A few weeks ago on the blog we discussed catching the early signs of burnout and intervening before you are too deep into the hole.
But sometimes, we are already there.
Anyone who tries to tell you that you can mindset shift your way out of full-blown burnout has quite frankly never experienced it. Burnout is a feeling of apathy and exhaustion so insidious that it can impact every area of your life. Tasks you enjoyed before you now feel disconnected from. Challenges that got you excited now cause you dread. It’s that feeling of your heart sinking when you sit down in your office and that sense of the workdays blurring together. Life begins to lose its color. Essentially, burnout is a lot like depression, except it’s experienced only in relation to your work. That said, burnout can lead to depression. Left unattended, it can seep deeply into other areas of our mind and life.
So let’s talk about burnout recovery.
Burnout recovery is the process of coming back from burnout. It is a slow and gradual process; it doesn’t happen all at once. When recovering from burnout, here are six steps to take:
- Take an inventory of your work week. Notice what is bringing you down, where you are feeling the most stress and dread.
- Reflect on your values. What do you love about your line of work (at least in theory)? Connect with the qualities and beliefs that give your life and work a sense of purpose.
- Begin to set boundaries. Start saying no more often, and take time to decide before committing. If you have a boss who delegates a lot to you, talk to them about what is on your plate and ask them for guidance on where to focus your energy.
- Seek help. Talk to family and friends. Hire a coach. If it’s at the point you feel not only burned out but also depressed, look into therapy as well.
- Invest in yourself first. Put a budget aside for self-care. Take yourself to a spa for the day. Take a course or a class on something creative that is totally unrelated to your work. Once, when I was feeling burnout out years ago, I took knitting classes. I wasn’t great at it, but it really got me through a challenging period in my life – and I got a few decent scarves out of it as well.
- Consider pivoting. If you work for someone else, evaluate if you need to consider a transition in employment (to a different department, to a different organization, or to being your own boss). If you work for yourself, evaluate if it’s time to iterate in your business.
The Burnout Recovery Kit is your complete guide to recovering from burnout.
If you are feeling a little or a lot of burnout, pick this up for helpful ideas on where to get started on these six steps. If you aren’t feeling burned out right now but you know the feeling, I’d encourage you to still download it and save it for a rainy day.
What is one thing you can do this week to prevent or recover from burnout?