What Is “Quiet Quitting,” and Can It Help Overcome Burnout?

Author and Medical Reviewer
Dr. Jose Toledo

Close up of sandglass with business woman tired from working with laptop computer background. Relax Sleeping and taking nap concept. Business people and overtime workload theme. Office and home theme

Quiet quitting is the most recent phenomenon trending on social media. However, many workers have already been quiet quitting their jobs in the past few years. 

What is quiet quitting?

The term “quiet quitting” rose to popularity among Gen Z and millennial workers when it became a trend on TikTok

In short, quiet quitting is only doing what you are paid for and not more. Workers who quiet quit say no to extra work, log in and off on time, don’t check emails outside work hours and are generally less invested in their job. 

Why is quiet quitting trending on social media?

The Great Resignation has already seen workers quit their jobs in 2021. But with a recession on the horizon, not everyone has the luxury of quitting. So now, employees around the world are talking about quiet quitting.

There are several reasons why quiet quitting is becoming more mainstream. For one, the Covid-19 pandemic has increased employers’ demands from their existing workforce without providing extra compensation. 

At the same time, burnout became more prevalent among workers, and people started talking more about work/life balance. The hustle culture driving workers for years is getting criticized, and people realize there is more to life than their job.

Can quiet quitting help overcome burnout?

Ways to effectively manage regret

A healthy work/life balance and focusing more on life outside work can certainly help people overcome burnout. However, quiet quitting and disengaging from work entirely is not the answer to a satisfying life.

Therefore, workers who feel burnt out and are planning to quiet quit their job should consider the following steps as alternatives.

How to prevent burnout at work

Burnout often results from working under pressure and experiencing emotional, physical, and mental stress over a long period. To prevent burnout at work, you must know your limits, ask for help or take a break when you need. 

Set healthy boundaries

Perhaps the most important topic quiet quitting shone a light on is boundaries at work. Setting healthy boundaries helps people in all aspects of life, and their workplace is no exception.

Whether it’s a disrespectful or inappropriate colleague, a boss who won’t stop assigning extra work, or a client who insists on calling your personal phone number, communicating your boundaries is necessary to protect yourself from burning out.

TikTok and Instagram creator Laura Whaley teaches the correct professional etiquette for setting healthy workplace boundaries.

Prioritize your mental health

You may not instantly recognize the signs of stress, anxiety, depression, or burnout. It takes years of work for some people to understand why they may be more anxious, negative, or depressed than others.

If you find yourself more agitated, are numbing to cope, have disturbed sleep, or experience unexplainable physical symptoms that your doctors can’t quite place, you may need a mental health check. 

However, ideally, no one should get to the point where they have to deal with such symptoms daily. That’s why prioritizing your mental health and checking in with yourself every day is necessary to prevent burnout or other mental health problems.

Make time to de-stress

How exercise can improve your mental health - Tikvah Lake Recovery

Most people struggle to find time to unwind and truly meet their needs. However, one study showed that even 10 minutes of meditation every day decreases anxiety and boosts your mood and focus.

Habits such as exercising, meditating, painting, or writing can relieve stress and help you connect with the present moment. So, developing daily habits that help you de-stress can help tremendously, even if you do them for 10 minutes before you go to work or sleep.

People who start with small commitments to improve their mental health have a better chance of sticking to a mental health routine.

Delegate your workload

You must set realistic limits even if you can push yourself and take on more work. Although overreaching your capacity may not affect you in the short term, it may cause burnout over a long period.

When you think you are continuously overreaching your limit, communicate it to your employer and delegate your workload. This way, you can set healthy boundaries and take breaks when you need them, making you more productive and focused when you return to work.

Ask your employer to invest more in mental health

Companies are increasingly more aware of their employees’ demands for better mental health support.

Gen Z employees are especially pressing for more investment in mental health. A nationwide survey recently showed that among 1,000 college seniors, 92% believed employers should offer mental health benefits.

As a result, mental health support is far more prevalent in pandemic-era job descriptions.

How You Can Recover From Burnout at Tikvah Lake Recovery

young man in therapy conseling

At Tikvah Lake, we’ve built the perfect recovery oasis nestled by a stunning 200-acre lake and a State Park with miles of hiking trails within nature.

Our experts take a holistic approach to your recovery and help you build the skills you need to protect yourself from burnout even after you leave our center.

If you need help recovering from burnout, we’re here to help. Contact us today to learn more about our programs and how each of our experts can contribute to your recovery.

David Hurst - Tikvah Lake Recovery

About David Hurst

David Hurst has four books published on mental health recovery, including 12 Steps To 1 Hero, The Anxiety Conversation and Words To Change Your Life. He has written for national newspapers and magazines around the world for 30 years including The Guardian, Psychologies, GQ, Esquire, Marie Claire and The Times. He has been in successful continual recovery since January 2002.

Reader Interactions

Leave a comment