Work Burnout Remedy: Three Good Reasons to Take a Step Back

Charles Bridge along the Vltava River in Prague, Czech Republic.

I recently returned to work after enjoying ten days in Prague with my family. We had a wonderful adventure and I’m so grateful we could all be together in such a beautiful and historical city!I’m headed back to work feeling relaxed, invigorated, and burnout free. 

Truth is, in the months leading up to this trip I had been feeling overwhelmed, less productive and way more tired than usual.

Looking back now, I was experiencing a serious case of burnout. 

Stress affected me on many levels, interrupting my sleep, blocking my decision-making and causing me to experience a roller coaster of emotions. Everything felt out of whack. 

I knew I needed to take a break but the prospect of a vacation, much less one so far away seemed incomprehensible. Fortunately, despite all the roadblocks I set up for myself, I did manage to get away and found it was the burnout remedy that I needed.

Here are three work burnout remedies and what I learned from them as a result of my trip.

What’s burnout? Why do we need work burnout remedies?

Like me, you could be experiencing burnout and not even know it. 

I know how hard it is to make space, slow down, and to acknowledge what you’re feeling. But taking a moment to recognize your emotional state is essential to assessing burnout and taking care of yourself. 

Burnout, at its most basic level, is a feeling of mental and emotional overwhelm or exhaustion. Some common signs of burnout include:

  • Feeling drained or overwhelmed regularly
  • Small tasks added to your plate feel impossible because you already have too much to do
  • You may feel completely alone in the world, and like no one can help you
  • Delegating is difficult because you have so much to do, you don’t have time to delegate tasks
  • Self doubt
  • Procrastinating the work you do have
  • Trouble sleeping 
  • Trouble focusing on the tasks at hand because you have so much on your mind

The good news is, there has been a lot of information that’s come out recently to combat burnout. 

On my trip to Prague, I found these burnout remedies especially helpful to return to work feeling restored and reinvigorated.

Work Burnout Remedy #1: Relinquishing control… it feels great!

When you’re situated in a different time zone, away from easy access to email and text, even a self-described control freak like me has no choice but to hand over the wheel. 

Lucky for me, I have a stellar team made up of Abbie, Jason and Marco. They collectively took the reins and happily stepped up to the front line. They prioritized. They worked together to find creative solutions. They kept RMG’s momentum going on all of our paid media and SEO projects. In a nutshell, they rocked!

Having a team around you that you can trust, or finding ways to automate things when you’re gone can help you avoid burnout. We all need someone or something that we can lean on. 

Lesson learned: Loosen your grip and good things will happen!

Work Burnout Remedy #2: Distance helps us heal.

It took me a few days into our stay in Prague, but eventually I started to notice a space growing between my work identity and my personal self. Thoughts about work no longer crowded my brain and I had time to relax and breathe. 

Being over 6,000 miles from home meant I was less tethered to the company but in a good way. I stopped worrying about the minutiae of running my business. Instead, I was focusing on having new experiences. 

The distance was restorative and allowed me to come back to my business with a fresh, new perspective. Sometimes, all we need is a break from the day-to-day routine.

Lesson learned: Physical distance gives us time to heal.

Work Burnout Remedy #3: Practice self-care, even when you don't feel like you can.

We’ve all read about the importance of self-care but do we actually do it? 

I know that I hadn’t been modeling a healthy work-life balance before this trip. All that changed in Prague. 

I spent hours every day walking outdoors. I enjoyed delicious meals instead of skipping lunch. I napped, read a book and hardly looked at a screen. 

Now that I’m back at the office, I know I can’t keep doing all of that. But, I’m committed to trying to slow my pace a bit. I’ll be taking more time for myself and will encourage my team to do the same for themselves. 

Even small steps towards self-care can put you on the right track to combat burnout from life. 

Lesson learned: Build self-care into every day.

Main Square in Prague, Czech Republic.

You Don’t Have to Jet to Prague to Try Out These Burnout Remedies

I hope sharing this story will speak to my fellow business owners and anyone else who finds themselves burning the candle at both ends. 

If you’re feeling tired, overwhelmed, uninspired and frazzled by your work, it’s likely time to think about stepping back and slowing the pace every once in a while. 

You don’t need to go to Prague to establish a healthy distance between yourself and the causes of your stress. And you don’t need ten days to build a calendar of self-care reminders. 

If you’re like me, you’ll always be a work in progress when it comes to letting things go. But practicing self-care, taking distance from your work, and relinquishing control are three good places to start to avoid burnout from life. 

Please drop me a note if you’d like to share your stories about how taking a break from work has resulted in a positive outcome. Or if you have other work burnout remedies you’d like to share, send them my way! 

This is a topic we need to talk about far more often. By supporting each other, hopefully we can feel less alone when stuck in the burnout trenches.

Anne Richardson

​Anne Richardson is the owner and media director of Richardson Media Group, an agency specializing in media planning and buying, advertising campaign management and SEO.

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Anne outside the door of the Richardson Media Group office.

In addition to her role as owner and media director here at RMG, Anne authors the majority of our blog posts and hosts our BSuite podcast. Favorite topics for both platforms include the entrepreneurial journey, sustainability + social responsibility, media planning, media buying, and forming productive agency partnerships.