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Be Kind to Yourself: Recovering from Burnout

Our blogs from the past two weeks covered the signs of burnout. This week we’ll address how to begin to recover from burnout. According to Psychology Today, “Burnout is a cunning thief that robs the world of its best and its brightest by feeding on their energy, enthusiasm, and passion, transforming these positive qualities into exhaustion, frustration, and disillusionment.”[1] Implementing small lifestyle and work management changes can help you along your path to regain your passion. Below are some steps provided by Psychology Today.

Take stock.

Make lists. It may seem like more work. However, by getting every task down on paper, you can see how much you have to get done, how much you have gotten done, and how that list is shrinking. This list is tangible evidence that you are making progress and that you have control over your workload. A lot of our time can be swept away in tasks that need doing, but we don’t give ourselves credit of doing. Answered fifteen emails this morning? Check responses to emails off your list, and move on to the next task that can’t be ignored. Answered thirty emails on your mobile device throughout the evening and/or weekend? Acknowledge that.


Remember those evening or weekend emails? Are they necessary? Figure out what is a must do, and then start drawing boundaries. Treat your breaks and recharge time just as you would an important meeting. Also, evaluate your tasks. How long is your list? Is it not shrinking? Is that weekly task making your list seem never ending? Make sure that you are doing two things:

  1. You are acknowledging those weekly or daily tasks, completing them, and removing them from your list. If you aren’t removing them as you complete those tasks, you may be stressing yourself out by having those floating, constant tasks on your list. Those types of weekly and daily tasks can make it seem like you aren’t getting as much done as you know you are.
  2. You should critically evaluate what you spend your time on. You are going above and beyond on a task that can get done well with less energy and devotion? You shouldn’t leave a task undone or not done well, but don’t exert time and energy where is it unrequired and unappreciated, especially when you have other required and monitored tasks that are suffered due to your time being spend elsewhere.


Come to terms with the fact that you can’t do everything. Learn to let go of certain tasks. If you must, create a directions or advice/tips document to go with the task, but then send that task to someone else. Let that task go. Sing along with Elsa as you send that email or interoffice packet. Let it go! This mentality can apply to tasks at home to. If there is a home project that sits on your list and makes you feel guilty because you never have time to get to it, hire someone to do it for you. If you are low on disposable income, barter with a friend. Treat friend to a nice home-cooked dinner after they fixed your garbage disposal. It’s a win-win for everyone.

Besides a long vacation (with no emails and no phone calls), these are some of the steps you can begin to take to recover your passion and your center. Remember to be gentle with yourself. Often those who burnout are those to push themselves too hard and are the most critical of their own work. You love what you do; don’t let your mindset sabotage your own productivity and passion.




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