March 9, 2022

Burnout Recovery

Our top six tips for burnout recovery
TOP 6 Tips

recover from burnout

1. Learn to recognize the symptoms

Like mental health, it is essential to compare your own or someone’s current behaviour with a baseline behaviour to measure any potential deviance. Are you more irritable, pessimistic, or tired than usual? Maybe you have mixed deadlines, can’t make decisions, or have frequent sick days. In others, you might notice that their appearance has changed or are they suddenly drinking? These signals could be a cry for help.


Chronic stress and burnout are the results of an overtaxed mind. While you might notice brain fog or inability to concentrate, you will eventually observe physical signs in your body. Symptoms may include aches and pains, headaches, hair loss, high blood pressure, gastrointestinal upset, muscle pain, skin rashes, excessive sleep, or weight gain.


Burnout though has its own three components: exhaustion, cynicism, and a lack of personal accomplishment. True burnout means that we will experience all three components. With exhaustion, you will likely feel constantly tired and low on energy. Cynicism will leave you feeling disengaged from work, possibly withdrawing, and generally feeling glum. Lastly, a lack of personal accomplishment will result in a loss of productivity and reduction in goal attainment. Now that we understand burnout and its three components, we can look at how to recover from burnout and lead a healthier life.


To recover, you need to start listening to what your body is telling you. A good daily question to ask yourself is , ‘What does my body need today?’ For example, you may need rest, some gentle exercise, or to connect with someone.


2. Build recovery into your schedule

Unfortunately, a vacation or a wellness retreat will not allow you to recover from burnout fully. When you are burnt out, you need to rest and recover. You will need to take extra time off work to recover from chronic stress or burnout. 

If you have less severe stress, you can take some time at the beginning of the week to schedule periods of rest, relaxation, and downtime. These times will help you to rest and recharge. 

It is also essential to stop thinking about work while away from work. You may limit the times you allow yourself to think about work or simply remind yourself that thinking about work negates the benefit of taking time off.


3. Get accustomed to the concept of energy management

You will do well to make a list of energy robbers and energy boosters both at home and at work. Next, think about what can you do to increase your energy boosters and reduce your energy robbers? For example, if working from home is draining your energy and making you feel isolated, schedule a workout class in your community, work at a coffee shop for an hour each morning, or schedule an activity such as a walk in the park with a friend or neighbour.4. Learn to ask for help

You will need to ask for help to beat stress and burnout. For example, can you identify a co-worker to share your workload? Or could you approach your manager for support or learn tips to delegate tasks? Perhaps engaging a leadership coach could help you grow and improve. Similarly, at home, can you enlist your family to help with the chores, hire a housecleaner, or purchase meal kits temporarily?


5. Reconsider your beliefs around self-care

People are often great at taking care of others, but often at the expense of themselves. We often neglect self-care, believing we should and can do it all. We all deserve self-care, and we are all more effective and productive when we feel rested.

So stop feeling guilty and create a list of self-care ideas right now. Some questions to consider are, what would help you feel good, what would be fun, or what would replenish you? Maybe you could get a massage, eat a healthy meal, or take time away from work to play and enjoy the day.

Finally, take some time to establish boundaries around your work, such as finishing at 5 p.m. on weekdays and completely checking out of work on the weekends.


6. Improve your emotional regulation skills

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Burnout results from an inability to effectively manage chronic workplace stress. To be more resilient, you will need a calmer and more present mind to prevent getting stressed in the first place or to recognize when you are stressed so that you can recover. To start with, schedule some time each day to quiet your mind. A short meditation or mindfulness activity will make a difference in your daily existence.