How to Stay Motivated When You’re Feeling Burnt Out: An Essential Guide

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Burnout — that state of chronic physical and emotional exhaustion — is an all-too-common phenomenon, particularly in our fast-paced, hyperconnected world. It can be especially difficult to stay motivated when burnout looms large, impacting both your personal and professional life. However, you don’t have to be stuck in this state. Here are some strategies for maintaining or rekindling your motivation even when you’re feeling burnt out.

1. Acknowledge Your Feelings

The first step in dealing with burnout is to acknowledge your feelings. Ignoring or denying your state of exhaustion will only prolong your burnout and potentially worsen its effects. Take a moment to identify and acknowledge your feelings of burnout without judgment. This self-awareness can serve as the catalyst for change and recovery.

2. Take a Break

Burnout is often a sign that you’ve been pushing yourself too hard for too long. One of the most effective responses is simply to give yourself a break. This might mean taking a few days off work, carving out an hour each day to do something you love, or even spending an entire weekend in relaxation mode. 

Your break should be a period of rest and relaxation during which you step back from your usual responsibilities and do things that replenish your energy and spirit.

3. Set Realistic Goals

Burnout can often be a result of feeling overwhelmed by the tasks at hand. Take a look at your goals and to-do list and assess their feasibility. Are you setting unrealistic expectations for yourself? If so, it’s time to reevaluate and set more manageable goals.

Remember, it’s okay to say no and to delegate tasks when possible. Keeping your goals realistic can reduce feelings of overwhelm and help maintain your motivation.

4. Practice Self-Care

When you’re feeling burnt out, self-care is essential. This involves taking care of your physical, emotional, and mental health. Regular exercise, a balanced diet, and sufficient sleep are crucial for your physical well-being. 

For emotional and mental health, engage in activities that you enjoy and that help you relax and disconnect. This could be reading, listening to music, meditating, or spending time in nature. Whatever self-care looks like for you, make sure it becomes a non-negotiable part of your routine.

5. Seek Support

Don’t hesitate to reach out to others when you’re feeling burnt out. This could be a trusted friend, family member, or a mental health professional. Expressing your feelings and thoughts can provide a sense of relief and perspective.

If you’re experiencing burnout related to your work, it might also be helpful to discuss it with your supervisor or HR department. They may be able to suggest solutions like adjusting your workload, setting more realistic goals, or providing additional support.

6. Find Your Purpose

Reconnecting with your purpose or the “why” behind your work can also help in overcoming burnout. This involves focusing on what initially inspired you or what you love about your work or tasks. Rediscovering your purpose can reignite your passion and motivate you to push past the current state of burnout.


Burnout can be challenging to navigate, but with the right strategies, it’s possible to overcome it and reclaim your motivation. Remember, the key is to prioritize your well-being and take steps to ensure balance in your life. It’s okay to ask for help and take time for yourself. By acknowledging your feelings, taking a break, setting realistic goals, practicing self-care, seeking support, and reconnecting with your purpose, you can move past burnout and regain your motivation. After all, your well-being is the foundation for your motivation and success.


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