Sometimes Quitting Is the Best Thing for Mental Health

Life’s too short for a job that sucks the joy out of you.

Anna Burgess Yang
5 min readFeb 14, 2022


silhouette of a woman leaping for joy with mountains in the background, pop art
Image created via Midjourney

My pandemic story is not unique. Working from home, juggling remote learning with three kids during the day. It was isolating, frustrating, and exhausting. But I plowed through, like all the parents out there (and really, what choice did I have?).

My anxiety level was at an all-time high. But by late December of 2020, I realized that the source of my stress was not only pandemic-related. My job was causing unhealthy levels of stress.

So in January of 2021, I quit my job.

And then eight months later, I quit my job again.

Many things have been outside of my control during this pandemic. But I realized that one thing I could control was my career. I could say goodbye to feeling undervalued and spinning my wheels in a toxic environment.

Even though looking for a new job is time-consuming and starting a new job brings its own challenges, it is 100% worth the effort to find work that satisfies you with a company that appreciates you. Or, strike out on your own — I did a little of both.

I used to end many of my workdays ranting to my husband or spiraling with negative thoughts. I couldn’t turn my brain off and it impacted my life outside of work. I was left with little energy to do the things that I enjoy.

In a way, it was an unexpected gift of the pandemic. I realized that with so many other things on my mind, my job was taking up an unwanted amount of space. I’d reached a limit.

What I’d previously tolerated was no longer tolerable.

The Great Resignation has turned the tables

And so I became one of many, many people who voluntarily quit their job to find something better. The first time I quit, I didn’t have anything formally lined up yet (though I was in the final interviewing stage with a few companies). The second time I quit, I took a thoughtful, slow approach to make sure I would end up in a job where I could be happy for a long time.

My first quit in February of 2021 was slightly ahead of the coined phrase “The Great Resignation,”…



Anna Burgess Yang

Productivity geek + solopreneur with niche expertise. #5amwritersclub frequent flyer. •