8 Ways to Avoid Burnout

Stuck in a rut at work? These eight strategies will help you get your positive attitude back on track.

Photo by Susie Cushner

A version of this article originally appeared on Learnvest.com.

Burnout isn’t just a sign you need a vacation, it’s a psychological response to consistent stressors, both on the job and at home. So while you likely won’t be able to get your boss to turn your 7-to-7 into a 9-to-5 or get your parents to stop asking when they can expect grandkid number one with out some dramatic changes, you can take steps to prevent burnout.

1. Readjust Your Own Expectations

If you were expecting that your B.A. in English was going to turn into a staff writer position at The New York Times the day after graduation, then it's time to readjust. Everyone has to start somewhere, and that somewhere is generally at the bottom of the pack.

Keep your head held high, and know that proving your competency at even the most menial tasks while maintaining a positive and professional attitude will help keep your career moving in the direction you want.

2. Learn How to ‘Manage Up’

A dysfunctional office dynamic is one of the leading causes of burnout, and issues with a superior are the most stressful. Learning how to “manage up” will help you deal with a boss who is mean, hypercritical, or insecure as well as help you figure out the most effective way to reach her expectations.

3. Realize It’s Okay to Say No

Employees who try to be everything to everyone and who are always working to their most-efficient max are extremely at-risk for burnout.  Additionally, the worst thing you can do for your career is to overpromise and then under-deliver, says expert and Great on the Job author Jodi Glickman. However, there’s a right and a wrong way to say no.

4. Quit Comparing Yourself

We all have that one Facebook friend who seems to have three months of vacation time, the money to spend those months traipsing across Europe, and the model fiancé she’s traipsing with. Forget her. While healthy comparisons can help you determine exactly what your goals are, “comparisonitis” will ruin your finances and your happiness as you endlessly try to keep up with or one-up your friends or family members.