What to Do When You're Burnt Out at Work

CosmopolitanCosmopolitanWe've all been there. You get overwhelmed at work and feel like you just want to quit and storm out the office forever…but you can't. In this economy, we know good jobs are basically like one in a million, so career expert Cheryl Palmer offered some tips on how to keep your sanity and not catch a bitch fit.

By Ariel Nagi

1. Take a lunch break-every day
The days of eating lunch at your desk should be over-now. "If you're not regularly taking breaks, things can get very overwhelming, and you end up being more ineffective because your mind is not fresh enough," Palmer says. Take a walk or stroll through the park during your break. If you skip lunch because you feel you don't have enough time, you could end up making a mistake from being too tired and taking even more time to correct it, she warns.

2. Get involved in other activities
The biggest mistake people make is bringing their jobs home with them too often. "Work shouldn't be everything," Palmer says. Try getting involved in other activities outside of work, like taking that yoga class you've been looking at. Train yourself to only think about work when you're actually on site, unless you have an important meeting or event to prepare for. Your job is a part of your life-it's shouldn't be your whole life.

Related: 6 Ways to Stay Fit When You Work in an Office

3. Mix passion with work
There's a difference between your passion and the reality about what pays your bills, but your work doesn't have to suck. "For example, if you love children but don't want to work at a daycare because you can't live off of it. But if you're an accountant by trade, you can work for a children's defense fund. Even thought you don't love your job, you've got your bills covered and at the same time you can go to work feeling good about it." Other options? If your company does charities, donations, or any other activities you're passionate about, don't hesitate to join in!

4. Get help
If you're feeling overwhelmed, see if you're able to get an intern or hire a junior employee to assist you. "In this economy, we are often doing the work of four to five people," Palmer says. Many interns work free or just for school credit, so it's a great learning experience for them and a weight off the shoulders for you.

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5. Take advantage of benefits
You know that gym membership your company offers or even that tuition reimbursement? Take advantage of opportunities like these to help alleviate stress. A good workout is a proven de-stresser, and taking a class or going back to school can help you find a better position, even if it doesn't necessarily mean a career change. You might, for example, be ready to move on from your current role. If your company offers tuition reimbursements, it's the perfect opportunity to gain an extra certification or experiment with something new.

Take a personal day
"Take advantage of vacations and personal days," Palmer suggests. Even if you just take a day off to sit at home and watch Modern Family or hours of bad reality TV, it's great to just take a day to your self and get back to work feeling refreshed.


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