Talk to Your Boss About Burnout

Harvard Business Review

Posted  24 Views updated 5 days ago

If you’re feeling symptoms of burnout, such as anxiety, exhaustion, or hopelessness, it’s important that you take them seriously. You must accept that you need some help — and that that's okay. Admitting this may be a struggle, especially if you're a high achiever who prides yourself on pushing through adversity.

You may worry that your boss will think less of you if you acknowledge your limitations, but they’re in the best position to help and will likely respect your honesty. When you talk to them, be specific about the symptoms you’re experiencing. You might say, “I’m feeling overwhelmed by the volume of projects on my plate,” or “I’m feeling really anxious about meeting all of these deadlines." In all likelihood, your stress has probably been visible to your colleagues, so be sure to acknowledge that.

A simple statement like, “Look, I know I haven’t been myself lately, and I’m sorry if that’s had a negative impact on you or the team,” can go a long way.

Finally, make it clear that you’re asking for help and want to be part of the solution. It may be hard to approach your boss about feeling burned out, but you need to take care of your mental and physical well-being — and give others a chance to offer some help.


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