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Missing Summer Fridays Already? Here’s How to Get Back to the Grind Without Burning Out

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Community Psychiatry’s Leela Magavi, M.D. was featured in HelloGiggles discussing how to adjust to normal working hours after summer. 

Missing Summer Fridays Already? Here’s How to Get Back to the Grind Without Burning Out

Experts offer advice for creating a healthy work-life balance this fall.

As normal hours resume, it can be easy to slide back into your old workaholic ways so fast that you feel burnt out before spooky season even arrives. We talked to mental health experts to find out how to avoid this instant work fatigue; here are their tips for returning to a full workweek without overworking ourselves.

1. Set boundaries.

Just because your Friday calendar setting no longer reads “OOO,” you still shouldn’t be available to others 24/7. “Diminished boundaries in all areas of life, especially work, can lead to feelings of demoralization, burnout, and apathy,” psychiatrist Dr. Leela R. Magavi tells HelloGiggles. “Burnout and work stress can adversely affect individuals’ sleep, energy, and concentration levels; self-esteem; and ability to partake in meaningful activities independently and with loved ones.”

To avoid falling into this trap as normal work hours resume, set boundaries for your day-to-day work schedule. These boundaries can be anything that makes you feel comfortable and productive: not working in the bedroom, having a cut-off time for answering emails (Dr. Magavi recommends setting an alarm), or even having an uncomfortable but necessary conversation with your coworker about respecting your work hours.

Enforce these boundaries with yourself by using your time off the clock wisely, whether it’s by exercising, reading, relaxing, or cooking—anything that takes your mind off of work to be present in those moments. If you’re having trouble turning off your work brain, Dr. Magavi suggests turning to others to hold you accountable. “Schedule a phone date or an activity with a loved one to create more accountability and avoid working endlessly into the depths of the night,” she says.

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Stress