Life Insurance
Insurance 101
Live Chat
Sign In
Apply Now
Work, Life, Balanced

Signs You’re Burnt Out (Plus What to Do About It)

By Meghann Foye Jun 26, 2018

In this article

Recognize if You’ve Got Burnout Syndrome

Identify the Triggers Making You Burnt Out

Align Your Lifestyle With What Matters to You

Create a Self-Care Plan, Stat

Be Smart About Your Time as a Working Mom or Working Dad

Decide When You’re so Burnt Out That It’s Time for a Big Change

If you’re a working mom (or a working dad!), you could probably use a clone or two. But if you’re beginning to feel like you need a clone army, you’re not alone. Close to 50 percent of people say they are often or always exhausted due to work and up to 12 percent of parents are burnt out just from being parents. Not to mention all the stressors you face if you're a single parent.

“There is so much pressure to do everything, be everything, and know everything,” says Ellen Rondina, LMSW, MMSc and author of Self-Care Revolution: 5 Pillars to Prevent Burnout and Build Sustainable Resilience for Helping Professionals.

“Gender roles have changed over the decades and families with both a working mom and a working dad are still trying to negotiate roles and workloads—it's much harder than people realize,” explains Rondina.

Counterintuitively, increased work flexibility actually contributes to this widespread burnout syndrome. “Flexibility, for many of us, has come to mean working all the time. If I have flexible work hours, I can be ‘on’ as a parent more, but that means working every hour in between and exchanging hats rapidly back and forth,” says Rondina.

The constant toggling can increase the likelihood you’ll get burnt out. Low pay, too many responsibilities, lack of autonomy and lack of development opportunities are also big contributors.

Recognize if You’ve Got Burnout Syndrome

While some of the signs might seem obvious—feeling anxious all the time or losing sleep—another, subtler sign might be even more dangerous. “I often find that true burnout is a feeling of boredom or a loss of interest,” says Julie Hochheiser Ilkovitch, career expert and host of the podcast Coffee Break w/ NYWICI. “You might find yourself grappling with chronic exhaustion or even questioning your purpose in life.”

Unchecked, burnout syndrome can lead to depression and even physical ailments like heart disease, obesity and diabetes. “It can turn a person from someone who is productive and satisfied into someone who is tuning out and in survival mode,” says Rondina.

This can impact all aspects of your life, even down to how your life insurance application is evaluated in light of mental illness.

Identify the Triggers Making You Burnt Out

Maybe the problem is work or your stressors at home. Or maybe it’s something else. Start by making a list of all the situations that bring on these burnt out feelings. Does your heart rate increase whenever your mother-in-law calls? Whenever your boss sends you a testy email?

Next to each situation, write down things you can do to lessen the stress of that trigger. Maybe you pass the phone to your spouse when his or her mom calls, or you make yourself a soothing up of tea and meditate for a minute before replying to your boss’s passive-aggressive note.

Align Your Lifestyle With What Matters to You

Rondina suggests creating a values statement. What are the traits you most prize in yourself and others? How is, or isn’t, your life currently aligned with those attributes?

For example, maybe you’re happiest when you feel a sense of stability, but you’re a consultant who jumps from assignment to assignment, making your work life feel anything but stable. Is there anything you could move around to help you focus more deeply on just a few clients? Burnout syndrome tends to come on when our actions are especially misaligned with our needs.

Create a Self-Care Plan, Stat

Brainstorm self-care practices that work best for you, write them down and fit them into your calendar, Rondina recommends. This could mean different things for different people. Maybe you take up yoga, even doing basic moves at your desk, or meditate for a few minutes during your commute.

Self-care doesn’t have to be lonely, either. Making time to be with your family and friends, or even finding a "working parent mentor" can be an important way to clear away the fog of being burnt out and focus on what really matters.

Try to reframe your perspective, too. “Instead of all of these practices being ‘fit in’ to your work and your life, you should fit your work and your life into your wellness and self-care practices,” Rondina says.

Here are some ways to work self-care into your life in less than 15 minutes a day.

Be Smart About Your Time as a Working Mom or Working Dad

One way to fit self-care into your daily life and cut down on burnout syndrome is to be very tactical with all of your time. “Every Friday, I sit down and plan the next week,” says Hochheiser Ilkovitch. “I look at my calendar, confirm meetings and organize my to-do lists. So, on Monday, I start the week in a very organized way. I think it makes a huge difference.”

If your job (and life!) has a high level of complexity, you might try a project management tool like Asana or AirTable (both have free versions) to stay organized, Hochheiser Ilkovitch says. These sorts of tools enable you to keep all your work tasks—or family to-dos, health insurance forms or bills—organized in one place, which can hugely cut down on all the toggling time.

It's also worth exploring the give-and-take of your own mental resources. We spoke to several parents who successfully balance work and family and one trend that emerged is that those who've leaned into their work lives often need support from their spouses and community.

Do you need help? Who can you ask it from? Are there any ways you can find moderation in other aspects of your life? Can you do anything to better savor even the mundane moments with your family?

Decide When You’re so Burnt Out That It’s Time for a Big Change

In addition to simply organizing your time and trying to take better care of yourself, pause to consider the underlying reasons why you’re burnt out (or getting there). Is it a problem with your workload, or with how you’re coping? Are you simply not a morning person, or could this possibly be postpartum depression? In some cases, getting down to the root causes of your stress might mean working with a trained counselor or therapist.

“If a job has been bad for a long time, like if there is workplace bullying, the work is unsatisfying, unfulfilling, or the pay is not enough and the hours are too long,” Rondina says, “it might be time to find a new job.”

Fabric exists to help young families master their money. Our articles abide by strict editorial standards.

Fabric Insurance Agency, LLC offers a mobile experience for people on the go who want an easy and fast way to purchase life insurance.


Subscribe to our newsletter


Written by

Meghann Foye

Related Posts

Work, Life, Balanced

How Spending 13 Minutes a Day on Self-Care Changed My Life

I created the Mental Health and Wealth Challenge to engage in self-care that was meaningful, simple, and free — and only takes 13 minutes a day.

By Melanie Lockert
Work, Life, Balanced

Can You Afford to Become a Stay-at-Home Parent? How to Find Out

Working vs. being a stay-at-home parent is a major decision. We’ve created a framework to provide financial clarity about your best options.

By Julie Pierce Onos
Work, Life, Balanced

How to Make Mundane Moments With Your Kids Feel Actually Special

We asked experts for ways to savor even the mundane time with family—whether or not we’re in the middle of a pandemic.

By Sarah Li Cain

Fabric Picks

Life Insurance

Life Insurance for Millennials

Blame participation trophies or the fact that many millennials entered the job market around the time the Great Recession hit, but millennials sometimes have a hard time shaking a reputation for being stuck in extended adolescence. The truth is, the generation that coined “adulting” as a verb has been grown up for a while now. Most millennials have already seen our 10-year college reunion come and go, or we may face the shock of hearing we’re experiencing a “geriatric” pregnancy (at 35, really?). As your life grows to include more responsibilities and loved ones who depend on you, it’s time to consider whether life insurance might be the right next step.

By Jessica Sillers
Modern Family Finances

When Do We Feel Like an Adult? New Survey Shares ‘Signs’ of Adulting

Top signs of “adulting” include saving money, doing taxes, and signing up for life insurance, according to Fabric’s new research. Read on for more surprising insights.

By Allison Kade
Life Insurance

How to Get Life Insurance

Have you ever envisioned leaving money to your family when you’re gone? Here’s exactly how to go about getting life insurance.

By Melissa Brock

About Fabric

iOS

/

Android

Download Fabric’s iOS mobile app through the Apple App Store
Download Fabric’s android mobile app through the Google Play app store
Subscribe to our newsletter

© 2021 Fabric Insurance Agency, LLC

Accidental Death Insurance policies (Form VL-ADH1 with state variations where applicable) and Term Life Insurance policies (Form ICC16-VLT, ICC19-VLT2, and CMP 0501 with state variations where applicable) are issued by Vantis Life Insurance Company (Vantis Life), Windsor, CT (all states except NY), and by The Penn Insurance and Annuity Company of New York (NY only). Coverage may not be available in all states. Issuance of coverage for Term Life Insurance is subject to underwriting review and approval. Please see a copy of the policy for the full terms, conditions and exclusions. Policy obligations are the sole responsibility of Vantis Life.

All sample pricing is based on a 25-year old F in Excellent health for the coverage amount shown. All samples are for a 10-year term policy, unless otherwise stated. Term Life Insurance policies (Form ICC16-VLT, ICC19-VLT2, and CMP 0501 with state variations where applicable) are issued by Vantis Life Insurance Company (Vantis Life), Windsor, CT. Coverage may not be available in all states. Issuance of coverage for Term Life Insurance is subject to underwriting review and approval. Please see a copy of the policy for the full terms, conditions and exclusions. Policy obligations are the sole responsibility of Vantis Life.

Fabric Insurance Agency, LLC (FIA) is an insurance agency licensed to sell life and accident insurance products. FIA will receive compensation from Vantis Life for such sales. The NAIC Company Code for Vantis Life is 68632. See the Terms of Use for additional information regarding FIA.

A.M. Best uses letter grades ranging from A++, the highest, to F, companies in liquidation. Vantis Life’s A+ (Superior) rating, which was reaffirmed in April 2020, ranks the second highest out of 16 rankings. An insurer’s financial strength rating represents an opinion by the issuing agency regarding the ability of an insurance company to meet its financial obligations to its policyholders and contract holders and not a statement of fact or recommendation to purchase, sell or hold any security, policy or contract. These ratings do not imply approval of our products and do not reflect any indication of their performance. For more information about a particular rating or rating agency, please visit the website of the relevant agency.

Plan like a parent. is a trademark of Fabric Technologies, Inc.