Only a month into the year – why do I already feel so burnt out?

Photo by Nataliya Vaitkevich on

No tears. Only exhaustion. And near burnout – already.

It’s what I’ve felt from about week 2 of this year and we’re only a month in to 2023.

We’re in an almost permanently digital world, where technology connects us every second of the day. It’s difficult to get away from, where we’re always on call.

I don’t know about you, but I have felt utter fatigue these recent weeks, despite getting enough sleep and exercise (mainly from walking, I’ll admit), yet I’m determined to learn from and fix this state before it gets any worse.

I’ve said before, sometimes ‘it all’ gets a ‘bit too much’, as it’s tricky to switch off when your work is online, which then results in me taking longer to get to sleep. Thus creating the cycle of lack of sleep, more stress, more sleep loss or disturbed sleep.

Even writing this, I feel so drained and just pray someone is interested enough to read this, which I don’t often worry about. That they somehow relate and I’m not alone.

When reading this post about burnout, I couldn’t quite believe my eyes. It felt as though someone had gone into my brain, fished out all the thoughts and shared them regarding burnout. It’s so relatable and relevant.

So why do I still feel so exhausted?

A big part of me feels bad about taking time off, something I’m sure many people do. I know a workout will give me energy, but again I’m always so tired to do one – catch 22! Pair that with gut issues, sleep is my priority. Always looking for balance.

How to tackle burnout

Note I didn’t say stop. It’s a tricky one. But it can be managed.

In fact, my boyfriend took a day off from work this week. His body just told him ‘no’. He took a mental health day. He’s fortunate that his work was so supportive when he came back the next day a new, refreshed man. It’s something that after dwelling over it for a day, I saw why he did it: by taking that time to rest, he prevented himself from burning out further and actually, his workplace suffering from his possible extended absence. Somehow, I thought it was quite a responsible thing to do.

His job is the complete opposite to mine: people facing where he’s on his feet all day. And then he has no trouble sleeping – jealous! Meanwhile, I’m sat behind a screen pretty much all day, on my own, just a couple of steps from my bed – zero if I climb across and dump myself in the chair. There’s the occasional online meeting, but it’s still not the same as in person.

Yet we both feel so exhausted.

Despite dealing with what feels like chronic burnout and fatigue, most of these recent feelings have spurred from me facing a lot of new obstacles at work. But it’s also a good thing; pushing your boundaries. If you’re doing well at work, you’re given more responsibilities: seen as trustworthy. I’ve read a healthy mix of books this month, including Farrah Storr’s ‘The Discomfort Zone’ which addresses facing obstacles and how overcoming them will ultimately make you better at what you do and become more confident.

That’s what I’m hoping I’ll do more of this year, and that tackling them is what is using up my energy.

I’m trying to structure my day a bit more, but when working from home on my own, it really is difficult to motivate oneself. Particularly if battling impostor syndrome. Again, I’ve tried waking up at the same time each morning, but fail. I’m too tired. Full of dread. Unmotivated. Yet I know my job isn’t awful. I’m one of the lucky ones.

Can you relate? Or is burnout just life now?

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