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21 Simple Things That Will Help When You're Feeling Lost Or Burnt Out

Because life gets tough sometimes.

There are times in all of our lives when we feel lost and down on ourselves.

FOX / Via

Maybe it's a job you're completely sick of, or a relationship you know isn't going to work out. Maybe it's just your daily routine that has you feeling passionless and without a purpose. Or maybe it's actually a combination of all these things.

So we asked the BuzzFeed Community to share what they do when they're feeling burnt out or stuck in a rut. Here's what they had to say:

1. Be honest with yourself and know your limits, AKA. cancel those plans.

Comedy Central / Via

"One of the most important things I've learned is to be introspective and honest with myself about who I am and what I need. If you're feeling burnt out, be honest about it. If you need to cancel plans or have a night in, do it. If you need to put the dishes off until the next day, that's okay. I'm a stay-at-home mom to a wild 3 year old, which means burn out comes on fast. Learning to say when I'm feeling burnt out, or to let go of things that don't need to happen, became really important. Then I take time for me to do things that relax and/or fulfill me."


2. Schedule just 10 to 15 minutes of "personal development time" into your calendar.

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"My goal is to never feel like a burnout is close. I've taken some practical steps at work to ensure I'm keeping a level head while I'm there. The thing that's helped me the most is scheduling 'personal development' time (I make it an appointment in my calendar), where I actually leave the building to go on a short walk to breathe in fresh air and listen to music or a podcast. It helps center me, and is especially beneficial on a particularly meeting- or stress-filled day. Take time for you!"


3. Find the exact cause(s) of your anxiety and stress so you can figure out how best to handle it.

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"I retreat into drawing, books, and quietly thinking over why I'm so frazzled. The first two put me into a more creative and relaxed mindset, and the third helps me pinpoint my anxiety and stress. Once I figure that out, I pick it apart until I understand how to handle it."


4. Keep go-to books, shows, articles, movies, etc. on hand that will realign your thoughts and inspire positive thinking.

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"I reread The Secret Garden when I'm feeling directionless. There's a message in there about perception and the power of positive thinking that really gets me to feel better every time."

—Sanj Leone, Facebook

5. Go on a road trip and allow driving to clear your head.

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"It doesn't matter if it's for one or two days, or for one or two weeks. When I'm feeling lost or really stressed, driving long distances to see friends or family is always my go to. It clears my head, and the destination is always exciting."


6. Talk to your boss/supervisor/professor about your concerns and desire to potentially switch up your routine.

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"When I get stressed out and overwhelmed, I tell my boss. I realize this won't work for everyone, but I have a job where she can switch up my projects, or I can put my work on hold so I can help someone else. Talking with my boss and telling her what's frustrating me or why I'm burned out REALLY helps. She always helps get me back on track."

—Brittany Hickey, Facebook

7. Get off social media and put your phone away.

ABC Family

"Try and take mental time, even if it's for only one evening. Go home after work/classes and get off of social media and your phone. Instead, cuddle with pets and watch your favorite show. Read a book. Drink some tea. Eat your favorite warm, healthy meal."


8. Do something you really enjoy and/or you're really good at.

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"Whenever I feel burnt out, I set time aside during the day to just relax and do some drawing. I find waiting until you have the time to do a hobby means you'll go through life full of wishes. There's always going to be something that needs to be done first. So I make sure to set aside time every day to do something I love. It makes me feel great to know that I'm still progressing in that area, and it helps me feel less rundown."


9. Make a list of everything you need to do and categorize it by importance. / Via

"When I'm burnt out, I list everything I have to do and then categorize the tasks based on importance. It always turns out that most of it really doesn't have to be done right away, and that makes me feel a little bit better."


10. Then start with the small attainable goals and check them off one by one.


"Planning and writing things down really helps me feel more relaxed. Making a list of small attainable goals helps me feel better and clears my mind. I also try to write everything down in a planner and do a sort of 'brain dump' on a sheet of paper when I'm feeling overwhelmed."


11. Make a change or explore something new.

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"Try something new — anything new. I now make it a priority to make a change when I'm feeling bogged down or stressed. Whether it's taking a new class at the gym, buying a paint set, or escaping to Tuscany for a month, I find a change that will kick me out of being in a rut. I learn a lot from about myself from the things I miss when I make the change, and the things I'm relieved to leave behind. I embrace change now and actively seek it out. Don't stay in a situation that makes you miserable."


12. Declutter your personal space, so that your environment isn't adding to your stress.

"I always start by cleaning my house, specifically the rooms where I spend most of my time. Coming home to a clean place is definitely relaxing, especially when you have a lot on your plate."


13. Take up journaling to help put your thoughts and feelings in perspective.

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"I never knew how much it helped to put things into perspective until I began journaling. Writing things down and seeing it on paper helped me get through the toughest times (a breakup, starting a new job, etc.)."


14. Learn to say "no," when you feel overwhelmed.

"When I'm overwhelmed, I start saying 'no.' 'No, I can't finish that project for you because I have plenty of my own.' 'No, I can't catch up with you right now because I need to catch up on some sleep.' 'No, I can't go out because the couch is calling my name.' And you know what? I've learned that when I say no, it's not the end of the world. Life goes on."


15. Exercise and get your endorphins flowing.

Disney / Via

"Whenever I'm feeling directionless/lost, I literally just go for a walk or do some sort of exercise. I put my headphones in and concentrate on exactly what I'm doing in that moment. The release of endorphins at the end helps me put everything into perspective, and I feel like I can take on the world."


16. Take a mental health day and actually use it to step away and recharge.

"When I start to feel burnt out, I make sure to take a mental health day from work. On that day, I don't do anything but Netflix binge, eat comfort food, color in my adult coloring book, and drink wine. I don't leave my bed unless it's to get food or use the bathroom. That helps me get recharged and ready to take on whatever comes my way."


17. Or take some vacation days and get out of town.

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"I leave town to visit friends or family and get a change of scenery. I try not to spend too much of that time thinking or talking about the rut I'm in. After that, I always come home feeling refreshed and mentally prepared to get back to it."


18. Surround yourself with people who love and support you, eat home-cooked meals, and get some rest.

HBO / Via

"I know not everyone has a ~home~ environment to go to, but the mentality is the same. Spend time with people you enjoy, eat well, get some rest, and do something to make you feel better. During school, my boyfriend and I take at least one weekend off a month to decompress and recenter."


19. Switch up tiny things in your life that remind you that you're in control.

FOX / Via

"When I'm stuck in a rut, I change the things that I can. It doesn't even have to be a lot of things or a massive change — in high school, I would just change my Tumblr url and theme. But I've also done things like rearrange furniture and switch up the route I walk home. The most drastic thing I've done was cut my almost waist-length hair into a pixie cut after having a three-year relationship fall apart. It reminds me that I actually am in control of my life, and if I really want to change things, I can."


20. Try to take a step back, breathe, and remember you're not alone in your struggle.

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"Remember, a little stress is normal and sometimes the best things in your life create stress. I used to get so stressed about the small things, that in the moment, felt like ginormous things. Taking a step back, and thinking about how big the universe is and how so many other people are struggling just like me, helps me realize that I'm not alone.

Sometimes you just need to breathe and realize that you don't have to be perfect, and you don't have to outdo everyone all the time. Just do you and love you."


21. And last but not least, remind yourself that "You're doing a great job, don't let this get you down."

FOX / Via

"When I feel burnt out, I just let myself cry for a bit, then eat some comfort foods, and tell myself, 'You're doing a great job, don't let this get you down!' and start off brand new and ready for anything."


Note: Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

Remember to always consult with your doctor about your personal health and wellness. BuzzFeed posts are for informational purposes only and are no substitute for medical diagnosis, treatment, or professional medical advice.

Follow along at from Oct. 2 to Oct. 8, 2017.

Lixia Guo / BuzzFeed News

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