How To Overcome The Psychological Exhaustion Caused By Work?


If you are reading this article, you may identify with the title or know someone who it represents. You may feel overwhelmed, exhausted and empty; have difficulty relaxing, concentrating and/or sleeping; and your mood is generally low, feeling sad, frustrated, anxious, irritated and/or apathetic.

Overcoming the mental exhaustion of work

Psychological exhaustion caused by work is quite common, since there is a widespread belief that we have to endure everything at work, and that we cannot do anything to change it. Not only are its consequences perceived in the workplace, but it affects other important areas of life, such as social or personal areas.

However, you cannot leave your mental health aside, since wear and tear sustained over time can have serious consequences and develop psychological disorders. So that it does not become chronic or worsen, it is important to detect it and intervene, so below I leave you 5 tips to overcome the psychological exhaustion caused by work.

1. Lean on your colleagues and your close environment

Sometimes we find it difficult to vent to other people about work exhaustion, for fear of being judged or giving the impression that we are weak for not being able to endure something everyday that everyone experiences. At those times we do not take into account that each person’s job position has its own characteristics and obligations, in the same way that each person has their own idiosyncrasies.

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And one of the best things you can do is stop swallowing alone and let go of that mental load, expressing yourself with people close to you. Try talking to your colleagues, it is very likely that they are suffering in silence like you for the same reasons, so they will know how to understand and empathize with you.

Also talk about it with people you trust and outside the work, they don’t need to have exactly the same experience as you to be able to support you, and they may even feel the same way about their own work. If you feel like you can’t vent to anyone or that they won’t understand you, you can always go to a mental health specialist. Any psychologist will listen to you and know how to help you in the appropriate way.


2. Set limits at work

Unfortunately, letting off steam is not enough to overcome psychological exhaustion. It would be like constantly emptying a bucket that collects water under a leak, but never fixing it. No, it is also necessary to end or reduce the source of discomfort: work.

In any relationship, limits are strictly necessary to ensure respect for our space and rights, and thus be able to take care of our mental health. The employment relationship is not going to be any less: you have to set limits for your superiors. When there is an absence of limits, people tend to ask more and more of us and assume that they can do it because you never say no.

If you don’t set limits, your bosses won’t realize (or won’t want to realize) that you can’t take on more responsibilities and that they have to delegate tasks to someone else. It may be scary to be assertive with our superiors, but it is necessary to ensure our well-being and optimal performance; Whether your source of discomfort is a bad work environment, work overload, assignment of tasks for which you have no training, or lack of autonomy.

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3. Lower expectations and perfection

Your bosses may not be the only ones who have exaggerated expectations placed on you, but you yourself may be the one who demands so much of yourself or believe that you can handle everything they assign you. Setting goals or objectives that are above your capabilities or that are too far away cause frustration and hopelessness due to not being able to achieve them.

Therefore, it is important that you set realistic goals, and break down long-term objectives into small goals that serve as the steps to follow to achieve the larger goal. This will give you satisfaction and confidence in your own abilities to be able to continue moving forward.

Also keep in mind that it is better to do a job in proper conditions than to do half of it in perfect conditions. Focus on finishing the highest priority objectives, not on doing them with high quality or getting distracted by fixing minor details of other tasks, in order to improve your efficiency. Lower your level of perfectionism, and your performance and job satisfaction will increase.

4. Look for another job while you continue working there

If you are already trying to comply with the previous advice, but you cannot overcome the psychological exhaustion or they are not allowing you to achieve them, there may be little they are allowing you to do to take care of your mental health in the workplace. That’s why I recommend, as a last option, that you consider looking for a new job where they respect you and prioritize your well-being.

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Since most people need a job to survive, I suggest that you do the search without abandoning your current job and thus not lose stability. In fact, until you get the new job, don’t quit the other one. You can look for work in your same professional sector, or consider new options for which you have training or the necessary skills.


5. Don’t work outside of working hours and disconnect

The most important thing, without a doubt, is not to work outside of working hours. You cannot be forced at work to perform these functions outside of working hours, you are protected by law since it is a fundamental right of the worker. To do this, you have to physically and digitally disconnect during your rest time, that is, do not respond to messages, emails, or calls related to work, much less perform work tasks during:

During this time, it is important that your rest is sufficient and of quality. This means sleeping the recommended hours and taking time for yourself and your loved ones. You can practice your favorite hobbies, try some new ones, go outside or go on trips or short getaways. You need to do enjoyable activities to reset your mind, so whatever you do, choose something that allows you to clear your mind and enjoy yourself.