You may be losing your passion for what you do, especially if you have been trapped in isolation. Luckily, there are several ways to fight burnout before it takes you out of the game.
From the moment you hit “snooze” on your alarm for the umpteenth time to the moment you finally fall asleep after hours of anxious thoughts, you feel like you’re in a fog. You go through the motions of your routine, but you no longer feel the thrill of adrenaline during a good trade or the satisfaction of tracking your trades in your journal. You dread planning for the next day, and in fact, you may even question if you want to keep going at all.
Sound familiar? You may be suffering from burnout. Everyone has that feeling of exhaustion at some point, but especially since many people are confined to their homes recently, you may be feeling trapped professionally, as well.
Sometimes, feeling discouraged in your profession is temporary. Other times, it’s a sign that it’s time for a significant change. Whatever the reason, here are six ways to overcome burnout.
CHANGE YOUR SPACE
If you’re working from home, rearranging your furniture can refresh your mood. As you redecorate, consider where your furniture may feel the most invigorating for you. For example, would you feel more productive with natural light by placing your desk near a window? Or would you feel more powerful with your back to the farthest wall, facing the doorway and commanding the room? Plus, an added benefit of moving your furniture is the chance to clean unnecessary clutter you didn’t notice before.
A sluggish mind or a cranky mood may not necessarily be tied to how well your work is going. If you’re not incorporating enough nutrients in your diet, you may feel less alert during the day. Although this is all advice we’ve heard before, investing in regular exercise, healthy foods, and restful sleep really can make a difference in the energy and focus we need throughout the day. And don’t forget to drink plenty of water, as well; try keeping a bottle of water next to your work space to remind you to sip throughout the day.
TALK IT OUT
While self-reflection is important, sometimes opening up to someone you trust can be just as helpful. Reach out to a mentor, a friend, or a colleague, and ask for advice. Chances are, they’ve probably been in a similar funk before and have some suggestions on how to push through. If you don’t have any close connections in the industry, even a trusted friend who isn’t a trader or an investor can help you talk through your feelings and might help you find the source of your frustrations.
INVEST IN YOUR HOBBIES
Even if you’ve never had a meltdown as spectacular as Jack’s in the 1980 horror film The Shining, you’ve probably at least heard of the proverb “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” If you’re feeling run down, make sure you compartmentalize your work time and your free time. Schedule time for hobbies that bring you joy, such as music, crafts, or cooking. If you don’t always commit your free time to creating something, something as simple as choosing entertainment that you treat as a hobby instead of background noise can be helpful. For example, try to find a TV series that makes you excited for new episodes rather than rewatching familiar shows while you scroll through your phone.
Reflecting on your own work habits might reveal some hints as to why you’re feeling discouraged. For example, you might feel less productive during the day, so you feel obligated to stretch your time into later work hours. If that’s the case, be honest with yourself as to why you aren’t completing your work within your scheduled work hours. Do you need to limit your distractions, or are you struggling with brain fog due to lack of sleep? There may be some habits within your own control that you can change.
TAKE A BREAK
Once in a while, putting some distance between you and your work can help you put your priorities in perspective. During your recess, you might remember what drove your passion in the first place and give you a second wind. On the other hand, you might realize this industry just isn’t right for you, and that’s okay, too. This could be the opportunity you need to find your next calling. Trading is difficult enough without the debilitating effects of burnout.