If you couldn’t tell by my recent posts I have been experiencing burn out with my job. In this post I’ll tell you of some of the things that have helped me to cope with it. Some of these things just provided temporary relief while others have become staples in my daily routine. In the end I had to find a more permanent solution to burn out.
Adjust my attitude.
Once I realized I was burnt out I attempted to coach myself into a positive attitude. I would tell myself that the work stress is just temporary and it will settle within a couple weeks. I would give myself positive affirmations and read positive messages online. But as time passed and the stress remained it became clear to me that I wasn’t able to change the situation by adjusting my attitude alone.
Enter running. I love to run! While running I forget everything and fall into another world where problems don’t exist. I was already running a couple times a week. But as my stress increased so did my desire to run more. I’d increase the distance to find some relief. I found myself running almost everyday. The issue with running more is that it takes a toll on your body. At one point I injured my knee and had to stop running. This was a blow to my stress relief. I just wasn’t able to run so the stress turned into anxiety.
I would like to think that I am an introspective person and would be able to work through the stress but at this point I needed professional help. I reached out to a therapist and made an appointment. During that first meeting I was describing the stress and she asked me what I was hoping to get out of therapy. I told her that I wanted to be able to handle the stress better. I now find it interesting that I just wanted to learn to deal with it but not change it. We began meeting every other week because the work environment continued to get worse.
While I was continuing to meet with my therapist we decided that creating an exit strategy would be the best option. This was the fall of 2021, so to give you a timeframe, the stress had been unbearable since the beginning of June. I had been dealing with this stress for 5 months and now I had a plan. My plan was to leave my job in July of 2022. At the time I thought I could get through it because some changes had occurred at work like my manager being transferred temporarily to another department. This definitely took some stress off because I had less management getting in the way of my work. However the work load was still very heavy.
I’ve now made it to the end of the year with a holiday break on the horizon. I was hoping with my time off I would reset for the new year. My thought was two weeks away from the stress would refresh me and it did! I had relaxed and enjoyed the holidays with family. I even hosted dinner for the entire family during that time. Then during New Years weekend, when I should have been feeling great, I instead was experiencing panic attacks at the thought of going back to work.
The new year failed to bring relief and I came back to work with more work demands on my plate than before I left for break. I realized that nothing would change if nothing changed. My employer was clearly not going to change so I realized that I had to be the change. I was finally open to hearing the suggestion of my husband to quit sooner than planned. So as I write this I am in the process of resigning from my job. This is the ultimate cure for burnout.
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