Beating Those Burnout Blues

Have you ever noticed that taking time off makes going back to work feel worse?

We find ourselves wondering if the juice is worth the squeeze, since preparing to be out-of-office and getting caught back up can feel like more work than just sticking it out.

Yet, we persevere and take that well-deserved and over-due vacation.

And about two days before vacation is over, the dreaded dread sinks in. We dread going back. We dread getting back into our daily routine. Sometimes we even dread the drive or flight home.

It can be hard getting re-motivated, no matter what your form of grind is. And if you’re feeling this way after taking that much-deserved vacation, you’re likely in some form of burnout.

I’ve been there y’all. The burnout blues suck but we truly can start to reverse the effects, without resorting to day-dreaming or day-drinking our blues away.

Follow these three steps to beat your burnout blues and maybe even embrace the opportunity those blues can bring.


First and Foremost: Give Yourself a Break (literally)

Take a 5-10 minute break, and spend a little time understanding what you’re really feeling.

Are you depressed? Are you angry? Do you feel stuck, deflated or just plain bored?

Is it just work and wanting more vacay time, or is it something else? What triggered these feelings? Does this come up for you frequently? Maybe at the same time of year?

Really get in touch with what you’re feeling so you know what needs to change. Jot it all down in a journal, on a piece of paper, in a Word doc or even an audio recording.

Tip: If this exercise makes you really uncomfortable, you’re not alone. Schedule a free 15-minute consultation and I’ll give you some quick tips on how to get comfy in the uncomfy.


Secondly: Paint Yourself a Picture (not literally)

I call this my Magic Paintbrush exercise and do this with every single one of my clients (and often myself!).

Visualize what an ideal time off and return-from-time off situation would look like for you.

Whether it’s a different type of work all together, a major change to your daily routine, a change in the frequency or type of time off, or even how you spend your nights and weekends.

What does that ideal state look like? Go crazy! Really visualize a life that would help you feel happy and revitalized, instead of burned out and dreading the day.

Again, write it down in the best way that works for you…just be sure to actually write it down.


Last But Not Least: Make Yourself a List

Most of our Magic Paintbrush visions aren’t fully achievable right away, but there are definitely ways we can start moving in the direction of a life that feels less exhausting and more fulfilling.

Looking at that ‘ideal state’ you dreamed up, what can you change right now? Nothing is too big or too small.

Maybe it’s a slight role change at work, or leaving / shutting down 30 minutes earlier every day.

Maybe it’s changing up your morning routine to something more fun and less taxing.

Give yourself permission to put yourself first and make a list of the things you can change now.

Got your list? Great! Now go do it! Even one small change can breathe fresh air into any routine and start beating those burnout blues.

Remember to take baby steps – read up on how best to do this in my Rocking your Goals blog.

Not sure how to make that list happen? Schedule a completely complimentary coaching session to kickstart your revitalized routine!


Bonus! Ways to Beat That Burnout

Stuck on what to change to refresh your routine and bust those burnout blues? Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Treat yourself to something on the way to work
  • Plan a lunch with friends once a week
  • Add one dinner out per week with your family
  • Make room and ask for a small project at work that aligns with your passions
  • Start brainstorming on a career change path, if that’s where you’re headed
  • Pick a new route for your drive home
  • Start taking the lunch that you need and deserve
  • Consider a new work schedule, if that’s available to you
  • Swap responsibilities with a co-worker for a month
  • Redesign your workspace (this works for full-time parents too!)
  • Schedule a happy hour (even if at home)
  • Use breaks at work to design a plan that gets you to your Magic Paintbrush version of work/life

Remember that you are 100% in control of your situation and your life…so start taking care of yourself!


“Boss up and change your life. You can have it all, no sacrifice.” – Lizzo