Burnout can suck all of the energy out of life. However, looking for temporary relief can cost you your job. Below, you’ll find a list of eight harmful behaviors that are typical of burned-out people and suggestions on what to do instead. 

Short-term solutions can be hard to resist when exhausted, so it’s worth checking in with yourself periodically to ensure that you stay clear of them.


1. Don’t avoid your manager. 

Burned-out individuals tend to procrastinate for hours or even days when responding to emails and phone calls, as they are scared of confrontation. 

Although it feels good in the moment, it’s detrimental to your future in the company. Teammates and bosses can certainly “forgive” a delay, but only if it was previously announced and a proper plan was implemented. 

Mistakes will ultimately come to light, so you’ll be better off proposing a solution before things escalate. This will save you from a challenging discussion about poor-quality work and terrible teamwork later on. 

Warning: If you can’t hold a conversation due to severe anxiety or panic attacks, consider seeing a doctor immediately, as you may require medical attention.


2. Don’t blame your boss for everything.


Although there are no ideal supervisors, they are rarely responsible for every work crisis. 

Even if they cause issues for you, you probably contribute to the problem as well. 

Perhaps this stems from disregarding them, failing to establish clear boundaries, or letting your personal preferences influence the quality of work. It can be challenging to own up to our mistakes, but realizing them will give you ideas for constructive resolution. 

Warning: If you’re being harassed at work, don’t try to look for your errors. Instead, seek professional help.


3. Don’t isolate yourself from friends and family.


Typically, burned-out people can’t stand unwanted advice, constant inquiries about their well-being, and cheerful conversations that feel meaningless. After a full day at the office, they’re done putting on a brave face, so being alone appears to be the only way to have peace.

Although some “me time” may be necessary, prolonged solitude can be destructive when problems become unbearable, as you lose perspective on their place in your life. 

Therefore, try to keep company. 

Don’t leave your loved ones in the dark; in fact, they may respect your wishes for quiet time when they know why you need it. If holding a conversation feels too taxing, try to watch a movie or play a game together.


4. Don’t send emails that you may regret later.


Exhausted people have barely any patience and tolerance for others. They become short-tempered and easily provoked to make passive-aggressive remarks. If put in writing, such comments may end a career.

Anxiety and difficulty concentrating probably make you read your emails multiple times before sending them. However, I encourage you to review not the spelling, but the voice of the message. 

It’s best to be polite and avoid dry humor or questionable jokes to stay safe. 


5. Don’t sacrifice sleep for artificial relaxation.


Many avoid the bedroom because they associate it with nightmares or insomnia. Unwilling to be alone with their thoughts, they end up watching movies or working late until they fall asleep on the couch.

Although going to bed may seem like torture, avoiding it doesn’t work, as the lack of rest will significantly decrease your well-being and ability to perform well at work. 

If falling asleep is difficult, lying down with your eyes closed is better than staying up. When the silence becomes unbearable, try to listen to an audiobook or cuddle up and chat with your life partner. Giving your body and mind some downtime offscreen will help restore your strength.


6. Don’t allow yourself to have “just one more drink.”


It may sound like a good idea to have a tasty cocktail, but giving in to temptation is dangerous. Stressed people become drunk much more quickly, so it’s easy to have one too many, embarrass yourself in front of colleagues, or have an accident on the way home. 

While drinking alone, a glass of wine can turn into a whole bottle, which may leave you underperforming the following day or even caught in the office under the influence.

Instead of self-medicating with alcohol, seek advice from a doctor, who may propose an appropriate prescription.

7. Don’t take your gloomy thoughts as truth.


When experiencing burnout, you’re flooded by intense emotions ranging from anger at yourself to desperation. Additionally, mood swings and helplessness lead to poor-quality results and ineffective communication that can become grounds for being fired. 

Recognize that your pessimistic thoughts and feelings are a product of burnout. As a result, they’re not objective. Instead of concentrating on them, look for realistic solutions to help fix the issue that causes them.


8. Don’t start a new job immediately.


Even if horrible working conditions are the only reason for your exhaustion, running away will not cure your burnout. Perhaps you became paranoid, short-tempered, or resentful toward authority figures. 

If left unresolved, you’ll bring those feelings and resentments to the new workplace, making it significantly harder to start the new job successfully. Accordingly, take at least two weeks off before joining the new office. Use the time to determine what caused your burnout and leave the chapter behind.


Applying these suggestions will help you stay employed and give you ample time to plan for your recovery.