We recently did a post to help you identify the signs of burnout. But once you’ve realized you’re exhausted and worn down, what do you do about it? How do you start the process of recovery so that you can return to your life of joy and fulfillment?
It’s possible to recover from burnout, but it can be difficult. And the longer you try to push through it the longer it usually takes to recover. It’s sort of like walking on a broken foot; it’s not going to get better while you keep beating it up. Burnout works the same way. But there are things you can do to help the process. These are mostly habits you want to bring into your life on a regular basis, not just for a recovery week. But they will help you return to feeling good again, and hopefully help you avoid hitting burnout so hard in the future.
1. Set Boundaries In Your Life
The fact that you’re burnt out isn’t your fault, but it likely got started because you didn’t have boundaries around your time. So many of us want to please our bosses, or help our coworkers, or maybe we just really like our jobs. This leads to staying at work late, taking on extra projects, agreeing to be involved in every single activity, and refusing to take breaks. This kind of behavior might help when there’s a crisis, but the problem is it’s much too easy for it to become a habit.
The next thing you know people expect you to stay at work 2 hours late. They don’t ask you before they give you their extra projects, and they assume you’ll work through lunch. You’re exhausted, but you feel trapped in these bad habits.
It’s important to set boundaries. If you want to have work-life balance, you must decide when and how you work so that it fits your own needs and not other people’s expectations. Leave on time, don’t check work Emails at night, take your vacation days. Protect yourself and your time.
2. Care For Your Body
When we get burnt out, it’s so easy to neglect our bodies. People spend 12 hours at their desks and drink coffee instead of eating lunch. They don’t get sunlight or sleep.
Remember that your body responds to what you put it through. Sure, going for a quick walk or eating a satisfying lunch won’t fix a toxic work situation, but you’ll probably still feel better. There’s no judgment for struggling to keep up with physical care. But it’s good to prioritize it in whatever ways you can handle. A body that’s been well-cared-for will have an easier time dealing with stress.
3. Let Yourself Enjoy Chicago!
How long has it been since you sat down and painted, or played a video game you like, or listened to music? How often do you want to sit down to read a book, but you won’t let yourself because you’re too busy? When was the last time you went to a park or one of Chicago’s great attractions?
Life gets hectic, but you must take time for hobbies. Doing something around town, or in your house that relaxes you and gives you joy is going to make a world of difference to your tired brain. It’s easy to set passions aside for work or family, but it’s important to have activities that you care about. Prioritizing your hobbies will help you establish your boundaries, and help you find yourself again amongst all the chaos.
Burnout is a serious condition. It’s common, but not normal. For the sake of your physical and mental health, if you notice that you’re showing some of the Signs Of Burnout, start trying to work some of these strategies into your life. It’s better to prevent burnout than treat it, so the sooner you work on restoring yourself the easier time you’ll have with recovery.
If you aren’t sure how to do that, reach out to us at Marble Wellness. We’ve worked with lots of women in the Chicago area to help them recover from burnout. Our trained therapists will help you find the best ways to get back to the life you want and will guide you in developing healthy coping strategies to deal with whatever’s causing your struggles.
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