Hi friends! Before we begin, I just wanted to say how incredibly excited I am to be a part of the Sweet Success team and join all of you on your journey towards your highest potentials! My name is Daynna, I’m the Canadian (eh?). You can read more about me and all of the other wonderful #BossBabes on the team here! We have a great group of ladies coming together to share thoughts and experiences with you!
Okay okay, onto what we’re here for today. Fun fact, I am by no means an expert on this. In fact, I’m the person who made all of the mistakes that lead to professional burnout in the first six months of my career! Crazy, right? I kind of just know what not to do and what I should have done to get past it. In the end, it all worked out (after I ended up leaving and deciding I no longer wanted to pursue that career path lol), but it was (and still is) a long road. I am here to share what I learned from the experience so that you may be able to find an easier path and avoid complete and total burnout.
Practice regular self-care
You’ve heard it time and time again: practice regular self-care. But what does that mean, exactly? People often talk about self-care but they don’t really explain what that entails. The reason being that self-care is so different for everyone. We’re all special snowflakes, so we need to look at our self-care practices in the same manner!
The problem I faced when I entered the “real world” was that I didn’t know how to practice self-care. I was experiencing a lot of changes (as we do in our 20s) and wasn’t really sure where to find enjoyment and fulfillment. My entire identity was shifting and I needed to do some serious exploration and get down to the nitty gritty of heart to hearts with myself (if you’re interested, I wrote a blog post about my experience with going through an identity crisis on my personal blog, which you can read here).
After months of ups and downs, confusion and frustration, hope and disappointment, I finally discovered some things that are helpful for me when trying to practice self-care. Blogging has been a major part of this self-discovery process. For the first time in a while, I’ve found something that brings me joy and fulfillment, which is so amazing! I spend a lot of my spare time blogging because of this and have met incredible people through this journey.
When I want to practice self-care in other ways, I find that I enjoy doing beauty routines and pampering myself. Usually this involves a lengthy skin care routine, a bubble bath with scented candles, and maybe (ALWAYS) a glass of wine. I have also found that meaningful interactions with people I’m close to bring me comfort. For instance, my boyfriend and I spend an hour each night on the phone with each other. This is greatly comforting at the end of each day. Even if we’re both doing our own thing, it is really nice to feel that companionship and have the knowledge that he cares for me enough to spend an hour on the phone usually making weird noises or breaking into song because we’re both tired by that point lol.
And here’s a fun little bonus! Because there are many ways to practice self-care, I have included a freebie for you in our free resource library. The Inspiration Station: Self-Care Edition features a huge list of self-care ideas. These ideas come from my own brain as well as the wonderful land of the internet, all compiled into one place for your leisurely viewing! I am also currently working on an e-book (my first one ever, ahhhhh!) about self-care practices, which will be featured in our paid membership resource library once it’s finished, so stay tuned for that!
recognize the problem and address it
What about your career is making you experience burnout? Is it something simple, such as you don’t like one of your coworkers? Or is it something a bit bigger, such as you’re a therapist who feels overwhelmed at the thought of interacting with clients on a regular basis?
In case you were wondering, that second example is EXACTLY what happened to me. After leaving school and entering the workforce, I realized that I am more introverted than I originally thought. I found the constant human interaction to be incredibly overwhelming and it caused me a lot of anxiety and stress. Because that was a major aspect of the position, I finally came to the conclusion that being a therapist was not the profession for me, and I need to do be doing something where I can work somewhat more independently in order to feel fulfillment (which is why blogging is fantastic because I still get to interact with people but from the comfort of my own home!).
Now, I’m not telling you to just up and leave your career if there’s a problem. This took months of analyzing on my part. It turned out to be the best decision in my personal situation. If the problem is something that can be dealt with and isn’t an integral part of your position, then absolutely you should try to resolve the problem before jumping ship. The bottom line is that you need to do what feels right for YOU, so take the time to analyze the problem and come to your own conclusion about what will bring you fulfillment and help you to avoid professional burnout.
know yourself, your strengths, and your limits
Don’t take on more than you can handle. I repeat, DO NOT take on more than you can handle. This is a HUGE lesson I learned through my experience. I know you want to help in any way you can. I know you want to appear eager, interested, and flexible to your employer. Those are all great qualities, but if you can’t fulfill an extra job requirement to the absolute best of your ability for whatever reason, please don’t take it on. It will cause stress for you and your employer when duties expected of you aren’t fulfilled because it’s too much. Instead, really stick to your strengths and be knowledgeable about what you need to perform at your highest potential. This way, you will still feel you’re contributing in a meaningful way while avoiding burnout.
It’s only natural to feel stress over your job at times. Even those who love what they do experience stressful, overwhelming bouts in their careers. However, there are simple practices that everyone can do to avoid feeling completely burned out. The steps listed above are a great start!
Have you ever experienced professional burnout? What was your experience like, and how did you deal with it? I’d love to hear your stories in the comments with any further tips and tricks you may have! That way we can all learn from each other. 🙂