You finally realize you need burnout recovery. Maybe it was the slow but constant creep of exhaustion that got your attention at last. Or perhaps you feel like you’re on the ground looking up after everything fell apart. Either way, you need to heal from burnout.

In her “Psychology Today” article entitled Overcoming Burnout, Sherrie Bourg Carter Psy.D. shares the following: 

“The good news is that burnout is not a terminal condition. Although it certainly requires a change in lifestyle, once burnout is recognized and attended to, it can become a positive force in your life, a chance to rediscover yourself and shine brightly once again.”

If you’re wondering how to overcome burnout, remember Carter’s words because there is hope. It may feel like there’s no way to pick up the pieces and get your life back. But the good news is there are some steps you can take. Here are a few ideas.

Investigate the Cause of Burnout

Before you take steps to improve your burnout, you first must figure out the cause or causes. This will be easier to do in the early stages but could be more challenging if your burnout is severe. Eventually, your entire life can feel bad, making identification difficult. A licensed professional counselor can be a considerable help as you do some detective work.

This step is crucial because figuring out how to deal with burnout at work will require different steps than if you’re a ‘burnt out’ parent or in a relationship that is depleting your energy. It’s wise to write down your thoughts to evaluate them better and remind yourself of what’s going on. Journaling about what stresses you out is also a good idea.

Problem-Solve Your Burnout

Once you’ve decided what’s burning you out, start small. Burnout rarely is the result of one stressor. It usually consists of several stressors that, together, eventually become unbearable. Carter recommends coming up with one way to eliminate stress in each life area where stress has gotten out of control. 

You may be surprised by the extra pressure you place on yourself that isn’t necessary. Gradually lessen the weight you carry, say ‘no’ to obligations when you can and don’t feel guilty about it. 

Pursue Your Passions

Burnout can be complicated. It consists of way more than just being overworked. It often heavily consists of a loss of purpose, direction and vision for your life. It’s your entire being telling you in a way that can’t be ignored that there’s a serious problem.

We’re all unique and have different paths and passions. There is such a thing as a bad fit in a job, for instance. It may be that you need a different role in your company or that you need to switch careers entirely. 

Turn Off Your Electronics

We start each day thinking we have unlimited energy—that we can go full-tilt through each day. But that isn’t realistic. Days and weeks ebb and flow. Energy comes and goes. 

Being ‘plugged in’ all day when you don’t have to be on things like social media depletes your energy to do essential tasks. Prioritize your necessary tasks each day so you can get everything done. 

Remember that Burnout Recovery Takes Time

If you’re struggling with how to handle burnout, be patient. If you’ve dealt with chronic stress for months or years, it may take considerable time to see progress. Don’t let this discourage you though.

Each new step you take towards reducing stress and making changes to your life or schedule will eventually pay off. Practice self-compassion, remembering that you aren’t a work or parent ‘machine.’ Rather, you’re a person with feelings and limits who needs to nurture themselves to be there for others. 

Need Help with Your Burnout Recovery? Counseling Can Help

Are you dealing with burnout and you’re not sure of the next best step? Especially when it comes to recovery from severe burnout, counseling can be a wise move. Burnout is often challenging to overcome alone and it can mimic anxiety and depressive mental health disorders. There also may be mental health disorders involved making the recovery process significantly more difficult. 

The Relationship Center of Orange County is here for your therapy needs, whether you need anxiety relief, depression relief, or help to overcome burnout. Marriage counseling, individual therapy, and relationship counseling are available. 

We provide burnout counseling in Mission Viejo, California and the following locations burnout counseling in Newport Beach, California. Another option is virtual counseling (video counseling) if that works better for your schedule or when it is required due to the pandemic. Scheduling an appointment with us is always quick and confidential.