How can I best get over burnout?
April 22, 2019 9:23 AM   Subscribe

Thinking of moving home, moving apartments, taking a course or going traveling for a while.

My lease is up in July and I'm considering whether I really want to sign another one in the big city where I live. I work remotely so technically I don't actually have to be located in the city where I'm currently living. As you can see in my last askme I feel like my career is currently at a standstill and I'm not feeling passionate about it at all because I am in a dead end job that is burnout hell.

I'm 31, got no kids, I finished paying my student loan this year, and once my lease is up in July, I won't have any fixed monthly costs or concrete reasons to stay in my current city besides the fact that I love the culture there and have built up a friends network. Every spring I consider leaving (for some reason the weather change makes my feet itch to travel) and this time I'm not tied to a lease, so I could easily do so. So I'm considering what is the best thing for me to do next and here are my choices:

- Stay in current city, sign another lease and stay in my job until I can find a different one. Moving to a new apartment might help me get a fresh start, because my current apartment makes me shudder just to walk into it because of the bad mental states I've felt while living there. I might be able to deal with the causes of the burnout if I just really concentrate on self care for a while, however, being far from friends and family makes it harder.

- Instead of signing a new lease, just move back in with my mom while keeping my remote job and looking for a new one. That way I can save way more and eventually buy an apartment or condo. Also, I can get a bit of a respite from the pace of city life and build up my mental health to a good place again.

- Move home to save money and go to school, like take a coding bootcamp or get more technical training so that I can feel like my career is going somewhere again.

- Leave my city, put my stuff in storage and spend the summer traveling (not sure where or with whom) and hopefully not use up all my savings. I've never done something like that before and it seems pretty risky and/or stupid

tl;dr: If anyone had a similar burnout in their early 30s , could you please help me think through these options and see which one may be best for me.
posted by winterportage to Health & Fitness (10 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
 
Are you sure that moving in with your mom and working remotely is going to help you with your mental health? It sounds like it could be a recipe for your depression and anxiety to worsen, depending on your relationship with your mother/affinity for where she lives. You can job search just as easily living in your city with your friend network as you can moving back home, this should be your main focus.
posted by cakelite at 9:41 AM on April 22, 2019 [8 favorites]


Is it possible to take two-three months off your job (leave of absence) to travel and find a new place? Then return with a renewed enthusiasm for the job hunt.
posted by praemunire at 9:49 AM on April 22, 2019


besides the fact that I love the culture there and have built up a friends network

This is huge! It really does get harder to make new friends as you move past your 20s, and living in a place where there are cool things to do that aren't related to having kids / a partner is important.

Would redecorating or seriously spring cleaning your apartment help its bad vibes?

Can you trial moving home with your mom for a month before your lease is up to see how it goes / if it really is where you want to be?

Do any of your friends want to get a place with you to save money and build community?

a coding bootcamp or get more technical training so that I can feel like my career is going somewhere again

Get way more specific about what you want to get out of additional training before you invest the time / money. Are you excited about progressing in a tech career path?
posted by momus_window at 9:50 AM on April 22, 2019 [3 favorites]


Move in with Mom.
Get money together.
Buy van, convert to camper.
Then leave while it's still warm.
posted by JohnR at 9:53 AM on April 22, 2019


Seems like a good opportunity to go travelling for a while - reset and reassess your priorities in life. Could you still do your job remotely as a digital nomad? Or would they keep your position for you for a few months? It might help you relax more on the road knowing there is some safety net.
posted by JonB at 9:54 AM on April 22, 2019


How long of a vacation can you take? What about moving in with your mom, taking a vacation (2 weeks?) and then try living with her for a month or two? If you hate it then you can move into a new place and you're still out of your old apartment that you don't like anyway.
posted by raccoon409 at 9:54 AM on April 22, 2019


I'm burned out and in my mid-30s; by necessity I recently lived with my parents for a little over a month. YMMV of course, but this did nothing good for my burnout. There's a sort of regression and entrenchment that happens with parents, even in fairly healthy dynamics, that may work against recharging (especially in the long run).

I then moved apartments and that did much more towards ameliorating my burnout. Moving gave me a fresh slate and the opportunity to weed through my things; getting rid of half my possessions was especially useful. I'm still burned out, but feeling better than I was a few months ago.

Take care.
posted by sockermom at 11:13 AM on April 22, 2019 [10 favorites]


You sound a lot like me. I'm still trying to figure this out too. I know many other millennials who have experienced this or are currently experiencing this. I think it's reasonable to want a career/job that's at least a little bit satisfying and doesn't completely burn you out. Especially if you don't have responsibilities like kids or student loans.

Congratulations on paying off your student loans! That's a huge accomplishment. That should give you more freedom in your decisions. I would definitely try to avoid signing any long term apartment leases. That would limit your options should you suddenly decide to quit your job, move to another location, or travel.

I like the suggestions above of trying to live with your Mom for a bit. This would be especially helpful if your Mom is the supportive type. Like cakelite said, this may not work if you don't like the area your Mom lives. This also may not work if it would be hard to live with your Mom after living on your own for years. Maybe try this option for two weeks and see how you feel?

What did I do with my career angst? After working in the clinical laboratory field for 12 years, with different employers and a lot of job hopping, I decided to take some time off to travel. I'm currently in Costa Rica right now. It helped that like you, I paid off my student loans and don't have responsibilities like kids or a mortgage. I also made sure to save enough money to live for a while without a job.

I thought about becoming be a programmer but I don't think that's a good fit for me either. After a ton of self study I was able to understand the basics of Python, JavaScript, and Linux but not a whole lot beyond that.

I'm considering getting an online certificate in Accounting. At least that's the plan right now :)
posted by mundo at 11:50 AM on April 22, 2019 [1 favorite]


My only real advice regarding living with your mom again, especially if it's been awhile since you moved out - even with a very healthy relationship, it's still a parent/child dynamic and it's very easy to fall into older patterns and feel like you're being treated like you're younger than you are, or having to live by rules that you don't feel really apply to you anymore, etc. Or even feel like you've let your life fall into a holding pattern. While the financial benefits are there, consider the emotional ramifications of that and how that might exacerbate those feelings of being burned out. I speak from experience.

I'm not saying that it can't work - only that it's something to consider.
posted by acidnova at 1:26 PM on April 22, 2019 [3 favorites]


I myself did the "travel Europe for a few months" thing in my early/mid 30s (a few years ago) when I was incredibly burned out and it was fantastic. I genuinely enjoy traveling alone and Europe is a great place if you're a single woman. With the Schengen agreements and Eurail pass, it's a nice way to visit a lot of countries with relative ease. I can't speak with experience towards traveling alone as a woman in other parts of the world so that's something to research if you're concerned about traveling safety. To alleviate loneliness, I used couchsurfing and airbnb (with host at home) most of the time and joined the occasional tour group in various places to have some community travel experiences. But I also LOVED just deciding to do something and then doing it without having to have any kind of discussion or compromise with a travel partner. It also put more pressure on myself to chat with locals and other travelers on the trains instead of only engaging in conversation with a travel partner. It felt wonderful to have that freedom and spontaneity which I think people really undervalue when it comes to travel. I shared my experiences with family and friends on facebook so it still felt like I had a real-time connection. It did so much to help my psychological mood at the time, but it's not a cure-all and certain issues still persist. If that's the route you choose, go into it the understanding that it ddoesn't actually "fix" anything but is a wonderful opportunity to clear your head a bit and create new experiences and memories. It was something I really needed at the time and consider life-saving.
posted by acidnova at 1:45 PM on April 22, 2019 [6 favorites]


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