How do you deal with burnout?

Mars Negrette
18 replies
Burnout and depression turned my life upside down a few years ago, I went from an ambitious high-performer to a lucky run if I get out of bed. I remember hating everything related to a career and goals that I used to love, feeling empty inside, really empty, I'm not talking metaphors here. It is a feeling that I do not wish on anyone. With ups and downs, sometimes feeling very accompanied and sometimes very lonely, I managed to recover after many attempts. I managed to love what I do again and change my meaning of success, of what I want and how. Those who have been through it know that it is a before and after. Since my recovery, I decided that helping this not happen to anyone else would be part of my life goal.


Sharon Cohen
I'd imagine anyone has a different experience, but for me in the beginning there was a time where I didn't know enough so I listened to all those mentors and motivation videos that kept saying "work harder! don't have fun until you're successful!" which can totally ruin mental health if you don't know how to balance what they're saying. In that time I worked every day all day, barely had time for friends or relaxing. I had constant anxiety and burns outs on a daily basis. Personally for me a few things helped: 1. Reducing the exposure to mentors and motivational videos. They're great but we're not robots. 2. I have 2 half work days and Sunday is completely off for me. That's the only way for me to keep sanity. Plus, you gotta have a break if you want to keep falling in love with yout career. 3. I read a book called Eat That Frog that was about time management, and the author kept saying we should strive to work smarter and not harder, which means fill more work in less time so you're also productive and you also have time for other things. There's also a breathtaking Ted Talk video by Shonda Rhimes that tells about her major burnout, the before/after and how she found a solution. Hope I could help!
Lucas Massuh
@sharon_cohen2 is that the one where she says that answering yes every time one of her kids asked to play with her, changed her life?
Sharon Cohen
@lucasmassuh @marsnegrette Yep! And by the way I think the mentor Mel Robbins also talks about different approaches to avoid burns outs. Maybe you guys can get some insights from her too!
@sharon_cohen2 @lucasmassuh I love that! I subconsciously try to but need to do so more intentionally.
Sharon Cohen
@lucasmassuh @rawoyemi do it intentionally for sure! Don't underestimate your mental health. You have to take care of your energy so it can smash the goals you need to smash to get where you want to get! Working hard isn't the only component, it's deeper than that.
this is a good. Have you written about your recovery. Perhaps that can be beneficial to others who a faced with a similar situation.
Paul Jones
How did you manage to recover? I am in a state of hating everything and everyone
Zachary Green
what i learned from dealing with my own burnout this year: take the steps to prevent it in the first place. know the warning signs and then take the steps to regulate as soon as the warning signs flare up
I'm sometimes asking what happened to the homeless person. And sometimes I feel it's perhaps someone who never recovered from their burnout.
Thanks for sharing, this is a question I'm wrestling with at the moment. I've not got it down entirely yet, but here are a few things: 1. If you're doing too much, acknowledge it, and re-evaluate. It may feel like everything's important and there's nothing you can drop, but honestly, we're fragile beings, and none of it is worth trading for your wellbeing. 2. There's more to life than work. It's self-explanatory but easily missed. Be willing to take breaks, step away, and appreciate that whatever you're working on now, will be there for you tomorrow. 3. You can't operate at your best if you're running on overdrive. I tend to work into the night, but I'm nowhere near as productive after a while, there's diminishing returns. Too many people get sick as a result of stress and insufficient rest. Know when to call it a day, maybe restrict working hours. 4. Get support from close friends and family. Let them know what you're going through - bring people close. Burnout negatively affects your relationships - so you may unintentionally push away the people you need most. P.S. Thanks for making BurnoutIndex, it's a great product.
Alexandro Martínez
I recently went through this. It started on April of this year when the quarantine started in my country (MX). I had been working almost 10/7 for 3 years, without many results. Well I did had results, and many, but it was not what I expected financially speaking, so for me they didn't count. So I got back to exercising, stopped smoking and for 3 months I didn't work at all, only customer support. I had zero drive. Until the motivation started rising again, and then I remembered why I love being a dev, I love building things. If you tie your goals with money, you're gonna have a bad time (or maybe not ¯\_(ツ)_/¯)
Carlos Spontón
Hi! I am a psychologist and Head of Sciences of Yerbo. I have been studying burnout and well being at work since 2005. In that year I suffered long stress-periods and overworking. At now I can say that: Getting rid of burnout is not easy but it´s possible! > That is why it is essential to use preventive strategies, both for you and for your work team. > As indicated above, one "burns out" little by little, and many times without realizing it. Only when there is "collateral damage" do we become aware that something is not right. No matter what type of "collateral damage" you experience/suffer (whether it is health problems, emotional deterioration, decreased productivity or problems with your loved ones) it operates as a red flag. Watch out! Sometimes it can be late. > Below there are some key steps to manage burnout: > 1. Understand how it works. It's paramount to see it as the end of a process of chronic stress produced by problems of various kinds such as overwork, time pressure, and other causes of discomfort at work. > 2. Make periodic measurements, as many times as necessary. Thus one is acquiring emotional awareness of the subject. > 3. Train yourself in behavioral strengths (for example, good time management, good work rhythm), cognitive strengths (getting out of the mental biases that allow you to enjoy small achievements, such a Dampening vs Savoring) and emotional strengths ( train you on how to regulate emotions to focus on not catastrophizing, control mental rumination and above all, be compassionate with yourself and your co-workers).
Darko Williams
I've learned this the hard way: Just take that day off.
Sumit Datta [dwata] 👋
I wholeheartedly agree with @sharon_cohen2 here. I have been in depression for years and been through multiple sessions of counseling. My health was super bad in 20013. I think a lot of this happened because I chose to accept the typical founder stories - all the glamour and front-of-magazine stuff. I drank all that and put myself under pressure. Two things that have helped immensely, other than everything Sharon and others added are: - Read more fiction - you will get the same life morals and values but you will start loving the stories - Measure yourself not in comparison to others but who you were yesterday. Just a little better than yesterday will get you to a great place in 1 year. If you do not love the daily journey, and only do this because one day you will be a millionaire then there are high chances of becoming captive to depression/burnout. If you instead can find your way of doing something and do not care if you became "someone" - the negativity is mitigated.
Mary Smith
I feel sorry for what you feel. Like you said, we always experience ups and downs in our lives. Have you thought of changing your job? I decided to take such a step recently, although the situation in the world is not simple. I advise you to get serious about writing a resume to make your career perfect. I believe that when a person faces new challenges, their depression can gradually end. New colleagues, new tasks, new life. Good luck
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Yannell Selman
How did you recover? I’m curious what the process looks like for you. Thanks for sharing - very powerful story! I have also 💯 been there in every role I’ve ever had. I went to grad school to take a few years off and recover. I was at Berkeley and stumbled across amazing burnout prevention research. Absolutely life changing.