What do an old candle and a working millennial have in common? Burnout, baby. If your partner is
tired of their job or your best friend is swamped in grad school reading, these texts to send someone burned out are sure to lift them up and make them feel supported. According to Psychology Today, "burnout" can be defined as a state of emotional, mental, and often physical exhaustion brought on by prolonged or repeated stress. While burnout is often caused by work or school, intense feelings of stress and exhaustion can also be triggered by family tension, romantic relationships, or domestic responsibilities.
Between the daily stresses of
work and home life and the chronic anxiety around the global lockdown in the last year, feeling overly exhausted is entirely understandable.
Here are a handful of sample texts to send when a loved one is feeling burned out and in need of some extra support.
1 It's OK to take a break! Your mental and emotional health come first.
Taking time to rest is
just as important as checking things off on your to-do list. If your friend is a worker bee, they may not give themselves enough breaks during the day. Remind them that it's OK to turn their phone off for 15 minutes (heck, even an hour) and hit pause on their workload. 2 Is there anything I can do to support you?
Although you may be tempted to give your friend solutions, try asking them what they need. Perhaps they'd like to go on a walk later, or maybe they need some words of encouragement. Let them know that you're there to support them, no matter what.
3 You have a lot on your plate right now and have been working so hard.
Validation is the name of the game. Sometimes, just affirming your friend's feelings and letting them know you see them and how thin they're stretched can be healing in and of itself.
4 What have you done for yourself today? StefaNikolic/E+/Getty Images
When someone's in the middle of a major burnout funk, they may need a gentle reminder to take some time for themselves. Did they eat lunch? Did they go outside? Take a hot shower and listen to their favorite song? Remind your friend that it's OK to take care of themselves before anyone or anything else.
5 Here if you want to talk through anything or just need to vent!
Maybe your friend is ready for a career change or thinking of applying to grad school. Or perhaps they just want to complain about their cleaning-averse roommate for a while. Let your friend know you're there to help problem-solve or listen.
6 I know it feels like this stressful time will never end, but I promise it will. In the meantime, I'm here for you!
Give your friend some encouragement, and let them know you are there for them in the long haul.
7 Did you remember to drink water and eat something yummy today?
When your mental health is off, it's natural for your physical health to be a little off, too. Remind your friend how much you care about them and how important it is to take care of their body.
8 Want to go on a walk and call me? It might be nice to get some outside-time.
After looking at a computer for hours on end, a little outside time can be a literal and emotional breath of fresh air. Offer to speak to your friend in real-time, and suggest they get some sunlight.
9 You are more than your job.
It can be easy to feel defined by what you do for work or how you're doing in school. Let your friend know they are more than just a job or transcript and that work or school doesn't define them.
10 You’re not letting anyone down by taking a break.
If your friend feels the weight of the world on them, they may feel shameful about having burnout. Let them know that no one is expecting them to be miserable over work or school and that they aren’t letting anyone down by taking care of themselves.
11 Do you want to talk about it?
If your friend has a million projects coming up, they may appreciate space to talk through an idea or just to complain about their annoying desk-mate Sarah and her cashew habit. On the flip side, they may need a break from work talk, and not want to be hit with any questions. Put the ball in their court and let them decide how much they share.
12 I’m sorry, I know this must be a lot to carry.
A little validation goes a long way. Rather than jumping for advice or trying to fix your friend’s problems, just let them know you’re sorry and further, that their burnout is real and valid.
13 Taking some time for yourself doesn’t make you a quitter or a failure. jeffbergen/E+/Getty Images
Burnout can trigger a major fear of failure. Remind your friend that taking care of themselves doesn't make them a quitter.
14 Just checking in to say I love you and am so inspired by you always.
Sending some love and positivity lets your friend know that you’re thinking about them and want them to be well. If burnout is making your friend question their creativity or drive, let them know how proud you are of them for everything they do.
15 Is there anything I can do to support you? I don’t want to assume what you might need.
You might process stress with bad movie marathons and tons of gummy candies. Your friend might process stress by being left alone and taking a bath. Ask what they need before jumping in with an over-the-top girls night in proposal.
16 Daily reminder that you are more than your productivity.
Burnout can make you forget how special and important you are to those around you. Remind your loved one that you care about them outside of progress reports and meetings.
17 “Rise and grind” culture is not sustainable, and you don’t have to feel bad for taking a well-deserved break.
Sometimes burnout comes with guilt about resting. Let your friend know that it’s not just OK to take a break, it’s actually
healthy to. No one can hustle around the clock. 18 Do you want my advice or do you just want me to listen?
If your friend is ready to take time off school or to switch jobs, they may want your help looking at their resume or scrolling for job postings. Yet, if they’re just in their feelings, they may just want some validation. Ask if they need to vent or want help with something.
19 Up for doing something random and fun? Might be nice to get outside for a bit.
A spontaneous trip to an amusement park or heck, even a dive bar, may help your friend relax. Yet, if they’re not so big on surprises, showing up at their house could cause more stress than fun. Ask if they’re down to clown, then plan an adventurous day trip far away from Microsoft Outlook.
20 You in the mood for company? We don’t have to talk about work, we can just hang together.
Coworking together and sharing a yummy lunch may help your friend get out of a work rut. Still, if they don’t want to think about work, or talk about their burnout, they may appreciate just having a friend around.
21 You don’t have to have all the answers today.
Your Type-A friend may not be used to dealing with uncertainty. Remind them that it’s OK to take things day by day, and that burnout can linger for a while. Contrary to what their overbearing manager might be saying, they don’t have to fix it all by EOD.
22 Your health and wellbeing come before any deadline or project.
Sometimes work can feel like the most important thing on the planet. Remind your friend that they are more important than their 9-5, and that taking care of themselves comes first.
23 I see how hard you work and how under-appreciated you are in your workplace.
Sometimes you just need to be noticed. If your friend is known for having it all together, they may struggle to articulate that they’re dealing with burnout. Let them know you see them and you care about them.
24 I wish I had the perfect thing to say, but I love you and want you to be happy and healthy.
You don’t have to have all the answers, you just have to be there. Let your friend know you love them and want to support them, it will go a long way.
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This article was originally published on
Oct. 20, 2020