Surviving Burnout

Burnout. We’ve all struggled through this sludgy pit. When we are forced to do too much for too long, we crash—mentally, emotionally, and physically. We feel incapable of accomplishing even one more thing, but life demands that we keep going. It’s especially distressing if we are required to produce something creative or original when we are too exhausted to think. If you are experiencing burnout and it’s not possible to take time to rest and recover, here are some steps to help you keep going.

1. It’s critical to remind yourself that this season will not last forever. There will be an end. Things will change. You will recover. No matter what, don’t ever allow yourself to become hopeless. Frustrated, yes. Overwhelmed, yes. Drained, yes. But never hopeless. One day you will be on the other side. Hold onto that hope as your lifeline and never let go.

2. Be extra good to yourself. Cut off negative internal (and external) dialogue–it will only make things exponentially worse. Instead, praise yourself for small accomplishments. Focus on every good thing in your life. Do small things to uplift yourself … go for a quick walk, drink a cup of your favorite beverage, listen to soothing music, close your eyes for five minutes and just rest. In the midst of turmoil, slip in little things that make you feel good. Also make sure to prioritize your health—you need to be as strong as possible right now.

3. Ask for help. Find ways to eliminate stressors. Ask others for help, pay others to do work for you, delegate chores, and unload every unnecessary burden you can. Talk with trusted, encouraging friends about what you are feeling and going through. Write in a journal—even a few lines will help you detox. If you are a person of faith, pray simple prayers for help (often) and ask others to pray for you as well. You need help and support during this time.

If you are under a deadline and need to provide a finished product, you actually can do it. Just keep going, utilizing the tips above as much as possible.

If your job relies on creativity, it’s extra challenging. Writing is something that can’t be forced, and when you’re going through burnout, you may feel like you have nothing. But you do! You just have to make space for your creativity to come out. Completely taking your mind off writing for even a few minutes can reset your brain and allow the jumbled thoughts to untangle.

Writers, try to incorporate your emotions in your writing. They are definitely relatable to everyone. Never berate yourself over anything you have written. Negative self-talk only wastes your time and crushes your creativity. Just write. Bounce ideas off of people you trust. Then just write. Channel all of your internal and external energy into writing. Don’t analyze it, just get to that finish line! Then have a professional editor smooth it out for you. All of your natural talent and creativity is still there. Even though you are utterly overwhelmed, you can still access your gift. Remove all of the obstacles that you can, and make space for it to flow out.

Don’t give in to burnout. No matter how hard your life is now, don’t give up, and you will accomplish your goal.

Savvy Writer Tip:

We all face burnout at various times in life. No one is a superhero, and life doesn’t cut anyone slack. If you are overwhelmed and overstressed right now, don’t give up! Tell yourself that you will get to the other side. Take extra good care of yourself. Ask for help. Don’t waste any energy on negative self-talk. Keep going! You will make it to the other side, and you’ll be much stronger for pushing through! 🙂