Recovering From Burnout: 4 Tips on Learning to Feel OK Again
Now that we’ve learned about types of burnout, let’s look at getting past the burnout and learning to feel okay again. Remember, burnout is physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion combined with a lack in motivation, drop in performance, and developing a negative attitude. I know during my period of burnout, I felt miserable; it is certainly a yucky place to be! Take heart in three things: 1. You are not alone in experiencing burnout; 2. You are not a failure; and 3. You can overcome burnout!
The key to recovery is self-awareness and intentionality.
Here are some practical steps you can take to begin your road to recovering from burnout:
1. Identify your type of burnout and its triggers.
Whether you use a fancy journal or the back of a napkin, writing down when you feel burnout in the moment is helpful. Identifying what triggered the burnout and your physical and emotional response to it gives you information you need about how to overcome it.
Remember, last week we learned the three types of burnout – overload, boredom, and worn out. Reflecting on the details of what was happening when you feel burnout and how you responded can help you identify which type of burnout you’re experiencing and begin to develop a plan of action.
2. Develop and implement your plan of self-care.
If your burnout is from overload, develop a plan that builds in time for yourself. Whether you exercise, take a nap, or go out with friends, it’s important to build in some “you” time. Also, be realistic about your capacity and schedule. At work, give yourself a few minutes between back-to-back meetings so you can mentally shift from one to the other – and so you have time to visit the restroom! At home, review your calendar and see if you need to take a step back from any activities that drain you.
Is your burnout from boredom? What are some work assignments or volunteer opportunities you can take on that will challenge you and utilize your skills and talents? Not quite up for a challenge? Seek out someone to help, whether random acts of kindness or some sort of regular interaction with someone in need of encouragement.
If you are suffering from worn out burnout, focusing on your “why” is a good way to rejuvenate yourself. What is the ultimate “why” of why you’re doing what you’re doing? Does the work itself inspire you but you’re frustrated with internal politics or a lack of resources? Remind yourself of the impact of the work you do. Does the work provide you a good paycheck that allows you to support your family or provide for others? Keep pictures of the people that are the purpose of your work close by for a continual reminder of your why.
3. Ask yourself what parts of the cause of your burnout are within your control and identify your options. I would challenge you that some aspect of the cause of your burnout is almost always within your control.
Are you the sole caregiver to an aging parent because limited finances prevent your parent from hiring a professional caregiver? Ask yourself, are you able to pay a caregiver to cover for you one hour every few days or a week? Is there a way to give yourself small breaks on a regular basis?
Do you clash with your new boss? What are your options for improving the relationship? What are your options for getting yourself a new boss?
4. Seek professional help. Many people who experience burnout feel shame or embarrassment and don't understand that appropriate treatment can help. Burnout is a treatable condition that you can recover from.
A therapist can help you overcome your burnout by teaching you how to manage stress and recognize your triggers.
A life coach can help you overcome burnout by being a partner and encourager in helping you develop a plan to move out of your burnout.
Causes of burnout are different for each of us and, so too, is how we overcome burnout. Personally, my burnout had built up over time and was a combination of overload and worn out. I overcame my burnout by leaving corporate America to become self-employed and utilizing my Human Resources skills and experience to become a career and life coach.
Maybe the tips in this blog will help you overcome your burnout, or, maybe like me, you need some sort of major upheaval to regain your enthusiasm and energy for life. Either way, you are worth getting past your burnout so that you can be your best self!
Call to action
Put the tips in this blog into action.
Comment below one tangible thing you will do to move toward overcoming your burnout.
Would you like 1:1 help with your burnout and developing your strategy for overcoming it? Schedule your 20-minute Complimentary Consultation and we can discuss how I may be able to help.