you know they can be used (and you have expressed this to your company, giving it an opportunity to make adjustments)– maybe it’s time to rethink where you are. We want to live lives of maximum impact and fulfillment.
  2. Separate time for action: I am a big believer in changing your circumstances if you don’t like them. There are things you have control over. If you don’t like the book or story, then switch it up. Change the book. Change authors. Change the setting. Taking action is something that fills one with hope, but it takes courage because there is risk involved. If you are in a miserable situation– applying to other jobs, doing research for your next move, taking a course and being strategic to get yourself out of your current situation are a light at the end of a dark tunnel. It shifts things. It shifts your energy, your mood and your emotions. Sometimes, we sit back and act as victims of our own lives, when I truly believe God is waiting for us to stand up and take the reins again. Start planning your next move.
  3. Take care of yourself: It can be really easy to fall into a slump. When we feel miserable, it shows. Take time to exercise, walk, spend time in nature, read, find support, get dressed, take vacation time and always take lunch.
  4. Guard your time and energy: Make sure you have a hard cutoff time where you are no longer available for what is making you miserable. You do not need to be on-call or accessible 24/7, unless you are a certain type of doctor. If you are not saving lives, then live with that in mind and set a boundary. This also helps you make time for action steps to emerge out of your current mire. Also, the world is filled with disturbed people who live manipulating, abusing and gaslighting employees and colleagues. “Protect your energy” is something I heard Rachel Zeilic say. She decided to leave her company because her energy was being drained due to her interactions with toxic coworkers and the politics of it all. Remember, you are a free agent. Free to move. Free to make sure people respect you and set boundaries. Free to leave. It’s valid.

This is just a friendly reminder that we have choices. Even when it seems like we don’t, we do. Taking ownership of your life and decisions will be a game changer, if you haven’t done it already.

Published by Gabriela Yareliz

Gabriela is a writer, editor and attorney. She loves the art of storytelling, and she is based in NYC.

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