Fighting Fatigue: 5 Ways To Combat Burnout At Work

Whether you’re a recent grad [congrats!] or have been livin’ the post-grad life for a while now, landing your first *big girl job* is a pretty amazing//accomplishing feeling. ++ It feels even better once you’re *officially* in the swing of things, well-acquainted with your co-workers, + have your workflow down to a science. So when your boss asks you to take on an extra project here + there, it’s no biggie — but what happens when *here + there* becomes every day?

When work keeps piling on + you become responsible for more tasks, feeling stressed can sometimes escalate to feeling totally burned out. Work burnout is more than just feeling stressed out — it’s mental + emotional breakdowns, exhaustion from head + toe, ++ not feelin’ like ourselves. We love ya, girlfriends, ++ the last thing we want is for you to feel this way about a major part of your lives! Beyond *the usuals* [drinking water, taking breaks, staying active, etc.] try these 5 tips to combat work burnout.


Remember how we promised ourselves that we’d work on saying *no* more? This practice really gets put to the test once you enter the *real world*. As your co-workers + management become more familiar with you, + as you begin to *prove yourself* in the office, you’ll more than likely be given more responsibilities — which is great! However, there’s a fine line between being challenged at work + being overwhelmed. It’s ok to help out your co-workers now + then + to add more projects to your plate… but don’t be afraid to say no! We all have a breaking point, + you do not want to get to that point at work [or ever!]


Just as we encourage girls to stop the comparisons at the gym, the same rule applies in the workforce. In a society that glorifies being overworked to the point of racking up hours of overtime + skipping out on sleep//food, there can sometimes be a lot of pressure to add more onto your plate to *keep up* with how busy your co-workers are. Truthfully, making comparisons at work will only lead you closer to feeling burned out. Only take on what you can handle, + don’t be ashamed of that. Own your responsibilities//projects at work + crush ‘em — because you’re more than capable.


At the end of the day, make sure to leave work at work [actually, though] + pursue the things you love. Get your sweat on, cook up an Insta-worthy meal, play an instrument, journal, take some *fun* DIY classes, etc. Whatever your creative outlet of choice may be, unleash it! Allowing yourself time to be creative + unwind will help keep you in a healthy state of mind, + will even help boost productivity levels at work — #win ; ).

++ Lifehack: Employers who truly care about your well-being will encourage you to pursue your passions. They don’t want to see their employees burned out, either!


There are times when work [or life in general] becomes so overwhelming that you feel *stuck,* like you can’t break away from the chaos. Creating an *escape list* helps during anxiety-inducing situations when you feel like there’s too much to handle — a common sign of work burnout. An escape list is basically a list of everything you need to do to escape an overwhelming situation. For example, your list may include things like asking to work remotely for a day, taking a personal//sick day, suggesting you + a coworker collaborate on a project, asking your boss for an extension on a project, etc. Drafting an escape list allows you to visually take notice of the options you have to alleviate some of your stress + anxiety at work. Don’t be afraid to try it!


As we get older, it may seem like asking for help is a sign of weakness — but in reality, asking for help is a strong sign of courage + self-efficacy. When you can recognize + take the steps necessary to reach out for help, that’s when you know that you’re truly in tune with your needs. Asking for help is a critical part of growth + staying sane at work. Do not hesitate to ask — the worst someone can say is no.

Work is important, but your health + well-being will always be more important. Take care of yourself, bebe!

++Nat [@natalie_inchaarg] // VirtCHAARG Grand Rapids

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