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Are you experiencing extreme exhaustion, stress, and severe burnout in life? This post gives you the 8 most effective tips on how to recover from burnout quickly. In addition, you will learn what burnout is, the difference between burnout vs depression, burnout symptoms, the 12 stages of burnout, and how to deal with burnout.
I was motivated to write this blog post because I have often found myself having episodes of being overly ambitious for a certain period, to feeling super drained & fatigued the next. However, I didn’t know what this exhausting feeling was, the root cause of the problem, and how to recover from it.
Therefore, I decided to do my due diligence and figure out how overambitious women like me can detect burnout symptoms early in their stages. Also, so that they can learn how to overcome burnout before it’s out of control. And if you’re already experiencing burnout, don’t worry! I have solutions for you too.
How To Recover From Burnout In Life
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First things first, before you learn how to recover from burnout, it is essential to find the root cause of the problem. Therefore, you have to know the definition of burnout, the difference between burnout vs depression, burnout symptoms, causes of burnout, and the 12 stages of burnout.
What is Burnout?
Burnout is the inability to cope with a prolonged stressful and overworking lifestyle. Burnout usually results from high pressure, loss of personal identity, reduced accomplishment, and extreme physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion from work, school, or mom life.
In fact, according to psychologists, there are 3 types of burnout to be on the lookout for to create a burnout recovery plan.
3 Types of Burnout to overcome
- Overload burnout – Results from overworking, risking health & personal life in pursuit of success. People in this category cope by complaining a lot.
- Under-challenge burnout – Results from boredom, feeling underappreciated, lack of opportunities to scale up, and lack of passion. Thus, leading to disengagement, doubt, and avoidance of responsibility.
- Neglect burnout – Results from feeling incompetent and less qualified to keep up with work, school, or mom life demands. Thus, leads to demotivation & passive behavior of allowing things to happen without active response or resistance.
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Burnout Vs Depression
It is essential to know the main difference between burnout vs depression to avoid self-misdiagnosis. Mostly this is because both burnout and depression require different help strategies and attention.
Therefore, the main difference between burnout vs depression is burnout is mainly correlated to work, whereas depression affects all aspects of life.
For example, if someone with burnout symptoms went on a free vacation, they will probably be excited during the trip. Nevertheless, they will come back to work well-rested, rejuvenated, and ready to tackle the job. On the other hand, someone with depression symptoms might still feel low about life during the vacation. Simply, their low mood dynamic never changes.
Even though burnout vs depression may have similar symptoms, there is still a difference you need to pay attention to. Mostly because burnout vs depression each requires different kinds of treatment.
5 Burnout Symptoms
- Exhaustion, feeling tired and drained.
- Loss of motivation with work. Thus, leading to procrastination, withdrawal from responsibilities, or taking a long time to get things done.
- Feeling no sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. Thus, leading to self-doubt and feeling like a failure.
- Being cynical and having a negative outlook on life due to feeling helpless, trapped, and defeated.
- Isolating yourself from others or taking your frustration on others because you feel alone.
And other symptoms.
5 Depression Symptoms
- Persistent sadness and anxiety.
- Feeling guilt, worthless, hopeless, empty, helpless, pessimistic, and highly irritable.
- Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities.
- Decreased energy and difficulty with concentration and decision-making.
- Thoughts of death or suicide, or suicide attempts.
And other symptoms.
The Causes Of Burnout
Several factors might lead to you feeling burnt out at work, as a student, or mom’s life. In addition, it is essential to know what triggers burnout so that you can take preventable measures to recover.
Here are some of the common causes of burnout:
- Burnout can occur when you are working either under high pressure, chaotic, or an overly demanding job with no recognition and reward for what you do. Or monotonous and unchallenging work. Or limited control and unclear work expectations.
- Lifestyle choices can cause burnout. Such as creating no time for yourself for relaxation & socialization, lack of sleep, taking responsibilities without delegating, lack of support from friends and family, etc.
- Having a type-A overachiever personality can lead to burnout. Mostly this is due to perfectionism, being overcontrolling, reluctance to ask for help, self-criticism for not accomplishing more, etc.
12 Stages of Burnout
Interestingly enough, burnout does not occur in one day. And you don’t wake up one day and feel like everything is falling apart. Honestly, it could start from “I can’t wait for Friday” to ” I am quitting my job and going on a 1-year sabbatical to Bali.” Believe it or not, according to scientific research, burnout progresses in 12 stages. Trust me! It is good to know the stages of burnout to create a plan to recover from burnout.
Burnout Stages 1-6
- A compulsion to prove oneself (excessive ambition) – You might have gotten a new job, or you’re a new mom and can’t wait to show everyone that you got this. Therefore, you start by being the first to come into the office. You take all the responsibilities, stay late, and complete all the tasks ahead of time.
- Working harder – You become obsessed with your work and work harder.
- Neglecting own needs – You work late, wake up early, show up during the weekends, therefore lacking enough sleep, can’t hang out with your girlfriends anymore, and have no time for workout and cooking healthy meals.
- Displacement of conflicts and needs – Ignoring conflict with friends or colleagues. For example, a friend might reach out to express that they’re worried about you. But in return, you dismiss the issue, become edgy, feel threatened and anxious.
- No longer any time for non-work-related needs – No time for friends, family, and your favorite hobbies. Just work, work, work.
- Increasing denial of the problem, decreasing flexibility of thought/behavior – Being adamant and stubborn that your work needs you more than anyone else in your life, therefore being intolerant to social relationships due to time pressure.
Burnout Stages 7-12
- Withdrawal, lack of direction, cynicism – Now that you feel like no one understands you or is nagging, you completely withdraw from social activities, relationships, or work events. Therefore, isolation, pessimism & doubt starts crawling in. You begin complaining, being quick to anger, skeptical, and perceiving other people as stupid or dumb.
- Behavioral changes/psychological reactions – Your changes in behavior such as isolation, overworking, or mental health issues become a concern to close family, friends, or colleagues.
- Depersonalization: loss of contact with self and own needs – Now that you’re unapproachable and not the star of the show, you start lacking self-worth with your inner self, your needs, and your surroundings.
- Inner emptiness, anxiety, addictive behavior – And then to distract yourself from your thoughts of loss in value, you start engaging in addictive behavior such as alcohol, “Wildin Out,” overeating, etc.
- The increasing feeling of meaninglessness and lack of interest – You start feeling lost, hopeless, and uncertain of the future, leading to lacking interest, feeling worthless, and depressed.
- Physical exhaustion that can be life-threatening – Getting to this point means a total mental, emotional and physical breakdown and that you need help.
In addition, burnout mainly affects caregivers because they give too much with little to no reward or recognition. Here is a burnout symptoms test to find out if you are experiencing burnout vs depression in life.
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How To Overcome Burnout
One thing you have to know is that feeling exhausted in life is NORMAL, and the 12 stages honestly happen over and over again throughout life. Therefore, creating a burnout recovery plan is essential for every woman at whatever stage in life.
For example, you could be experiencing burnout in nursing school. Once you graduate, you could be back to your normal happy self because you save lives and make money. However, you could experience burnout again because you’re giving the best to your patients with little to no recognition. So, you could finally decide to quit your nursing job to become a full-time wedding photographer. After a million exciting wedding shoots, you become burned out once again. Lastly, you decide to quit photography to be a full-time mom, and guess what? You become burnt out again singing “baby shark” over and over again.
I am sure you get what I mean, but burnout occurs in a repetitive cycle because that is just life. As humans, we get so much excitement over new things and work hard at them, to lack interest later. As much as burnout is not a classified medical condition, we need a burnout recovery plan to avoid depression.
5 Short-Term Burnout Recovery Plan
A short-term burnout recovery plan gives you tips on what you could start working on NOW to feel better about your work life to life balance. Nevertheless, this recovery plan is for people experiencing burnout symptoms and are in burnout stages 1-6.
1. Clean Your Environment & Reorganize
Cleaning your workspace or home office can set you back on track to feeling excited about what you do. For instance, every weekend, I clean & organize my office so that I am excited and motivated to start the workweek. Furthermore, at the end of each workday, I make sure to clean and organize my desk space so that it’s fresh in the morning.
Also, reorganizing or redecorating your office or home can stir excitement and productivity because of something new and fresh.
2. Set Boundaries & Delegate
Secondly, if you are burnt out and overwhelmed at work, start looking at your priorities closely. Also, think about what you could drop to pay more attention to yourself and the most important people in your life. For example, to be more available to your kids, start creating work and life boundaries. Make sure that you are efficiently doing your work so that you can make it to family dinner.
In addition, think about ways you could start delegating instead of doing everything by yourself. For example, hire a house cleaner to clean your house every Friday, buy hello fresh meals instead of cooking every day, get a Roomba robot, etc.
Another good point that I know is tough to hear is to distance yourself from emotionally draining friends or colleagues. Yes, it is good to be there for people through hard times. But let me be honest with you, you don’t have to offer therapy services every day in the name of being a good friend. Listening and participating in other people’s problems every day can lead to burnout, bad moods, and setbacks in life. There are people out here talking about how to make million-dollar deals and how to scale up in life. And there are others out there talking about so and so’s relationship problems every day. Just wondering, who is most likely to be successful in life?
Therefore, create boundaries with friends, family, and colleagues to recover from burnout symptoms.
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3. Practice Daily Positive Thinking
Practicing positive thinking is so simple yet very effective way to deal with burnout symptoms quickly. Most of the time, you could be feeling burnt out temporarily from a job you love because it’s the “busy season,” or you’re studying for the BAR exam, or your child is not feeling well. In this challenging season, you have to pay close attention to your mindset and perception of life.
Therefore, start your day by listening to relatable motivational talks, reading a book, listening to a podcast, or praying, knowing that the hectic season will be over soon. And don’t mistake this daily practice for toxic positivity. Just be aware of the difference between being optimistic for your future versus dismissing depression with positivity.
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4. Practice Selfcare
There is a high chance the reason you’re experiencing burnout in life is that you don’t make time for wellness and self-care. If you’re wondering how to recover from burnout quickly, you might want to schedule a self-care routine in your calendar.
I know this may sound like such a cliche, but take some time off from your regular work routine to practice self-care. For example, you could do a simple home workout, meal-prep healthy meals, get your nails done, go out on an intentional date, get off social media, etc. I promise self-care works!
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5. Take A Vacation/ Break
Aaaahhh!!! Taking a day off or going on a vacation is one of the best burnout recovery plans. Mostly this is because when you come back from a trip, you usually feel rejuvenated, relaxed, and ready to tackle your tasks. Therefore, it is essential to schedule reasonable trips within your budget at the beginning of the year.
Furthermore, planning for your trips ahead of time will boost you to work hard now so that you could enjoy your vacation fully. On the contrary, if you don’t have vacation money, still schedule staycation days, where you could do spa days at home, binge-watch tv shows, etc. Simply find ways to break your work routine.
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3 Long-Term Burnout Recovery Plan
A long-term burnout recovery plan is for those who are experiencing severe burnout symptoms, are in stages 7-12, and are unaware if they’re experiencing burnout vs depression.
1. Find Why, Assess, Explore possibilities
If you’re experiencing severe burnout and don’t know how to recover, the first step is to go back to the basics. You have to be vulnerable and dig deep down in your heart to find out your reason for “being.” Basically, find out the reason why you wake up in the morning to go to work. Or why you cater to your kids and family. Or find out why you’re taking those graduate classes.
Mostly 9 out of 10 times, you’re experiencing severe burnout because of misalignment of work. Either you’re overqualified and undervalued, overworked and underpaid, or underqualified and overwhelmed.
Therefore, take the time to assess why you feel burnt out and dread work. Nevertheless, explore possibilities to come out of your situation. As a precaution, this does not necessarily mean quitting your job immediately. However, explore what small steps you can take now to uproot yourself out of the dire situation. For example, can you go back to school? Change career paths? Can you work in a different industry? Start a creative side hustle or business? Move to a different location?
There are numerous resources and opportunities to scale up in life. Do not settle for less in life to the point of getting into a depression. Also, as outrageous as it may sound, do not allow anyone to limit your possibilities through fear. Just go for it, even if it means you have to move silently.
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2. Break The Routine & Take Action
Once you have found what career changes you’d like to make in your life, now you have to take action and break the exhausting routine. It is essential to come out of an unfulfilling lifestyle because you only have one life to live on earth. And is it worth spending crying every day because you are depressed and mentally exhausted?
Heck No! So whenever you are ready, take action. It doesn’t matter how small it is, but keep on moving because the reward awaits on the other side of believing in yourself.
For example, as a first step, you could start a prayer journal to help you get your thoughts together to manifest success and create a list of smart goals to help you achieve what your desire.
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3. Get Therapy
Lastly, the most important tip of all for a burnout recovery plan is getting therapy. If you are on the verge of a breaking point, don’t think twice but get a therapist as soon as you can. It doesn’t matter how embarrassing or unnecessary you may think it is, do it. Mostly this is because no one is supposed to deal with problems alone in this world.
And in the instance you can’t afford therapy, confine yourself with a loved one or friend who can help you make decisions during that tough season of your life.
Last Thoughts On How To Recover From Burnout
In conclusion, I hope that you have found solutions to recover from burnout. Also, please leave a comment below and join my newsletter, so that you don’t miss out on other self-improvement tips for ordinary girl bosses.