I often hear people say, “I need to quit my job” because they feel that is the only way to escape the work burnout they're feeling. Before you hand in your two-week notice, take a beat. Let's take a look at strategies you can implement in your current situation to combat stress. Because if you don't address the underlying root cause, you might find that your anxiety and unhappiness follow you to your next gig.
Are You Unhappy Because You Hate Your Job?
Quitting your job is a big decision. Sometimes, it's the right one! But it's a choice you have to make with a clear head and a sense of where you want to go next. Otherwise, you're simply running from your problems without addressing them.
Start by taking the time to sit quietly and ask yourself, are you happy? If you are unhappy, what is the main cause? If you are chronically overwhelmed and anxious because of work burnout, it's time to reevaluate your situation.
What Would It Take for You to Be Happy?
It's important to ask yourself what you need to be happy. This question might feel scary or overwhelming at first. That's okay. Sit with it and let yourself be open to reflection. After all, how can we expect to get what we want if we haven't even taken the time to identify what that is?
When I experienced my own personal burnout episode, I had been in the corporate world for about five years. I was working crazy hours, eating poorly, and just felt all-around horrible. Before I knew it, my body quit on me, and I ended up in the hospital. I was embarrassed, ashamed that maybe I wasn't "tough enough" for a fast-paced career after all. I didn't tell anyone the real reason for my emergency room visit for about a year. Not even my family.
I don't want anyone to go through what I went through. That's why I do what I do. Even as my situation took a toll on my physical health, I knew that quitting wouldn't solve all my problems. I understood that I had no boundaries. I said yes to everyone, overworked myself, and did not prioritize my own well-being. Even if I changed employers, I would still have those traits until I made a more profound shift in my life. I had to learn how to deal with stress at work, no matter what my profession was.
I knew that the change had to start within me, not within my office.
What Is the Cost of Staying Where You Are?
If you hate your job, make a list of the costs of staying in your current employment situation. We're wired to focus on the financial cost of leaving, but what about the cost of remaining in an unhealthy situation?
Take note of the work burnout symptoms you might be experiencing right now. I personally experienced adult acne, hives, burning red eyes, and depression. Stress manifests differently for everyone, so it's important to know how it affects you personally.
Three Techniques to Implement Before You Quit
When I hit my lowest point and decided to make a change, I implemented these three mindset techniques to pull myself out of darkness and into happiness. I shared about these mindset shifts and a few others in a recent Thrive Global article, which may be really as you're building-up your mental health.
1. See the best in others and let them know: This shift may be challenging for some at first, but choosing to lead with kindness and allowing happiness for others into your heart is life-changing. It's easy to see the worst in people and spread that energy around through gossip and criticism. But if you make a conscious effort to speak and think well of others, you will feel more at peace. Do not abuse the senses of your ears and tongue; speak kindly even to those who challenge you.
2. Take a daily tally of your blessings: Have you fallen into a rut of noticing everything that goes wrong in a day without taking the time to notice everything beautiful in your life? An old friend sending a text that makes you smile, birds chirping, a warm bath, a cup of tea. Cultivating a gratitude practice is the beginning of a whole new worldview.
3. Process your frustrations: When things are hectic, it's easy to let frustration and anger build up at your co-workers, boss, and even your friends and family. Remember that trash-talking or exploding when you've hit your patience limit doesn't serve you. Find a healthier way to release those feelings such as a yoga class, journaling, going for a walk, or creating art.
Take Action Before You Pack Up Your Desk
Today, I'm inviting you to take responsibility for your current situation. Maybe this difficult period isn't happening to you but for you, to show you that it's time to make an internal change as well as an external one.
It's easy to place blame on bosses and co-workers, but maybe you aren't setting proper boundaries for yourself. Perhaps you are allowing yourself to be taken advantage of. Part of learning how to deal with stress at work is getting clear about what we will and won't accept; what we are not willing to compromise on.
A career change might be the right answer for you. The truth is, only you know. But before you take the leap, make sure you have taken stock of your contribution to your burnout. There is no guarantee that your next situation will be better. We can't always control our external circumstances, but we can control how we handle them.
Try implementing the three techniques discussed above and see how you feel after a day, a week, a month, and so on and so forth.
If you want more tips on combatting stress and shifting your perspective, schedule a breakthrough call with me today.
Disclaimer: If you are experiencing any type of abuse, harassment, or discrimination and nothing is being done to offer you a safe environment then yes, it's time to quit. In abusive environments, it's not a matter of making a mental shift and accepting the toxic status quo. If you are in an abusive or discriminatory situation and don't know where to turn, please reach out and I will give you all the resources I have available. You do not have to and should not tolerate any form of abuse, harassment, or discrimination.
Check out a previously recorded #WellnessWednesday video on this topic below: