How to deal with depression or burnout in your career? Do you feel like sometimes that you are overwhelmed by very simple tasks?
Or no matter how much you sleep, how much you rest, you still feel exhausted by the end of the day? Or maybe you are just emotionally shut down and you don’t know how to deal with all these things and all the tasks that are in front of you.
Recently, a dear friend of mine experienced burnout. I mean, very devastating, very serious burnout that she could not actually physically move and do very simple things. And it took her weeks and weeks just to get a little bit better, to turn the corner.
I wonder how many people experience this issue. And also what are some of the things that I do in my career, in my life, to deal with overwhelming and overcome some of these issues. So I’m not telling you what you should do, I’m simply sharing with you what I do. So first, let’s define depression exactly.
What is the definition of depression?
I believe the definition of depression is a state of mental and physical exhaustion while leaving you feeling at rock bottom, feeling alone, or unable to cope. That’s depression.
Why do we experience depression?
Because if you don’t know why we experience it, it’s very difficult to solve this particular problem. Now what I notice is in my own business career, in the beginning, it is very easy for me to experience overwhelm, experience depression, that by the end of the day, I just felt drained. I felt like the life sucked out of me. And it would be very, very difficult and even though I was very driven. I could push through, but I felt tired all the time and wasn’t sure why, why do I feel that way?
What I noticed is now I have grown up and now. I’m a little bit more mature, wiser, and I’ve gone through a lot of things. Me today could take on so much more in terms of responsibilities, in terms of productivity. I could do so much more. Let’s say if that’s today, that’s me back then.
Why am I able to handle so much more without feeling burnout compared to who I was before?
Kinda like what is the secret? How to deal with depression?
What I noticed is is this. When I have a conversation with someone who’s burned out, I will ask them, well, why do you feel this way? They might say something like- well, I don’t know. It’s just there’s so much to do. I just feel like. I don’t know how to get started and I don’t know. I’m tired, I don’t get it.
And I notice as I go deeper, I asked them- so, why do you feel that way? Well, ’cause I’m afraid if it doesn’t work what would happen? I don’t wanna disappoint my family, I don’t wanna disappoint myself. I don’t wanna disappoint the people around me. I don’t wanna feel that way.
And I notice usually, it’s very much fear-based. They are afraid of losing something. When you boil it down, that’s usually what it is. It’s some form of fear and that triggers the burnout. Does that make sense? So think a little bit deeper. And what I realize is if when I start the day, my day, which one of my morning routines is I always start off with an attitude of gratitude.
Every morning, I spend 10 minutes focusing on what I am grateful for. The little things in life. The ability to breathe. The ability to see, the ability to hear. The ability to communicate, express my feelings. The ability to walk. Have family and friends who care about me in life. The little things.
You see human beings are very interesting. You cannot experience gratitude and fear at the same time. At any given moment, you’re grateful or you’re fearful. When you’re grateful, you cannot be fearful. When you’re fearful, you cannot be grateful.
Well, how does that apply to depression?
If you start the day with gratitude and you’re grateful, your fear disappears. When your fear disappears, there’s nothing to be afraid of, there’s nothing to lose. Because you know that while you’re striving for more, to be more. So you can do more and give more, you’ve got everything you want and everything you need right now in your life.
What could you be grateful for?
You’re better off than most people out there. There are people out there who don’t have food, don’t have security, don’t have a roof over the head.
You start with that, then the fear disappears, depression disappears. What I realize is also when people focus on themselves too much, it’s me, me, me, me, me, they get burnout easily.
Let’s say you’re working at a corporation and you wanna get that promotion. You wanna get promoted, you want that pay raise. You’re competitive. It’s a dog-eat-dog world, and you work, and you work, and you work.
It’s very easy to get burnout because you are driven by your own ego most of the time. Ego is a very powerful fuel but it is very, very dangerous. Just like you have gasoline. You light it, it disappears. You see a fire, but it disappears, it doesn’t last. Instead, you have a strong WHY you focus on other people. I find – that is the way more powerful fuel that has more power, more longevity. So people get depressed because they are disconnected with a true WHY, what drives them, beyond just ego.
And one more tip I want to share with you is – I also notice when people get depressed and they don’t know how to deal with the overwhelm – is they are a perfectionist.
They try to make everything perfect. Everything has to be lined up, that they cannot even afford one tiny bit of error. And they’re so uptight and here’s what happens when you focus on not making mistakes, you make mistakes. And that’s how you get depressed.
You should be grateful
So today I can handle so much more because I start the day with gratitude, what am I grateful for? Being content with what I have while striving for more. Not because I need more to complete me. Not because I need more for validation. To seek approval from others, but for my own personal growth. It’s a self-discovery process.
Focus on your WHY
Second, focus on your WHY, a bigger why beyond than yourself. You’ll experience less burnout. And forget trying to be perfect. Progress over perfection. Even a little bit of progress, fail forward, make those mistakes, it’s no big deal. In the big scheme of things, nobody gives a damn. People only care about the outcome. In between, nobody cares.
Just like writing this article. It’s not perfect, that’s okay. As long as my audience, is getting value, do you care? Oh, I write this word wrong, that’s not grammatically correct, or I miss a thing here, who cares? Nobody cares, but when you focus on those little things, it prevents you from delivering value. It prevents you from doing your best and that’s how you get all uptight and that’s how you get burnout.
Nowadays, rarely I experience depression and I do a lot more than most people. I have a lot more on my shoulders than most people and I’m responsible for a lot more things than most people. Yet I don’t experience it, not because I’m this superhuman, it’s because I focus on those things.
Also, read: How to use 100% of your brain scientifically?
If you find this helpful, test it out. Test out these techniques and comment below and let me know how they work for you and how you feel afterward and see if that makes a difference in your life.
Share this post with a friend or family member who may be experiencing a little bit depression and maybe this article (how to deal with depression) will help them and just brighten their day just a little bit.
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