How to Deal With Professional Exhaustion

Here's some advice for maintaining a good work/life balance

Worn out by work? There's help for you.

At work, my department went from a staff of four to just one–me. Now there are times when I don’t even want to leave my house. Do you have any resources to help ward off professional exhaustion?

—P.W.
Via E-mail

The quick fix is to quit, sell all your possessions, and relocate to your dream destination. But you can save that exit plan for later. In the meantime, you have a job to do. And you need to be mentally and physically well in order to do it successfully.

The key is in learning to adapt rather than abandon your efforts. To help get acclimated to the “new normal,” strengthen your inner-self. Practice meditating on positive affirmations; alter your perspective to be more optimistic; and seek the trusted support of those who care about you. Make sure to get enough rest, nutrition, and exercise too. Exploring new interests or rekindling old hobbies and friendships are also a great way to reclaim your mojo. Read “Increasingly, We Must Disconnect to Reconnect,” (Motivation, August 2010) and You Don’t Have to Go Home from Work Exhausted! by Ann McGee-Cooper (Bowen & Rogers; $10). The main objective is not allowing your job to overwhelm you to the point of emotional, mental, or physical detriment. If necessary, seek out a trained professional to help you sort out the road ahead.

In The Naked Truth,” (Motivation, September 2009), we tackle helplessness (feelings of a lack of support or protection). The story offers strategies including evaluating and considering all possible solutions to a problem as well as being proactive and creative in the midst of uncertainty. Another strategy mentioned: knowing your limits. Gloria Morrow, a licensed clinical psychologist and creator of the audio CD Maintaining Positive Emotions During Tough Times ($12.99) is quoted in the piece stating: “Give yourself permission to be imperfect.”

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