A toxic workplace, an overwhelming workload, or bullying and harassment can easily lead to burnout. But is just quitting your job the solution?

Leaving a genuinely bad job is usually a good move, if you can afford to do it. However, if you don't address your own deep vulnerabilities, you could get burned out again at your next job–even people who are self-employed can get burned out.

Childhood trauma and other life experiences can lead you to take on survival strategies and habits that make you more vulnerable to burnout. Having low self-esteem, being a people pleaser, and putting your own needs last can all make it harder for you to realize you’re in a toxic environment and make you overwork yourself to try to meet unreasonable expectations.

The same things that make you vulnerable to burnout can also make you reluctant to leave a bad job. You might think that no one else will hire you or that you should somehow be able to put up with the unacceptable conditions you’re working in. 

So, how do you actually recover from burnout and prevent it from happening again? You’ll need to dig deep to explore what beliefs you have about yourself and your work, including your expectations of yourself, what you think you deserve, and what your responsibilities are towards other people. You should also reflect on what you can do to start prioritizing your own needs, which may or may not include finding a new job. Talking with friends and family can help you get perspective on your situation as well. 

If you need more support, working with a therapist who is knowledgeable about burnout and childhood trauma can help you uncover the root causes of your chronic stress and make important changes so you can protect your well-being and start enjoying life again. 

Rachel Ginsberg (MSW, RSW) is a psychotherapist and registered social worker who specializes in working with millennial women who are burned out at work and struggling with low self-esteem. Find out more here: https://findingchangetherapy.ca/services/pages/burnout-and-self-esteem-therapy

Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

Rachel Ginsberg

Rachel Ginsberg


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