Let me start by saying that I am not a psychologist, nor do I work in the mental health industry so please take this article’s advice with a grain of salt as it is completely conjecture. I’ve just personally dealt with the feeling of industry burnout before and hopefully can provide some insight to others that are dealing with it for the first time, or maybe to a person that constantly has it but doesn’t know how to get around it.
Burnout is unfortunately an ever-prevalent issue in the software and web development industries. With tight deadlines, late-night deployments and emergency fixes, some professionals might find it difficult to deal with the mental stress that comes with working in the field.
At first the feeling is subtle. You don’t notice obviously at first. You come home and try to unwind as usual; you begin to ignore some priorities and distance yourself from others a bit more than usual. You slowly begin to shut down more. Your finding it harder to work on your personal projects, enjoy your hobbies, or maybe even spend time with your family. You will then begin to dislike your job, the tasks you perform, and may question why you even do what you do in the first place. It will then occur to you that maybe you have burnout. Here are some things you can maybe do to possibly reduce the feeling.
Scale back how hard your pushing yourself. Your probably extremely motivated and tend to keep pushing. You probably even put in late nights at the office. Try to reduce the time you're in front of a computer. Don’t keep giving more time than necessary to your employer. Maybe slowdown the personal projects a bit as well.
Spend time on hobbies that may not be related to working on a computer. Spend some time with your family, go outside, watch a TV show you enjoy. Try to focus on enjoying your time off. Slowdown your thinking and enjoy the reward of getting off work and coming home. You’ve earned it.
Take a long hard look at your employer. Is your employer respecting your time? Have they began asking you to stay late nights more frequently than usual? Are they asking you to put way more time in than necessary? If so, you may need to start re-evaluating your employer. Don’t let your job affect the quality of your homelife. Remember you may like your job, but it's just that. A job. Don’t let it define you. If you don’t see work changing for the better, maybe seeking a new opportunity could be the right call.
Speak to a mental health expert. This is often overlooked. But seriously, if you cannot shake the feelings you have and feel that you're sinking deeper and deeper into a more negative territory, seek professional help. There is no harm in it. You’ll be glad you did it. A mental health professional can help you sift through feelings or experiences you may not understand and can maybe help you find stabilization again. Don’t let industry burnout build into something worse. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
There is no problem in being motivated, pushing yourself, or spending late nights sometimes. We all do it here and there. But when you begin to notice your life at home is changing, and your spending less time being you, take a step back and try to slow down. The work you do maybe adversely affecting the life you already have. Enjoy your time off. Take a break. You may need it.