Work burnout has been REAL and I am currently navigating to get out of it to the best of my abilities. I would spend the Spring season very upbeat and keeping high energy until the Garden Center slows down mid summer leading up to the Fall Season. When foot traffic slows down because people are going away for summer vacation, my energy drags and the days seem longer. I have been spending my work hours watering my nursery stock, dead heading plants, fertilizing plants, and trying to keep cool during the hotter days. These tasks are very monotonous!
I planned on focusing on enriching my mind during the slow season. I had plans to develop new areas of knowledges applied to Ethnobotany. My yearning to learn more did not go the way I planned. Whether it was learning about Chinese Culture through Harvard or looking into to take a Medicinal Plant class through Cornell, I had this mental fog where I could not focus and apply myself to learn this new skill due to burnout.
I felt stuck, not the type of stuck where I wanted a new job. I love my job and I certainly love what I do. I felt stuck in away where I would just come home from work agitated because my tasks were just the same as the day before. My ability to be productive has slowed down, my attitude with customers changed, and I had no self satisfaction in completing goals. I felt like I was treading in deep waters just to stay upbeat at work. I talk so gloomy about this experience because I need to share how to recognize the signs of burnout, how important it is to take care of yourself mentally and emotionally, and how to combat them to move forward - especially in a work place that you love being at.
Some of the top signs of burnout is feeing the lack of satisfaction when completing a task, dragging yourself to get motivated, becoming irritable around coworkers or customers, and lack of energy of being productive. I felt every sign in the work place this past month. One of my boss’s viewpoints is to feel good after completing a task or completing a task from A to Z. When I got a compliment on how good my nursery looked for the time of the year, I just felt not satisfied with the work that I did. I definitely did not complete tasks A to Z either. Each task dragged especially on hot days. Things that I was supposed to do - like text an Instagram post to the company’s social media manager never got created because the desire was not there. Price tags did not get put up on new displays that I created. Everything I wanted to do was not created with excitement. I was dragging. My actions were dragging as well as my social skills. I have some of the best customers in the world; but I sure did not want to interact with them. I have been getting irritated so easily with questions or being broken away from a task. I have been getting irritated with interacting with my new coworkers, who I have the responsibility to train when needed. I knew I was having issues with my lack of productivity not just at work but with what I am creating for my website and social media.
To combat all of this in the now moment, you need to take care of yourself mentally and emotionally. I believe both areas are intertwined with each other and there is not a cookie cutter method as a fix all. As complex individuals that we are, we are going to have our own ways to get over these hurdles. For me, I enjoy listening to music and reading poetry to disconnect from the world and where I can connect with myself. Some people may play an instrument, work out, read a book or even paint to center themselves to take a mental break. The possibilities to find or discover ways to take a mental step back are endless. Also, remembering to fulfill our needs include eating good, healthy food and drinking water. What we put into our body is a huge determination on how we are going to feel as well. Sometimes disconnecting from the world (this includes social media) and taking a break for a moment during the day can aid in both emotional and mental health. Treating yourself and taking care of yourself is extremely important. When we take care of our needs, we can take care of others around us a little bit better instead of pushing ourselves to meet others’ needs fully.
Sometimes in the moment it feels as if we cannot move forward from this. These feelings and outlook are temporary. Over time there is a light at the end of the gloomy tunnel but proper management will help you to get out of this self funk. With Summer rolling into Fall time, things are picking up and changing at my garden center. My outlook is changing. New products are coming in as well as new plants. This helps my mind reset itself because we are entering a new season at work.
Thank you for reading my post on dealing with work burnout. Take time for yourself is a very important thing to do when we start to feel as if we are getting burnt out in all occupations. How do you combat work burnout? What is your best kept secret to move forward? Share in the comments!