Feeling burned out and depressed? You’re feeling tired of life, that you feel like you can’t go on anymore? Calm down. Be strong now, because things will get better. It may be stormy now, but it can’t rain forever.
Maybe the reason you are burned out and depressed is because of stress at work. Or trouble at home or in your relationships. Maybe a long-term illness, or the political climate. Whatever your stressors, stress over time can lead to fatigue and burnout.
If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you’re feeling burnt out. Constant fatigue, irritability, and sadness can be signs that you’re facing burnt out. Individuals facing burned out may also struggle to enjoy things they used to love.
We’ve compiled a list of ideas to help you cope when you’re feeling tired of life. These seven tips can be a good starting point to help you get back on track.
7 To-Do List When Feeling Burned Out and Depressed
1. Cut yourself some slack
You know what your limits are, even if your best doesn’t look the same as someone else’s best. It’s important that you cut yourself some slack, especially when stressors beyond your control are making life difficult. They’ll make you feel burned out and depressed.
It’s easy to get frustrated with yourself when you’ve had an unproductive day. Or when you have to take a step back from something that’s important to you. However, there are days when getting through the day is enough.
It’s okay to have a bad day, a bad week, or even a bad year. Most of the time, you’re probably your own worst critic. It may help you to externalize your care for yourself.
For example, ask yourself if you would hold your partner, best friend, or sibling to the same standard. Chances are, you’re a lot more understanding of their limitations than you are of your own.
Imagine what advice you’d give them, then take your own advice. That’ll help. It’s not selfish to love yourself, be easy on yourself, and make your happiness a priority. It’s actually necessary.
“You will never get everything in life but you will get enough.”
– Sanhita Baruah
2. Make sure you’re tending to your physical and mental health needs
Sometimes taking the time to tend to your most basic needs can help get you back on track. Especially when you’re feeling burned out and depressed. Are you eating, sleeping, and keeping up with your daily hygiene? Are you taking all of your medication as prescribed?
If you’re dealing with a mental health issue, are you getting the proper care and following your doctor’s directions? In our fast-paced world, we tend to be moving toward higher and higher goals.
The truth is, there will be periods in your life when you’ll need to focus on the basics. As your body and mind heal, it is enough to make sure you’ve had food, sleep, and prescribed medications.
Never underestimate the power of a nice, long shower. It’s easy to neglect to shower when you’re depressed because of the effort it takes to stand and clean yourself.
However, taking the time to shower and put on fresh clothes can do a lot to help your overall mood. Even if you have nowhere to go, shower and put on real clothes for yourself. A simple action, but has a big impact. We sometimes underestimate the influence of little things.
Tending to these basic needs won’t make everything better, but neglecting them can make getting on the right track a whole lot harder. Making sure you take care of your basic needs can put you on the right track from feeling burned out and depressed.
“It has been said that next to hunger and thirst, our most basic human need is for storytelling.”
– Khalil Gibran
3. Take time for your hobbies
If you’re feeling burned out and depressed, then chances are you don’t really feel like doing anything. Adding another task to your to-do list might seem unmanageable. However, it’s important to take some time out of your day for hobbies.
Even if your hobbies feel like a chore at first, allowing yourself to enjoy something can help refresh other areas of your life. Take time every day to do something you enjoy, even if you’re only spending fifteen minutes on it.
When you spend time doing things you enjoy, you’re emotionally energized. This positive emotional energy will give you the strength you need to complete other tasks that you have to do.
If you don’t have any hobbies, find one. Whether you enjoy computers, engaging in a video game, or learning to bake can be a fun hobby.
If you want to learn how to do something creative, there are lots of videos online to help you learn how to knit, crochet, sew, or create all sorts of crafts.
Never underestimate the value of hobbies like reading, writing, or watching TV. What matters is that you find something you enjoy and engage in it regularly. Hobbies are great distractions from the worries and troubles that plague your daily living.
“Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.”
– Albert Schweitzer
4. Cut out unnecessary stressors
Take some time to list the things that are causing you burned out and depressed. Obviously, you can’t change some things. Such as an illness or a contentious relationship. However, if there are stressors that you can remove, even temporarily, you should do so.
For example, if keeping up with the dishes is causing you undue stress, consider switching to paper plates until you’re feeling less overwhelmed. Find creative solutions to your problems to help you reduce the stress in your life.
There are things you can’t just cut out, although you may be able to change how often you have to deal with them. For example, some family relationships are so complicated and stressful. If you aren’t in a place to cut a toxic person out of your life entirely, set aside smaller amounts of time each week to manage that relationship.
For things that you can’t avoid, like work or paying bills, put systems in place that will help you deal with the stress. If work is the reason you are burned out and depressed, consider doing something you enjoy during your breaks to bring joy into an otherwise stressful job.
“Don’t try to force anything. Let life be a deep let-go. God opens millions of flowers every day without forcing their buds.”
5. Practice gratitude
When you’re burned out and depressed, gratitude might be difficult. There might not seem like there’s much you can be thankful for when everything seems wrong.
Even so, try to think of something small each day that you’re thankful for and write it down. It might be a good meal, nice weather, something funny someone said, or any number of little moments throughout your day.
When you get in the habit of looking for these good things, you’ll notice them more. Whether you write them down in a journal or record them on your phone, recording your gratitude can help you make gratitude a major part of your daily life.
When you’re really struggling with life, take some extra time to read the things you’ve written. A happy memory from weeks ago might be the thing you need to remember to get through today.
Nothing builds up your attitude like gratitude. You cannot be grateful, burned out, and depressed at the same time.
“Gratitude turns what we have into enough.”
6. Make a change in your life
When you’re feeling burned out and depressed, the best thing may be to make a serious life change. Feeling tired of life may be tied to a particular situation that you have the power to change.
If you still feel burned out and depressed after tending to your physical, emotional, and mental health needs, you might need to make a big change in your life. Take time to research what you’d need to make the change you desire.
Your life change might involve moving, changing jobs, or leaving a bad relationship. Find out what you’d need to successfully make a change, then take steps toward that life change. If you’re considering a big life change, talk to someone you trust to get their input.
Having a support system is important for helping you process hard times in your life. This same support system can help you make the changes needed to improve your overall quality of life.
“Nothing is forever except change.”
7. Seek professional care
If you’ve done all of these things but still feel burned out and depressed, you might need professional care. Your needs may be physical or hormone-related. Whether you’re experiencing thyroid problems or a chemical imbalance in your brain, a trained medical professional can help you sort things out.
Getting professional help is not a sign of weakness. Many mental illnesses are curable with proper medication, therapy, or other professional intervention. Some long-term mental problems can be symptoms of physical problems, such as imbalanced thyroid hormones.
Seek professional care if you think your burnout may have a physical cause behind it. Working with a doctor or therapist can help you make the changes necessary for you to enjoy life again.
“Medicines can cure, but a good doctor’s inspirational words can give the strength to fight from within.”
Most people go through patches of time where they’re tired of life. Feeling burned out and depressed are real issues, especially during a crisis. Sometimes, small changes are all you need to get back on track. Take some time to focus on your own health, engage in hobbies, and reflect on good things.
When small changes don’t work to get you back on track, a bigger change may be necessary. You might need to change a job, move, or leave a toxic relationship.
If your problem is physiological, seeking professional medical care may be a necessary part of getting healthy.