Not only does burnout drain you mentally and physically, but the recovery itself takes a toll and requires a lot of effort. It’s easy to fall into a cycle of burning out and recharging, so even the idea of a full recovery is pretty overwhelming. We are here to tell you that couldn’t be farther from the truth. It’s not going to be the easiest task, especially while going through a time like this, but as long as you have the will, there is a way.
We all want to operate at peak performance, and being burnt out will put a serious damper on your ability to do so. What if you knew how to recover from burnout as fast as possible so we can get back to being your best self and prevent it from happening again? Keep reading so we can help you get on the right track and stay there!
Start Your Burnout Recovery with a Realistic Outlook
Before we get started with the healing process, there is one thing that we have to accept. This is that fully recovering from burnout might not be as simple as taking a few days off to take a breather. You may have to consider making serious changes to your life.
Although this will take a lot of effort, luckily, you don’t have to do it all at once. You can take some time to recharge before you start making big changes. Keep in mind, though, that unless you make the big changes, you cant expect to ever get a full charge. So take some time to get enough energy to start moving, and as soon as you do, get up and start healing!
Identify What’s Causing Your Burnout
Just like any other sort of problem-solving, identifying the specific root of the issue is key to finding the proper solution. This is one of the most important steps to helping you recover from burnout as fast as possible. If you don’t take the time to identify the cause of what is burning you out, then you won’t be able to start taking the needed steps to begin the healing process.
There is no one cause for burnout, but we could all guess the first big one, that would be work, of course. Work isn’t the only thing that could make you feel that way. Some other reasons you might be feeling burnt out could be:
- You aren’t in the right crowd of people
- You give more than you receive
- You don’t have the control over your life that you wish you have
Everyone handles things differently, so the possibilities of causes are endless. This will be the time for you to examine what is going on within yourself and around you.
There is a good chance that it’s not only one thing that is putting your flame out, so it can be hard to pinpoint the potential causes. You could at least try to identify the type of burnout that you are feeling. If you at least know this, you could begin to take the necessary first steps to start healing.
The three main types of burnout you will face are going to be:
- You have too much to do and not enough time
- Getting worn out by over socializing
- You become excessively bored
Once you know the type of burnout you are facing, we could start to work on getting you fired back up!
Take Some Time Off from Everything, Not Just What’s Causing Burnout
This is going to be so incredibly important for you to have a speedy recovery! If you don’t give yourself time off to catch up on your needs, you will never feel the benefits of a full recharge. You need your time, go and enjoy it!
The time you take off will allow you to figure out why you are feeling how you do, what you should start doing to fix it and to get back in line with your interests and beliefs. It will probably even help you find some new ones as well!
There is a study that was published in Psychosomatic Medicine that talks about how not taking at least one vacation per year increased your risk of contracting cardiovascular disease. So don’t just take the time for your mental state, do it for your physical health too!
Decide What Changes You Need to Make in Your Life
Talking to someone can help take a lot of stress and emotions off your shoulders, but that will only be a temporary fix if you don’t know what changes you need to make for life.
The time you take off will allow you to regain your focus and reprioritize your interests. Some things you should think about during this time are:
- Where are you in life, and where do you want to be?
- What do you want out of life?
- How are you feeling, and how do you want to feel?
If you are having a hard time figuring that stuff out alone, don’t hesitate to talk to someone, there is someone out there who would be willing to listen! If they can’t help, at least you could get some thoughts out of your head and some questions to answer. Who knows though, they may be able to help you out.
Once you know the changes you need to make to you could start working on living your best life, it’s up to you to choose whether or not you commit to making those changes. Remember, though, if you choose not to, you are also choosing to get caught in a cycle of burnout, refresh, repeat.
So now that you have all of this figured out, ask yourself this, Do you want to start living a life where you are fully charged and ready to take on challenges, or do you want to be stuck in your cycle of running on fumes and then barely refueling yourself enough to function?
Learn to Enjoy Relaxing
This one might seem self-explanatory, but it can be really difficult to learn. If you’re a person who is burning out, chances are you set high goals and expectations for yourself, this type of personality can find it hard to take themselves out of work mode and put themselves in chill mode.
Now it seems strange to think about relaxing as an activity that can cause stress, but in a way, it makes sense depending on the type of person you are. If you like to kick back and take it easy, it won’t be a problem, but If you have a go-getter attitude that likes to make things happen, the lack of stimulation can be boring or leave you feeling like you are just unproductive.
When you take your well-needed time off, don’t think of those days as lazy, unproductive days. One of the most productive things you can do is make sure to take care of yourself! That’s the way you will be able to give 100% of yourself all the time. So do yourself a huge favor and get to work and start relaxing!
Find Someone to Talk to
Whether you want to do this before or after you, figure out what changes need to be made depending on who you are. Some people like to talk and then think. Some think and then talk. However, you feel this will help relieve a lot of stress.
Who you should talk to depends on your situation, its always good to reach out to people close to you so you could get your feelings out. Unfortunately, unless those are the people causing you your stress, then they may not be able to help you get out of your funk. So make sure you find the right people to talk to not only about how you feel but how you could start to make changes.
If work is extinguishing your flame, then you are going to need to find someone within your workplace who has the authority to help you take time off and make the necessary changes. We all have our things to focus on, so we cant all know how everyone is feeling. That’s why taking the time to talk and make it known is a critical step for healing.
When you just sit on those feelings and don’t say anything, you can’t expect people to know something is wrong, so tell someone so you could start working on it together! If it’s some form of burnout by socialization or boredom, the importance of taking the time to talk to someone about how you are feeling cannot be stressed enough!
Repressing our emotions is a surefire way to add more than burnout to our plate of problems, and we don’t have the appetite for that. Whether it is family, friends, a therapist, or whoever you trust, save yourself the trouble and talk to someone!
Take Control of Your Life
If you let other people drag you around and decide what you should or shouldn’t do all the time, or you’re always being told how to do things, you’re bound for burnout! So let’s cut to the chase and start taking control of your life.
This is going to be one of the hardest and most intimidating parts of recovering. This is where taking the time off to charge fully is important. Not only does it give you time to figure out what you want but also so your not a ticking time bomb waiting to explode. It takes a strong, gritty person to apply this step, but when you do, it will give you a feeling of freedom.
Not having control of your life is one thing that causes burnout, so how can you not expect to get burnt out when you keep some of the elements in your life? Get rid of as many of those elements as you can to prevent yourself from falling right back into a pattern.
Set Strict Boundaries
Setting appropriate boundaries and taking control go hand in hand with each other! If you don’t set boundaries, you can’t expect to take control of your life. Whether that means you work a strict 40 hours per week, or you speak up and say that you are ready to go when you feel like it.
This step can seriously not be stressed enough! You cant get out of a cycle that you allow yourself to stay stuck in. Think of it kind of like a black hole. You have to stay completely outside of the hole because once you cross the event horizon, you just start to get sucked right in from there.
Take Precautionary Measures to Prevent Future Burnout
Aren’t these boundaries? Not quite. The difference here is that when you take precautionary measures, you want to keep an eye on all aspects of your health.
Watch how your physical health, mental health, and the health of your relationships are all doing. If you can spot the signs of burnout so you can act before you smolder out, you will save yourself so much stress and despair.
Some of the early signs of burnout you could look for are:
- Your sleeping habits have changed
- You feel angry or irritable
- You haven’t been able to focus
- You’ve been feeling forgetful
- You just don’t enjoy anything nearly as much
Don’t ignore any of these feelings! Take time to think about what might be making you feel that way so you could start fixing the issue as soon as possible. The earlier you hit the brakes, the earlier you are going to stop a crash.
Prevention can vary a lot depending on your situation, but for a general rule of thumb, you will need to stand your ground on how you feel and take action to stick to those feelings and boundaries that you set.
Whether you are just ready to leave a party or you need to have your work schedule changed, do what you feel needs to be done to keep your mental and physical shape in top condition.
Find New Interests to Occupy Your Mind
This will for sure be the most fun option on the list. It could help light a fire in you that you didn’t know was ready to ignite. When you find new things you enjoy, you will tend to shift your priorities to what you decide is most important in your life. So when you come across something new you enjoy, you will do what you can to set aside time for that instead of what has been burning you out.
If you have been focusing on one thing and burnt yourself out on it, it may very well be time to move on to something else. It might even only be temporarily. That time you take off doing something else will give you time to refresh and have new ideas when you choose to go back, or you can go down a whole new path.
Don’t Forget to Add Exercise to Your New Routine
Excercise does some very interesting things for our body, and it is recommended that you start with exercise for recovery, and then you move on to streaming Netflix and hanging out. Exercising helps shift your brain in alpha waves which are going to help flush stress out of your system so you can move on to achieving a full reset and recharge as soon as possible.
Tips For After Recovery
After recovery, care will be just as important as when you were initially going through burnout. Some things you could do to keep yourself from burning back out again might be:
- Keep awareness of your feeling what is going on around you
- Don’t be afraid to use that vacation time
- Don’t allow yourself to repress emotions
- Relieve stress and stay active
If you don’t make sure to keep up with the aftercare, you can find yourself heading towards a quick crash and burn. If we keep repeatedly burning ourselves out and not making the necessary changes to keep ourselves going, the frequency of burnout will increase.
Burnout is a very tough experience. It can make fun things boring, things we usually enjoy, unbearable. And just make us feel plain hopeless. It doesn’t have to be all bad, though. Even bad experiences have good lessons to teach!
It becomes easy to start taking things for granted and start neglecting aspects of our lives when we are so caught up in everything we have going on. There’s so much to be worried about and thinking about these days. It’s easy to forget what is important to us.
Burnout can help show us where we want to be in life. It also serves as a reminder that we can’t forget about ourselves while taking care of everything else. It might just be telling you it is time for a change as well. Sometimes we need lessons like this to get us back in line with our true values and interests.
If you have been feeling burnt out, take a stand on how you have been feeling and make a change about it! Don’t let those feelings ferment and become something much more powerful than just feelings.
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Types of burnout and signs, cnbc.com
Take at least one vacation per year, journals.lww.com
Using exercise for recovery, psychologytoday.com