The first month of my new job brought many amazing things into my life. A new learning opportunity and a steady income, among other things. Coincidentally it was also the start of one of the toughest stages of my life.
Apart from starting a new job and all the challenges and responsibilities that brings, I started struggling with some family and health issues. I’ll spare you the details because it’s nothing that you haven’t heard before. But it was serious enough to drastically change my life.
It’s safe to say that, with everything going on in my life, I got burnt out pretty quickly.
When I started working as a Social Media Specialist, I was ready to give it my all. Ace my job, volunteer to do things that excited me even if they weren’t in my job description. I was excited to add value to a company!
The thing about mental burnout that nobody tells you, is that it creeps up on you slowly. You’re struggling with burnout in one area of your life and all of a sudden burnout overcomes you.
And it practically became impossible for me to achieve said goals because I no longer had the energy or mental capacity to go above and beyond at my job. Both as a Social Media Specialist for Product Gym and as Making It Up.
I had so much weighing me down mentally that I was just doing what I was responsible for and trying to simply exist the rest of the week. By the time I realized I was struggling with mental burnout, I was already in the thick of it.
I’m a firm believer that health is wealth so once I realized I was dealing with something bigger than my regular anxiety and stress, I allowed myself the time to process what was going on in my life and to embrace everything I was feeling.
And despite wanting to, I did not push through the burnout. Doing so would have probably caused even worse burnout, and it’s not something I recommend.
Instead, I turned inside and started to take care of my physical and mental body. I know, it sounds cliche, but it works wonders!
On top of staying on track with my work responsibilities so that they wouldn’t pile up and contribute to my burnout, I started doing yoga daily to move my body and nourish my mind. I became conscious of what I was eating and –– like any good Gen Zer –– I did a bunch of journaling and read a lot of self-help shit online.
These things have nothing to do with my mental burnout, but dumbing things down and taking care of the basics helped me.
Another thing that is known to help with burnout, is community. I understand that when dealing with mental burnout the last thing you want to do is talk about it. But sometimes talking about it is exactly what you need.
I reached out to my close friends, my family, and my Praxis community for advice and support. Doing so helped me realize that mental burnout is normal and I just needed to take care of myself and let things get better day by day. They also helped me understand that, as long as I was doing what was required of me at my job, I could afford a few weeks of not going above and beyond to focus on getting better.
All of these things helped and kept my burnout from escalating but they weren’t getting me out of it fast enough for my liking.
I wanted to get rid of my burnout! I wanted to be super-productive again and start going above and beyond. And, most importantly, I wanted to feel like myself again.
That’s when I realized I needed to take a more drastic approach.
Something that a lot of people recommend when you’re feeling stuck or burnt out is a change of scenery. Removing yourself from your usual space to remove yourself from your usual problems.
I’d already tried everything else out, so I figured a change of scenery would be worth a shot.
So I booked a mini trip and left the confines of my house in search of adventure. Ok, adventure is a bit of a stretch, but I was ready to break out of my routine and see if that would help.
This trip wasn’t a vacation by any means. After all, I still had various jobs to do and meetings to attend. It was merely a change of scenery and distance from what I was used to and what had my mind stuck.
I spent some time in Austin and NYC –– my two all-time favorite cities in the U.S.. I worked, I ate (a lot), and I experienced new things daily. And surprisingly, as the days went by, I felt my burnout slowly disappear. I was able to sleep better, work better, and just overall feel better.
Breaking out of my daily routine, allowed me to focus my energy on new things instead of the things that kept weighing me down. I was able to look at my job and responsibilities from a different angle, which allowed me to get back on my productivity train.
Once I came back home, my problems still existed. But the mental burnout wasn’t there. I was back and ready to start living again.
Leaving my space and coming back, allowed me to view things from a different perspective and it gave me time to work through what had me stuck. And it’s what ultimately helped me get back on track with my goals at work and outside of work.
I’ve always known that our environment plays a huge role in our lives but I had no idea how much it actually did until I experienced the positive –– and negative effects firsthand.
Switching your environment when you’re dealing with burnout might be the best way to work through said burnout. And you don’t have to leave the country or even your city to be able to do that.
If you feel work-related burnout or any other kind of burnout building up inside of you; take care of your health and remove yourself from your regular environment. Go work at a coffee shop for a few hours, explore new places near your city on the weekends, or have a staycation at a local hotel. Do whatever you need to do to work through the all-consuming burnout.
But, most importantly, remember: burnout is temporary and it’s up to you to decide for how long it consumes you.