Work Sucks – Burnout and How to Deal With It

OK, so my job is not terrible, but I have experiencing some major job burnout lately. I am approaching six years in my current position and eighteen years altogether at my workplace. Obviously, I like where I work, or I wouldn’t have stayed so long.

In recent months l have felt like so many of my job tasks are so monotonous that I could fall asleep at my desk. I often feel as though I am up to my ears in projects without enough time to complete them, even if I were to work extra hours. The workload is overwhelming and so many urgent projects come up that require dropping others by the wayside. Because of changes in management in the last couple years a lot of people are constantly worried about losing their job, although when asked if has been said that there will be no layoffs or terminations.

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As a woman with young children, I sometimes feel judged if I have to leave early or stay home with a sick child.  Many of my coworkers have older children or do not have children. I sometimes hesitate taking sick days for myself or PTO days so that I can reserve my PTO to be with my children when they need me. I also try to bank my PTO to use for maternity leave, if my husband and I decide to have another baby.

Work politics frustrate me.  I don’t like having to navigate the dynamics of working with so many people who only look out for themselves, rather than to come together as a team for the bigger picture. Sometimes there is so much back stabbing and two-facedness that it feels like high school. Come on, people, we’re adults.

At work I find myself being impatient and having a bad attitude. That’s not my normal outlook. It’s easy to get snippy and sometimes people’s moods just feed off of each other. I am lucky in that my two close coworkers and I can honestly talk to each other without hurt feelings and we understand what the other is going through. We can vent to each other in a “safe space” and go about the day feeling lighter and less stressed.


The stress of work is sometimes enormous and then as a parent I have to go home each night and take care of my kids, try to spend time with my husband, maybe occasionally get alone time… I know I am not the only parent out there that is going through a similar situation.  It can be rough.

My brother-in-law works remotely for an IT company based in California. They recently announced that they are adding a benefit of a 28 day paid sabbatical leave for all employees, each year, on top of their normal paid time off. I am so jealous! Oh, what one could do with that time.

I am not alone in feeling the burn, two of my close colleagues have also reported feeling this way recently.  In fact, we had a conversation about it this morning. At least we can sympathize with each other.

Can you identify with the following?

  • Excessive stress and mental fatigue
  • Feeling a sense or dread or lack of desire to go to work
  • Feeling under appreciated
  • Becoming easily upset or feeling irritable?
  • Lack of concentration or ability to focus on tasks
  • Feeling a sense of uncertainty about the future of your position within your organization

If so, you may be experiencing from workplace burnout.

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Burnout can be caused by a large number of factors, which include:

  • Businesses losing employees but not rehiring to fill previous positions, so staff absorb others’ job duties and responsibilities
  • The inability to unplug and the expectation to always be available by phone, text, or e-mail
  • Overtime or long hours
  • Lack of ability to fulfill unattainable expectations
  • Feeling unable to take time off or feeling as though employees are expected to work while ill
  • Workplace politics

 So, what to do if you feel this way? Don’t just grin and bear it; sacrificing your mental and physical health aren’t worth it.

  • Go home- Take time off if you can to rest and recharge
  • Talk it out- Vent to a friend or family member or have an honest chat with your supervisor who may not realize how overwhelmed you are
  • Leave your desk- Don’t eat a sandwich in your cubicle every day. Instead sit outside, take a walk, or eat with friends
  • Change it up- Toggle job duties with an associate or move to a different desk
  • Move on- Perhaps it is time to find a new job
  • See a doctor- Talk to a therapist or your provider. Perhaps there are other issues going on that are contributing to your stress or anxiety
  • Workout- Get your sweat on before work to start the day off on the right foot with less stress and more energy
  • Listen- If you can, listen to music,  an audiobook, or your favorite podcast
  • Don’t play games- Try to resolve any conflicts and stay out of pretty squabbles
  • Find new interests- Discover something outside of work to help you de-stress
  • Be friends- Foster relationships and get to know your coworkers better

Have you experienced workplace burnout? What helped you? How I’d you deal with it? I would love to hear from you.
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