Living Well

Recovering From Burnout Impossible? Think Again! 6 Ways You Can Go Back To Normal Self.

recover from burnout

Burnout is a mental state of exhaustion and feeling overwhelmed with all the mental or physical (sometimes both) work. I was introduced to the term while reading about its presence in the healthcare sector, where nurses experience burnout the most. If you are wondering how to recover from burnout, here’s an article for you! 

Despite not being a nurse, you may experience burnout. It can feel like you are stuck in one place, and nothing’s changing. Take you back to the pandemic era, right? Coincidentally, it was also one of those times when there was a rise in cases of burnout. 

It can also be emotional and physical exhaustion that you experience, and it can come with many other feelings such as – motivation, negative attitude, and low performance.  

Thus, it is quite important to recognize the signs of burnout and address it. Addressing your needs helps you recover from burnout in a holistic manner.  

Sounds like depression? Read on to find out the difference and the steps to recover! 

How Do I Recognize Burnout?

Recognize Burnout

It is one of the most common questions that anyone may ask, and it is also one of those questions that is bound to come. It is a type of stress associated with work, mostly, and living a lifestyle that is not mentally, physically, or emotionally healthy. Unlike depression, stress disappears outside work. 

Burnout does not just show up as a bruise on your skin. It creeps in over time, and suddenly, you dread getting out of bed to go to work. The feeling can come to you on a quiet afternoon while taking a break, and the realization hits you like caffeine in the morning. 

You cannot motivate yourself to work hard anymore. Or you may also recognize it as the following signs: 

Your energy’s just not there! There seems to be a lack of energy or exhaustion that is just not helpful for you to do anything. 

– You are overly critical about everything or cannot see the silver lining in a situation. Feelings of cynicism or negativism. 

– As a result of all the above signs and more, you notice a deterioration in your performance at work. And because it isn’t something you can control. You are more likely to feel cynical. 

You can also see changes in yourself that tell you there’s burnout, which may initially seem temporary. But when you notice, it is clear as day that you are experiencing burnout. 

There are things on your to-do list that you were so excited about a while ago. But you just cannot find the motivation anymore! This is when you can conduct a self-evaluation to determine your burnout level and start your journey to recover from burnout. 

Tool for self-evaluation of burnout

Tool for self-evaluation of burnout

One trusted and famous tool for this is the Maslach Burnout Inventory, which helps evaluate the burnout level you are facing. This helps you know what level of burnout you are at so that the path to recovery is clear. 

A look at the inventory will help you know that burnout has three components. The first is emotional exhaustion, the second is depersonalization, and the third is the reduction in accomplishments. 

Emotional exhaustion is when you are emotionally unable to perform any activity. Be it waking up to start your day or getting ready for work with the same zeal you once had. This comes as fatigue, trouble sleeping, and physical problems, which are manifestations of the emotional distress you are going through. 

Depersonalization is the loss of empathy that affects your interpersonal relations. This is the state of non-attachment and feelings of guilt and withdrawal from colleagues and social contacts. You may also experience imposter syndrome, which makes you wonder. 

As this is occupational stress, you are likely to see a drop in your professional accomplishments. There will be personal assessment in a negative light that can make you feel like you are unable to change the situation despite trying. 

6 Steps of Burnout Recovery

Burnout recovery is necessary to return to your normal life and ensure you are keeping your health in check. Tolerating an “all work no play” mindset is one of the reasons why people around the world, especially us Americans, are prone to experiencing burnout. 

This makes it difficult to jump back into our routine and pull ourselves out of the emotional rut. Thus, you must keep your overall health in check. While also being aware of your professional obligations, it is important to prioritize your health. 

This way, you do not end up dreading the job you were wishing for, making it easier for you to perform well. Following are the steps for your stubborn self who’s in denial to recover from burnout: 

1. Admit you’re burned out

Admit you're burned out

Acceptance is the first step of recovery for most anxiety disorders. Burnout, also known as depressive anxiety syndrome, requires professional attention. However, you cannot seek that unless you say you’re on fire. Recognizing that you are in a vicious cycle and telling yourself that you want to do something about it from the first step. 

Even if you are a babysitter who is dreading work that you once enjoyed, your experience of burnout is not different from that of a nurse or a corporate employee. Thus, if any of the signs listed above resonate with you, it’s time you seek professional help. 

2. Distance yourself from stressors

Distance yourself from stressors

It is important to recognize what is stressing you out. Occupational stress does not just mean stress from work. Stress from coworkers or even the environment is a barrier to complete productivity. 

You need to set clear boundaries to protect your sanity; for some of us, it is difficult. More so if you cannot say no to people or are hard on yourself. Experiencing imposter syndrome is one reason you feel your worth is based on how much work you get done. 

Things like microaggression, sexism, discrimination, lack of representation, and stereotyping are some of the stressors. They are the primary reasons you should recognize a need to set strict boundaries. This helps you recover from burnout sooner than expected.  

3. Focus on your health

Focus on your health

It can become hard to follow your routine when you are under immense stress and burnout. This leads to issues that can be detrimental to your physical and mental health. Thus, when you are focusing on your health (*completely*), you are taking a step towards proper recovery. 

See, the idea behind this is that you are rewiring your brain to focus on important and nurturing things for you. This can be as simple as sleeping on time or being physically more active to get the juices flowing. 

4. Re-assess your goals and values

Re-assess your goals and values

This step helps correct the course as you focus on what your original plan had in its blueprint. It’s common to stray from the initial plan as you navigate life, and being burnt out helps put things in perspective. 

Thus, re-evaluating your values and goals during this time will help your recovery smoother. Sugar-coated advice such as quitting your job is easier or taking a long break will not help everyone as this advice comes when you have already tried to do the things mentioned in this article. 

Before quitting your job, try to see where the kink is in your plan. Are you where you wanted to be? 

5. Exploring alternative paths and opportunities

Exploring alternative paths and opportunities

Exploring different paths will help you understand where your heart is trying to go. Doing something passionately for a long time does not mean you cannot change where your passion goes. When taking care of your passion and interests, you ensure there is no room for self-criticism

When you are in the thick of it, you can feel like you can do nothing to recover from it. However, exploring different paths or opportunities can be the fresh air your mind needs. Maybe the current work environment is not pushing you to be the best, or you are not seeing much growth here. Now is the time you assess your goals and follow the most fitting opportunity. 

6. Building a support network

Building a support network

It’s a no-brainer that a support network is necessary in celebrations and grief. Thus, building a support network can be relying on your friends or family. If not, your therapist can be the one you fall back on for support. Being your cheerleader can also be the support you need all this while! 

Self-compassion is the key to keeping yourself motivated and ready to address your needs. 

Top 3 Strategies to Combat Burnout

Top 3 Strategies to Combat Burnout

1. Get professional help

After recognizing the signs of burnout, it is your responsibility (yes) to get professional help. This one’s important to do as you are going into your stage of recovery. 

A professional cannot just help you recover. They facilitate building a plan you can fall back on whenever you need a pick-me-up. 

2. Practice mindfulness and meditation

Practicing mindfulness and meditation helps your emotional and mental health more than just your symptoms of burnout. 

Mindfulness is a practice that helps you do things more consciously than rush through things. Meditation helps you refocus, which can be helpful in situations such as stress. 

3. Create a work-life balance

The holy grail of a sane corporate employee. A work-life balance will help you maintain a healthy lifestyle, and you do not need to feel guilty about it. A work-life balance includes maintaining a boundary between your professional and personal life. This is when you do not overstretch your work hours and respect your efficiency and time. 

The normalization of overworking oneself and missing rest on the weekends has led to a toxic work culture worldwide. However, the rising cases of burnout have allowed one to see the signs of a boundary being abused and rectify it in the course. 


This was all about how to recover from burnout and how to do it. The article also highlights the ways you can recognize if you are experiencing burnout. There is no one-size-fits-all treatment for burnout. However, there’s always an openness to all options, such as therapy. They provide a new perspective to view your experience, thus helping you recover sooner. 

Lastly, practicing self-compassion and having a strong support system can help you deal with your experience. 

Do you have any more suggestions to recover from burnout? Comment below! 

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Harsha Sharma
Harsha is a senior content writer with numerous hobbies who takes great pride in spreading kindness. Earning a Postgraduate degree in Microbiology, she invests her time reading and informing people about various topics, particularly health and lifestyle. She believes in continuous learning, with life as her inspiration, and opines that experiences enrich our lives.

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