The Ultimate Guide to Burnout (What It Is And How To Beat It)

Quick Summary of Burnout Recovery (Understanding What It Is And What To Do)

  1. Burnout Is Exhaustion
  2. Burnout Is Gradual
  3. Burnout Is Not The Same As Too Much Stress
  4. Work Can Cause Burnout
  5. Lifestyle And Personality Can Cause Burnout
  6. Use The Three R’s To Deal With Burnout (Recognize, Reverse, Resilience)
  7. Burnout Recovery Requires Other People
  8. Perform An Act Of Service
  9. Try To Look At Work Differently
  10. Put Your Priorities In Order
  11. Discover The Art Of Saying No
  12. Regulate Your Technology Usage
  13. Relax
  14. Sleep
  15. Eat Healthy

Are you burned out? Do you know what the symptoms of burnout are?

Exhaustion. Disillusionment. Helplessness. Is this how you feel?

If yes, you are likely already burned out or certainly on the road to it. In this article, we talk about how to beat it. We’ll discuss burnout recovery. But first, what is burnout, really?

1. Burnout Is Exhaustion

When prolonged and excessive stress cause mental, physical and emotional exhaustion, that’s burnout. You lose the motivation to complete your responsibilities. Emotionally, you’re drained. You feel overwhelmed. Your energy is sapped. Productivity goes down the drain.

Burnout even causes you to feel resentful and cynical about work and life. Your immune system is negatively affected, as well. You become more susceptible to getting sick. Weight gain is also a common symptom.

More Burnout Symptoms

  • The thought of simply going to work weighs heavy on your mind.
  • Constant difficulty getting out of bed to deal with work or other specific areas of life.
  • Feelings of worthlessness, like no one appreciates anything you do.
  • Your day is spent doing tedious, menial, dull tasks.
  • You’re always exhausted.
  • Nothing seems worth doing. You view responsibilities as wasted energy.
  • It’s been a long time since you’ve had a good day.
  • Being sick all the time
  • Lots of muscle pain and headaches
  • Change in appetite
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Feeling like a failure. Defeated. Trapped.
  • Plummeting self-confidence
  • Very little motivation, or none at all
  • Uncharacteristic pessimism
  • Nothing satisfies you
  • Unwelcome changes in behavior
  • Self-isolation. Running away from responsibilities.
  • Crippling procrastination
  • Snapping at others. Getting angry on a whim.

As you would guess, people experiencing burnout symptoms need to address them right away and start their burnout recovery fast.

2. Burnout Is Gradual

In most cases, burnout is a slow process that builds over time. You don’t wake up one morning burned out. Symptoms begin subtly and grow. But, because it’s slow, it gives you opportunities to catch the red flags in their infancy. That’s the idea, anyway. It’s certainly easier said than done.

3. Burnout Is Not The Same As Too Much Stress

Though constant stress can cause burnout, the two aren’t the same. When people are stressed, they can often still muster the determination to push through. They can sacrifice and survive the stress and get to the reward on the other side.

However, burnout is different. Burnout is, as we’ve already said, exhaustion. No motivation. Feeling empty. Hopelessness. You feel pushing through the stress would be a meaningless endeavor.

And the crazy thing about all of this is that most of the time, you don’t realize you’re burned out. At least not at first.

4. Work Can Cause Burnout

Most people who exhibit the symptoms of burnout do so because of their work environment. Do any of these sound familiar?

  • Your work isn’t challenging
  • You have very little control over anything you do at work
  • You get little or no recognition for anything you do
  • Your job expectations are unclear
  • You work in a high-pressure work environment

But the truth is that any situation where you feel undervalued and overworked can breed burnout. Some examples:

  • The office employee who never takes a vacation.
  • A woman running herself ragged with housework and children.
  • Someone taking care of their aging parent who’s at wit’s end.

5. Lifestyle And Personality Can Cause Burnout

But guess what? Burnout is not just situational. You can be the cause of your own burnout because of your choices. Your personality traits. And even your lifestyle. These causes can include:

  • Being a workaholic
  • Ignoring relationships
  • Choosing not to socialize
  • Putting too much on your plate
  • Never asking anyone for help
  • Not getting enough sleep
  • Being a perfectionist
  • Being a pessimist
  • Being a control freak

6. Use The Three R’s To Deal With Burnout (Recognize, Reverse, Resilience)

If you’re burned out, you’ve got to do something about it immediately. You’ll just do more physical and emotional damage by letting the exhaustion fester. Here’s what to do. You use the three R’s. In other words, burnout recovery.

Recognize

Be on the lookout for symptoms of burnout. Know what they are and be able to recognize them when they happen.

Reverse

Send the damage back where it came from through stress management and getting support.

Resilience

Decrease the chance of burnout happening again by prioritizing your emotional and physical health.

7. Burnout Recovery Requires Other People

Don’t try and get a handle on burnout all by yourself. It almost never works. You’re burnout recovery must involve other people.

The best path to take on your journey through the three R’s is to reach out to others. Engage in social contact to decrease stress. Talk with someone face to face. It’s great at calming you down. It lets your nervous system take a break.

The best-case scenario is to talk to someone you trust, who won’t judge you, and who is a good listener. Know anyone in your life that fits that description? Great! Talk to them.

Maybe it’s a spouse, a friend, a parent, a sibling. They’ll feel grateful and loved by the fact that you felt comfortable coming to them. And you don’t even need to talk about exclusively about your burnout issue. Just have a good time chatting about whatever.

If your burnout is happening in the workplace, try forcing yourself to make a new friend at work. Don’t live on your phone when you’re away from your desk. Talk to people. Start conversations. Just say hi to someone. Hang out with coworkers after work.

If there are negative people in your life, don’t be around them. Don’t hang out with them. You need positive energy right now. Not negative.

Add something new to your life other than the same old work and household drudgery. Find a community group related to something you’re interested in and join it. Sure, it could be a support group related to your burnout symptoms. But it can also be a social or religious group.

You get the idea. Get out, meet people, put yourself out there, try something new, do things that you enjoy doing. Before you know it, your burnout symptoms will take a backseat.

8. Perform An Act Of Service

Nothing gives an instant shot of stress relief, pleasure, and happiness than performing and act of service for someone else.

And doing something kind for someone doesn’t have to be a huge thing. It certainly can if you want. But it can just as well be something small, while still meaningful. Making someone else smile or making someone’s day does wonders for your mental and emotional health.

9. Try To Look At Work Differently

You might assume that the best burnout recovery would be to just get a different job that you like more. But of course, that is usually easier said than done.

If quitting your job isn’t really an option for you, the next solution is to find some value in your work. Yes, your job may be boring and thankless. But really try and figure out how what you do at work is helpful to someone else.

Is there anything – absolutely anything – about your job that you enjoy? Even if it seems dumb. Focus in on that. These kinds of attitude changes can really make a big difference in reversing the effects of burnout. They help you regain control and purpose. 

It’s also important to know that curing burnout isn’t just about trying to change your outlook. It’s about balance. Burnout often means that your work-life balance is off. Make a better effort to connect with your friends and family. Reignite your hobbies. Even do volunteer work. Your feelings of burnout will submit to these things that make you happy.

Also, if you haven’t taken time off in a while, do it. You’ve got to take a break from the main environment causing you to feel burned out.

10. Put Your Priorities In Order

You can’t let work or whatever is causing burnout to take over your life. What are your goals for life? Your dreams? Have you completely thrown them away?

This is self-neglect. Never doing anything for yourself. Your burnout recovery needs to include addressing any self-neglect. If you need to, rediscover what really makes you happy. Dig deep and remember. Bring those things back up. Spend a little bit of time reincorporating those things into your life. 

This has a true healing effect.

11. Discover The Art Of Saying No

You’ve got to learn how to say no. Many burnout cases are founded in the person’s inability to turn things down. Saying no is a lot harder than saying yes. But you can do it.

You just can’t overextend yourself. The more you do, the harder it will be to get rid of your burnout.

12. Regulate Your Technology Usage

If you need burnout recovery, take a break from technology. Phones. iPads. Computers. TVs. Video games. You’ve got to regulate the amount of time you spend with these things.

It can be such a huge time waster, which then makes you feel guilty. Technology obsession changes your brain chemistry. Slowly but surely, you become more impatient, more irritable, less focused, sleep-deprived; the list goes on.

Going on a technology fast will significantly diminish burnout.

13. Relax

Learn how to meditate. Get into yoga. Explore the principle of mindfulness. There are so many apps, books, and websites that teach all these things. Studies show that people who consciously strive to be more mindful in their lives are happier and less stressed.

14. Sleep

Healthy sleeping habits are imperative to avoiding burnout. The more sleep-deprived you are, the more susceptible you are to sickness. You’re more on edge. It’s harder to keep your cool. Focusing is difficult. These and other negative side effects all lead to burnout.

Getting good sleep is imperative to effective burnout recovery.

15. Eat Healthy

If you’re stuffing your face with junk food, greasy lunches, and soda on a daily basis, your body is going to react accordingly. In other words, it’s not going to like it and it’s going to show you with highly fluctuating energy levels, moods, and weight.

These are all related to burnout in that if you know you’re really unhealthy, it just adds more fuel to the stress fire. It makes you more unhappy.

Burnout Recovery (Understanding What It Is And What To Do) – Conclusion

There’s certainly more that you could do, but in an attempt to not overwhelm you, take this list and think about it. Which of these things could represent a positive change in your life?

Burnout DOES NOT have to be permanent. Destroy it with the suggestions listed here. They work.

Get in touch with us if you have any questions about this. Remember that educating yourself on your own health is the key to many health issues.