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How to recover from burnout

Written by: Charlotte Rogers
Published on: 4 Jan 2021

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There are always loads of people telling you what to do in order to prevent burnout, but what do we do when we’re trying to recover from it? According to a Deloitte survey, 77% of participants have experiences burnout whilst at their current jobs and more than half of people said they have experienced it more than once. We all tend to know about the effects of burnout and how it can make you feel in your day to day life, but how can we come back from it? We have some advice on what you can do to start to feel better about your job and stay in a happy place with your work.

You can get burnout more than once

Just because you have realised that you have some symptoms of burnout, doesn’t just mean that you acknowledge it and simply move on. It takes time and patience to realise what your feelings mean, try to work out how you can make changes to move on and then begin working towards a better and healthier work life balance. Everything you do in a day is going to effect how you feel at the end of it, you need to be able to make a change and stick with it. Burnout can happen more than once, so preventing it before it happens is a good thing but understanding what it is that causes it in the first place, can be even better.

Give yourself time

The healing process for anything isn’t always a simple path for you to take. You need to allow yourself time to heal and that means different things to different people. This could mean taking some time away from work by either simply taking some annual leave to enjoy some quiet time or talking to your manager and seeing if they can allow you some extra time off. A lot of businesses offer mental health days for their employees now and they can be used at a time where you simply need some time to breathe or you’re having an especially bad day. Whatever reason it may be, try and do the thing that is best for you. These things are put in place to ensure that you have the time you need, whenever you may need it.

It will be different for everyone

Burnout is characterised as emotional exhaustion, so I can’t tell you that you can recover from burnout in 3 easy steps, because in reality, it’s different for every single person. It can take days, weeks or even months to finally feel recovered from a burnout crash and all you can do is take your time.

I’m not saying that taking months off from work is a good thing because that definitely isn’t the reality for most of the UK workforce. But you need to recognise the signs from when you are becoming over-worked and try and sort them out quickly. Find the source of the problem and see what you can do to change that. Some people may be able to make a quick fix and stay in their current jobs, others may find it easier to look for a new role.

Find the source

Typically, the source of burnout can come from work related issues. However, this isn’t always the case for some people. It can come from your personal life, your day to day activities and your relationships. All of these can affect how you work, but it may not always actually be your work causing the issue. Having too many people depend on you everyday can be just as tiring as doing too much work.

Talk to the people you trust

Confiding in your friends and family is always a good step to take. They might not always understand what it is you are going through, but true friends will be there regardless. They might be able to help you when you cannot help yourself and surrounding yourself with people you love, might not fix the problems, but it can help you stop thinking about them for a few hours. You will have people in your life that want to help you, it’s letting them in that can be the hard part.

You need to pay attention to yourself and what you need. If you are experiencing burnout, don’t think about ways to quick fix the situation, because the reality is, it probably won’t get better. You need to find the source of your problem, think about your options and do what you need. Take your time and when you feel okay again, assess what you should do to keep it under control. It’s okay to feel burnt out, tired and negative sometimes. There is too much pressure on people today about needing to be happy and positive all the time. Give yourself a break.