Your job is your livelihood allowing you to pay your rent or mortgage, put food on the table, make your car payment, pay for soccer gear for the kids, and hopefully spend at least a little time having fun. But your job shouldn’t control your life, make you eternally exhausted and cynical, or cause you to start becoming apathetic at work (or in life). If you’re able to relate to any or all of this, you likely are experiencing work burnout. But before you quit your job altogether, learn to recognize the signs and how to recover.

Signs of Burn Out

If you’re not sure whether or not you have burnout, check for these signs: 

  • Increased fatigue or exhaustion 
  • Forgetfulness or difficulty concentrating
  • Frustration or irritability with co-workers
  • Trouble staying motivated
  • Decreased sense of satisfaction or pride in your work

While these aren’t the only indicators of burnout at work, if you are experiencing any of these signs you are likely suffering from burnout. 

Learn How to Set Boundaries (And Stick to Them)

One of the best ways to start combatting work burnout is to set boundaries with your work day and the number of tasks and projects you’re taking on. By setting boundaries, you can limit the frustration with co-workers, decrease your fatigue by spending fewer hours at work, and overall have more mental space to be able to recover from burnout. Remember that while you might set boundaries, for yourself, other people may still try to push through them. It’s your job to know when to say no, what your limits are, and stick to them. 

Discuss Your Burnout With a Trusted Colleague or Supervisor

While it might seem scary to talk to someone else about the fact that you’re struggling at work, it can actually be a huge relief to let someone know what’s going on and to have someone in your corner to support you when you’re having a bad day. Identify someone you trust - whether that’s a co-worker or your manager and let them know what you're dealing with and how you plan to overcome it. If you’re not sure what it looks like to talk to your supervisor about your work burnout, check out our tips for how to talk to your boss when you’re struggling

Try Removing Your Sense of Self or Identity from Your Job

It’s easy in the North American work culture to tie your sense of self-worth or identity to your job. When we meet someone new, one of the first questions we ask to get to know them is what they do for a living. But who you are and your worth is not tied to what you do. A great way to start recovering from burnout is to begin to remind yourself that your job doesn’t define you. Instead, focus on what you like about yourself as a person, on what you enjoy doing in your free time, or the family or friends that you love to spend time with. Once you start removing your self-worth from your work, you stop putting so much pressure on your career and your day-to-day work. 

Look for a Sense of Purpose in your Work

Your life and sense of self don’t have to revolve around your job, but it can be helpful to get through the long days when you’ve found a sense of purpose in your work - even if it’s small. Do you enjoy that you get to help people? That you have the opportunity to be creative? Or do you just love that your job pays enough to take care of your family or allow you to travel? Or maybe you just really like the people you work with and that makes it easier to go to work every day. Whatever your reason, remind yourself by putting up a sticky note in your workspace or taking the time to be thankful each day. 


However you choose to deal with your burnout, it’s important to remember that experiencing burnout is not the end of the road for your job. You can overcome burnout with time and support from family and friends. Learn more about Viking’s commitment to their employees to give you the inspiration to create a positive work environment for yourself. 

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