What Is Burnout and How Can You Recover From It?

Jan 16, 2023 | Mental Health, Overwhelmed, Stress

Burnout is a state of emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion. Essentially, it is what happens when a person feels like they have run out of steam but does not have the luxury of taking a break. Many people will experience burnout at some point in their lifetime and this can take a toll on their livelihood. The good news is that there are some effective ways to identify and recover from burnout.

What Is Burnout?

Burnout is a state of mental, emotional, and physical exhaustion. It can happen at work or in your personal life, but it usually happens to people who have too much on their plate or are working in an environment that’s toxic. Too much strain in any aspect of life has the potential to result in burnout. In particular, adults that have to juggle responsibilities like child rearing, working, financial management, and other difficult tasks can burnout quickly.

Signs Of Burnout

There are quite a few signs and symptoms of burnout. The first thing to look for is a general sense of tiredness. You may feel physically exhausted, and it will be difficult to get out of bed or complete tasks. This can lead to irritability and depression, as well as a lack of motivation at work and in your personal life. You might also have trouble sleeping or concentrating. If these feelings persist for weeks on end, then it may be time to seek help from a therapist or other mental health professional who specializes in helping people recover from burnout.

Causes Of Burnout

There are several factors that can contribute to burnout. The most obvious one is stress, but there are many other causes as well. One of those is overwork—the feeling that you’re being stretched too thin and don’t have enough time to do all that your job requires.

A lack of control over your work environment and schedule can also be an issue. When people feel like they have no say in what goes on at their job, they can become stressed out by not having control over their daily routine or workload.

Poor relationships with colleagues can make a big difference as well, especially if those relationships are not positive ones. Last but not least, poor family relationships may contribute to feelings of burnout due to the stress caused by these issues. They will often spill over into other areas of life, including work.

How To Prevent Burnout

There are a few simple yet highly effective ways that you can be proactive and prevent burnout before it occurs.

1. Take care of your physical health.

You can do a lot to recover from burnout. You just need to be willing to take care of yourself. Everyone knows what it takes to take care of their physical health, but it’s easy to forget when you’re busy working hard and thinking about all the things you have on your plate.

2. Set goals.

One of the best things you can do to recover from burnout is to set goals. Goals are great because they help you stay focused and motivated. Setting goals is not always easy, but it’s a practice that has the potential to change your life.

Goal-setting should be something you do on a regular basis – not just at the beginning of a project or a new year. You don’t have to make your goals overly ambitious either; even small steps toward your goal will keep you moving forward in the right direction. For example: if your goal is to increase sales by 20% over last year, maybe break this into smaller increments such as 10%, then 5%.

3. Create strong boundaries between work and home.

One of the best ways to prevent burnout is by setting clear boundaries between work and home. Many people end up bringing work home with them, which can create friction and stress within the home environment. Achieving a healthy balance between your career and home life is essential for maintaining long-term happiness and success.

4. Get enough sleep.

Sleep is crucial for feeling refreshed and energized. Having enough sleep each night will help you make better decisions, be more creative, and keep your emotions under control. You will also need to get enough sleep, which contributes to mental and physical well-being. Anywhere from 7 to 9 hours per night is a general recommendation, though personal needs can vary.

You can improve the quality of your sleep by creating a relaxing environment when you go to bed. For example, turn off electronics that emit blue light, avoid bright lights, listen to calming music, meditate before bedtime, and practice deep breathing exercises.

5. Exercise regularly.

Exercise is a great way to reduce stress. On top of this, exercise can help you sleep better and decrease negative moods. This can all contribute to reducing stress and burnout. Vigorous exercise that gets your heart rate up is ideal for burning off cortisol in the body. If this is unattainable to you currently, even a simple walk can improve your mental and physical well-being. Regardless of the exercise you choose to engage in, doing this activity often will have a large impact on your stress levels.

6. Ask for help when needed.

It is normal to feel overwhelmed by burnout, especially if you have been working yourself to the bone for a long period of time. Ask for help when needed in order to manage the demands that you face. If you find that your workload is too much, lean on coworkers or seek assistance from anyone able to assist you with your to-do list.

Delegating tasks can sometimes make a huge impact on your overall emotional well-being. Many people struggle to delegate because they feel that they are the only one that can complete the task correctly. The problem with this approach is that the more that you try to control everything around you, the more out of control things begin to feel. Learn to let go and let others help you.  Your mental health may depend on it.

7. Understand that it’s not all up to you.

Burnout is a team problem. It’s not just up to you to fix it, even if you are currently not getting support from your team. Approach the conversation with your coworkers, management, or any other entity in charge. In many cases, others around you are not able to detect when you are in a burnout state. By communicating your needs and reaching out for assistance with the issue, you can resolve it more quickly and effectively.

8. Take breaks throughout the day.

Be sure to take breaks throughout the day to walk around, stretch, and get a drink of water—even if it’s just for 5 or 10 minutes at a time. This will help you clear your mind and give you time to recharge for a moment.

Many jobs now require looking at a screen for long periods of the day. This can create headaches, neck pain, and irritation. Taking breaks can give your eyes a chance to relax and give you a chance to get the blood flowing. Sitting for extended periods of time is unhealthy. When your body is feeling its best, your mind is better equipped to feel well also.

Ultimately, burnout can have a big impact on your life, but there are ways to prevent and treat it.

Burnout is a serious condition that can cause major disruptions in your life. However, it’s important to remember that burnout doesn’t have to be permanent. If you’re experiencing symptoms of burnout, there are steps you can take today to recover from this condition and prevent it in the future. If you’re unsure of where or how to start, seek help from a professional therapist who specializes in helping people overcome stress-related disorders like this one.

New Dimensions Can Help!

If you or someone you know is experiencing any of the above symptoms or problems, New Dimensions can help. Our team of experienced therapists and psychiatrists can help you overcome these challenges and help you develop the skills you need to thrive. To schedule a complementary assessment or to find out more about our programs, contact us at 1-800-685-9796.

Our affiliate, MHThrive, provides Individual Therapy, Couples and Marriage Counseling, and Family Therapy at our locations in Katy, The Woodlands, and the Clear Lake area of Houston, Texas. We also provide telehealth therapy for anyone who resides within the State of Texas. To schedule an appointment with one of the MHThrive therapists, contact us at 713-477-0333 or visit www.mhthrive.com to learn more.