Feeling Burned Out? Here's How to Get Back on Track in Under 48 Hours
Work + Life Balance

Feeling Burned Out? Here's How to Get Back on Track in Under 48 Hours

by Sarah Landrum
Photos Lauren Kallen | October 09, 2015

IT’S NO WONDER THAT BUSY SCHEDULE HAS YOU FEELING EXHAUSTED AND OVERWHELMED. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THESE 5 TIPS GET YOURSELF PHYSICALLY AND EMOTIONALLY BACK ON TRACK.

You know the feeling. You’re drained and exhausted, but you don’t feel like you can stop yet. It feels like you simply have to get more done. You might be starting to dread work, even if you like what you do. These are classic signs of burnout, which directly related to chronic stress on the job. {Click to Tweet}

Hopefully this isn’t the norm. Maybe it stems from an upcoming deadline or new responsibilities. Whatever the reason, you can use the upcoming weekend to calm down and reset.

1. CLEAN

A clean area is freeing. Clutter everywhere makes it harder to focus, and that leads to you jumping from task to task, which makes you feel like you haven’t accomplished anything, which in turn adds to your stress. Break this cycle by setting aside a few minutes on Friday evening to organize your office space before leaving the office.

The last half hour to hour of the work week isn’t the most productive for most people (myself included) so it’s an ideal time for tidying. By finishing up a little early and getting things in order, you can eliminate some of the stress for next week. While you organize, form a plan for the upcoming week, find papers that you need, get rid of some of the clutter that’s built up, and make sure you’ll have the resources to get the next week started right.

While you organize, form a plan for the upcoming week, find papers that you need, get rid of some of the clutter that’s built up, and make sure you’ll have the resources to get the next week started right.

2. SKIP THE DRINKS

By all means, go out! Going out with friends or coworkers on a Friday is a great way to blow off some steam. You can relax, let go of the stress of the office, and just enjoy yourself. Be careful not to enjoy yourself too much, though. A glass or two of wine or a bottle of beer is fine, but nursing a hangover will only make that burnout feeling worse. {Click to Tweet}

Additionally, drinking when stressed can cause unusual reactions. Even if you’re normally a “happy drunk,” your rough week might alter your behavior. Sure you could just get sleepy and go to bed, but it could be the other end of the spectrum, where you’ll end up crying on a friend’s shoulder. That’s not exactly the picture you want your coworkers going home with.

3. WORK OUT

Exercise is one way our bodies can relieve tension. Whatever kind of exercise you do — yoga, running, CrossFit — make sure to get a session in over the weekend. The best way to do this is to workout somewhere work can’t infiltrate — that is, away from your desk, out of the office and maybe even outside.

Cycling or hiking outdoors will give you a bigger boost than a stationary bike at the gym, simply because these activities engage more of your brain. So brush the dust from those spokes. Unless there’s a monsoon or a few feet of snow, try to get outside instead of staying in. Your body will love you for it.

4. BREATHE

Yes, we’re always breathing. But how much do you pay attention to it? Making time for gentle, beginner meditation exercises is way easier than it sounds. All you need is a comfortable position and a timer, which you have on your phone.

Close your eyes and focus on your breathing for a single minute. {Click to Tweet} Wow. Look at that — you meditated! Meditation relieves stress, helps you find a new perspective, reduces blood pressure and negative emotions, and makes you feel more alert.

Meditation relieves stress, helps you find a new perspective, reduces blood pressure and negative emotions, and makes you feel more alert.

5. SLEEP

Sleep is the high point of the weekend. Even on weekends it’s hard to get enough, though, and when you’re stressed, it’s one of the first things to go out the window. Do what you need to in order to get a good night’s sleep. It’s the same system you’ve known since childhood — try to establish a good bedtime routine. {Click to Tweet}  Following the same routine every night signals to your body that it’s time to sleep.

If you already have a good routine but you still can’t sleep, make sure you aren’t getting caffeine too late in the day. After all, they make decaf for a reason!

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What tricks did we miss? Tell us how you get back on track in the comments.