If you’re burned out with parenting or caregiving responsibilities, for example, remind yourself why you took on these responsibilities. Remind yourself what you like about the role.
2. Make Time for Self-Care
“Lack of self-care is one of the most significant contributors to burnout,” Thornton says. “Many of my clients believe that they don’t have enough time in their schedule for it.”
If that sounds like you, start small.
“It does not have to be an hour each day. It may look like spending 10 minutes a day engaged in a gratitude practice or a guided visualization,” Dr. Aasmundsen-Fry says. “What is important is that you intentionally carve out time.”
How you spend that dedicated time may change according to your needs of the day, she says. Prioritizing adequate amounts of sleep, a healthy diet, and exercise are good places to start, according to Midwestern University.
3. Ask for Help
Let your boss, coworkers, family members, or whoever else is close to your situation know you’re exhausted and maxed out. “They can’t fix a problem they don’t know is there,” Thornton says.
Don’t be afraid to ask them for help, and be specific about what you need, Aasmundsen-Fry says. “When doing so, don’t beat around the bush,” she says. Ask for help with meals or carpools to pick up kids from school or activities. “This will make it easier for your helpers and supporters to make sure that no boxes go unchecked,” she says.
At the end of the day, self-sacrifice does not help anyone, Aasmundsen-Fry says.
4. Maintain Your Social Life
Sometimes it helps to talk about what you’re going through with family and friends. Sometimes it helps to use social time to step away from stressors and simply use the time to enjoy another person’s company. Either way, social contact can be an excellent way to de-stress.
And when it comes to carving out time for friends: “Don’t wait for more free time — create it,” Aasmundsen-Fry says. “Prioritize it and hold on to it dearly.”
5. Set Boundaries
When you’re not working, leave your work behind, Thornton says. And when you can step away from other responsibilities that are causing burnout (like caregiving), do so.
In your family life, it can help to create a child-free “you” space, for example, Thornton says. It could be a corner in your bedroom or any space where you can reset and relax. Spend time there intentionally, not worrying about whatever is contributing to your burnout. “Mentally being in your role or workspace can be almost as triggering as actually being there,” Thornton says.
Setting boundaries also means not overextending yourself. Don’t be afraid to turn down an invitation on the weekend if your schedule is already full and you need extra time to recharge. Saying no can help when it comes to coping with burnout, according to Penn Medicine.
“Never be ashamed about setting boundaries,” Thornton says. “You can’t pour from an empty cup.”