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Feeling Burned Out? These Expert-Approved Strategies Will Help You Recovery

Updated: Jul 27, 2023

Key Points

  1. Recovery Time: The severity of burnout determines the duration of recovery. Mild burnout may take a few weeks to months, while severe burnout may require a year or more for full recovery. It's important to be patient and understand that the process is not linear.

  2. Daily Recovery Activities: Incorporating daily recovery activities into your routine is crucial for burnout recovery. Practices like mindfulness, taking breaks, spending time in nature, or engaging in activities you enjoy can replenish your energy and reduce stress levels.

  3. Realignment with Personal Values: Reflecting on your personal values and making necessary changes can greatly aid burnout recovery. This might involve seeking a new job that aligns with your values, establishing better work-life balance, or investing more time in meaningful activities and relationships.

  4. Nurturing Relationships: Isolation can exacerbate burnout, so it's important to spend time with people who support and understand you. Whether it's friends, family, or support groups, nurturing relationships can provide a sense of belonging and contribute to overall well-being.

  5. Seeking Professional Help: If self-care strategies and lifestyle changes are insufficient, seeking help from professionals such as therapists or coaches is recommended. They can provide a structured recovery program, coping strategies, and assistance in addressing underlying issues related to burnout.

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Feeling Burned Out? These Expert-Approved Strategies Will Help You Recover

Burnout, a state of chronic stress leading to physical and mental health deterioration, is more common than we'd like to admit. The World Health Organization even classified job burnout as an occupational phenomenon in 2019. It's no big deal, you say, but the physical symptoms of burnout go beyond feeling tired or emotionally exhausted. They may lead to more severe health issues. Moreover, when you experience burnout, it impacts not only your job performance but also your personal relationships and overall well-being.

So, how do you know if you're experiencing burnout? The classic symptoms include emotional exhaustion, chronic fatigue in your body, and a noticeable lack of motivation. At times, you may feel overwhelmed and hopeless.

Research suggests that recovery from burnout is possible, but it's crucial to admit the problem first. Pretending things are fine while your energy levels are depleting will not help you recover from burnout. You need to acknowledge what you're going through and then start taking steps toward recovery.

We've compiled a comprehensive guide filled with expert-approved strategies to help you through this challenging time. We've also included insights into the stages of burnout recovery and different types of burnout recovery.

How to Recover From Burnout

1. Get Outside

Getting out in nature for just 20 minutes a day, five days a week, has been proven to help with burnout. Engaging in physical activity, like a short walk, can significantly improve your mental health and reduce stress. Regular exercise releases endorphins, the body's natural mood lifters, and lowers cortisol levels.

2. Create a Healthy Work-Life Balance

Overworking is often a significant cause of job burnout. A systematic review of the research literature suggests that maintaining a healthy work-life balance is crucial to preventing and recovering from burnout. Try to limit your work-related activities to working hours and dedicate time for rest, spending time with loved ones, or pursuing meaningful activities outside of work.

3. Learn Stress Management Techniques

There are many ways to manage stress. Techniques like deep breathing exercises, yoga, and meditation are all low-cost activities that can help you reduce stress and cultivate positive emotions. Paying attention to your stress levels and incorporating stress management techniques into your daily routine can help you prevent burnout.

4. Seek Professional Help

Sometimes, treating burnout may require professional intervention, especially in cases of severe burnout. A coach, therapist, or other healthcare professionals can guide you through the recovery process. They can also help you understand the underlying causes of your burnout and provide coping strategies for severe work-related stress.

5. Nourish Your Body

A balanced diet supports good health, energy levels, and well-being. Nutrient deficiencies can lead to physical symptoms like chronic fatigue and contribute to emotional exhaustion. Therefore, it's vital to follow a healthy diet during the burnout recovery process.

6. Create a Healthy Sleep Schedule

Your body and mind need rest to recover from burnout. Prioritize sleep and establish a regular sleep schedule. This can significantly affect your physical and mental health.

7. Reach Out to Others

Don't underestimate the power of social support. Reach out to your friends and family members. Their understanding and encouragement can be a significant source of strength during your burnout recovery.

8. Journaling

Journaling can be a powerful tool for mental health. It allows you to reflect on personal values, identify what needs to be added or subtracted from your life, and monitor your progress. Research suggests that journaling can enhance recovery-related self-efficacy and contribute to successful recovery.

9. Set Boundaries

Setting boundaries can help maintain a healthy work-life balance and prevent job burnout. Define the line between work and life, especially if you're working remotely. This might mean having a dedicated workspace at home, turning off work notifications after working hours, or avoiding work on weekends. It's okay to say no and prioritize your personal health and well-being.

Stages of Burnout Recovery

Understanding the stages of burnout recovery can provide you with a roadmap as you navigate through this process. These stages include:

1. Awareness: Recognizing the signs of burnout is the first step in the recovery process.

2. Admission: Acknowledge that you are experiencing burnout and need to make changes.

3. Assessment: Identify the factors causing your burnout. This might be too much stress at work, a lack of work-life balance, or other underlying issues.

4. Implementation: This is where you start applying recovery strategies like stress management techniques, setting boundaries, improving your diet, and getting more exercise.

5. Rejuvenation: At this stage, you should start to notice positive changes in your physical and mental health.

6. Prevention: Now that you've recovered, the focus shifts to preventing burnout from happening again.

Three types of burnout recovery are internal recovery (changes you make within yourself), interpersonal recovery (changes in your relationships), and organizational recovery (changes in your workplace).

Regardless of the type of burnout recovery you're focusing on, it's important to keep the following in mind:

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Burnout Recovery Takes Time

The severity of your burnout will determine how long it takes to fully recover. Mild burnout may require a few weeks to months of implementing these strategies, while severe burnout may take a year or more.

Burnout recovery is not a linear process, and there may be ups and downs along the way. Be patient with yourself and celebrate small victories as you make progress towards recovery. Remember that it's not a race, and moving forward at your own pace is what's most important.

Burnout is a serious condition that can have significant impacts on your physical and mental health. But with the right strategies and supports in place, recovery is possible. Remember, it's essential to take care of your well-being, seek help when needed, and prioritize self-care in your daily life.

Always consult with a healthcare professional if you're experiencing burnout or severe work-related stress. They can provide you with a tailored recovery training program and help guide you through the recovery process.

By understanding burnout, acknowledging its presence, and taking proactive steps towards recovery, we can transform this stressful event into a powerful learning experience that promotes personal growth and resilience.

Incorporate Daily Recovery into Your Routine

One critical aspect of how to recover from burnout is integrating daily recovery activities into your routine. Simple things like practicing mindfulness, taking short breaks during work, spending time in nature, or indulging in low-cost activities you love, can help replenish your energy levels and lower stress levels.

Reflect on Personal Values and Realign

Often, burnout occurs when your work or life doesn't align with your personal values. Reflecting on what truly matters to you and making necessary changes can greatly help your burnout recovery. For some, this might mean seeking a new job that aligns with their values. For others, it may mean establishing better work-life balance or investing more time and energy in personal relationships or meaningful activities.

Nourishing Relationships

Isolation can often compound the feelings of burnout. Spend time with people who nurture your spirit and understand your situation. This could be friends, family, or even support groups. These connections can infuse positive emotions, provide a sense of belonging, and significantly contribute to your well-being.

Seek Professional Help

If self-care strategies and lifestyle changes aren't enough, it might be time to seek help from professionals. Therapists and coaches can offer a structured recovery training program, provide coping strategies, and help navigate through the underlying issues of burnout.

Remember, it's okay to seek help, and in many cases, it's a necessity. Working with a professional can offer much-needed support and accelerate the recovery process.

Recognize Your Achievements

During the recovery process, it's easy to overlook small improvements and focus on the bigger picture. However, recognizing these little victories can boost your confidence, enhance your recovery-related self-efficacy, and keep you motivated on your recovery journey.

Making a Break, Making a Change

One thing to remember is that it's okay to make significant changes if they contribute to your recovery and prevent future burnout. If this means changing jobs, reducing your workload, or taking a break from work altogether, that's perfectly fine. You are the priority.

Burnout Prevention is Key

While this article is all about how to recover from burnout, preventing burnout in the first place is ideal. Regular self-care, maintaining a healthy work-life balance, managing stress, and paying attention to your physical and mental health can prevent burnout. Make it a part of your routine to check in with yourself, understand your stress levels, and ensure that you're not overextending your energy.

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Burnout is a complex condition that requires a comprehensive approach to recovery. By acknowledging your feelings and the negative emotions associated with burnout, seeking help, and employing various strategies, you can effectively recover from burnout and regain your life's joy and vitality. It's important to recognize that everyone's experience with burnout is different, and therefore, their recovery journey will be unique as well. What works for one person may not work for another, so it's essential to explore different approaches and find what resonates with you.

During the recovery process, it's common to feel emotionally exhausted and physically depleted. The demands of your job may have taken a toll on your well-being, and you may have experienced a decline in work performance. These feelings of fatigue and hopelessness can be overwhelming, making it difficult to perform optimally in various aspects of life. However, with patience, determination, and self-compassion, a successful recovery is absolutely achievable.

In addition to the strategies mentioned throughout this article, there are other strategies you can explore to support your burnout recovery. These may include engaging in activities that provide mental benefits, such as hobbies or creative outlets. Taking breaks and focusing on self-care can also help replenish your own energy levels and restore a sense of balance in your life.

It's important to address the common symptoms of burnout, such as chronic fatigue, feeling overwhelmed, and a lack of motivation. By implementing the strategies discussed, such as setting boundaries, practicing stress management techniques, and nourishing your body through a healthy diet and regular exercise, you can effectively overcome these symptoms and regain a sense of well-being.

Remember, not everyone will experience burnout in the same way or require the same recovery path. It's a journey that requires individualized attention and an understanding of your unique circumstances. What matters most is your commitment to self-care and your willingness to seek the support you need.

In summary, recovering from burnout is a process that demands self-reflection, self-care, and reaching out for assistance when necessary. By recognizing the signs of burnout, implementing appropriate strategies, and embracing a comprehensive approach to recovery, you can successfully navigate this challenging period and emerge with renewed energy and a healthier work-life balance. Your well-being is worth prioritizing, and with the right mindset and resources, you can overcome burnout and cultivate a fulfilling and sustainable lifestyle.

Keep Learning:

Reignite Your Well-Being

Negative feelings, job stress, and emotional exhaustion can quickly lead to burnout, leaving us feeling tired, overwhelmed, and hopeless. But amidst the challenges, there is a way to rediscover well-being and reclaim our lives.

Enter self-help books, powerful tools to guide us through the complexities of burnout and provide actionable strategies for transformation. These books offer insights, empathy, and practical techniques to combat burnout and regain a sense of purpose and vitality.

In this section, we present five exceptional self-help books that address burnout head-on. From setting boundaries to embracing vulnerability, these books offer diverse perspectives and tools for personal growth.

Through their pages, you'll find solace, inspiration, and actionable steps to navigate burnout's maze. These authors, drawing from psychology, mindfulness, and personal development, share their expertise and personal experiences to help you on your journey to recovery.

While no book alone can solve burnout, these resources serve as catalysts for self-reflection, offering guidance and empowering strategies. Discover new perspectives, embrace change, and reclaim your well-being.

Join us as we explore the transformative world of self-help books, igniting the path to overcome burnout and live a life filled with purpose and fulfillment.

1. "The Burnout Solution: 12 Weeks to a Calmer You" by Siobhan Murray

Summary: In this book, Siobhan Murray offers a comprehensive 12-week program to help individuals overcome burnout and create a calmer and more fulfilling life. The book provides practical strategies, exercises, and tools to manage stress, set boundaries, improve self-care, and regain control of your life. With a step-by-step approach, this book helps readers develop new habits and mindset shifts for long-term burnout prevention and recovery.

2. "The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work" by Shawn Achor

Summary: In "The Happiness Advantage," Shawn Achor explores the link between happiness and success. Drawing from positive psychology research, he presents seven principles that can transform our mindset and lead to increased happiness, productivity, and overall well-being. Achor offers practical strategies to cultivate positive emotions, manage stress, and develop resilience, ultimately helping readers combat burnout and thrive in all areas of life.

3. "Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead" by Brené Brown

Summary: Brené Brown, a renowned researcher and storyteller, explores the power of vulnerability in "Daring Greatly." Through her insights and personal anecdotes, she explains how embracing vulnerability can lead to more meaningful connections, resilience, and personal growth. By challenging societal expectations and learning to embrace our imperfections, Brown provides a path towards overcoming burnout and finding true fulfillment.

4. "The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment" by Eckhart Tolle

Summary: In "The Power of Now," Eckhart Tolle invites readers to embrace the present moment and let go of past regrets or future worries. He explores the concept of mindfulness and its transformative power in reducing stress, finding inner peace, and experiencing a deeper sense of fulfillment. By focusing on the present moment, Tolle offers insights that can help individuals combat burnout and reconnect with their authentic selves.

5. "Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones" by James Clear

Summary: James Clear's "Atomic Habits" provides a practical framework for creating positive habits and eliminating detrimental ones. By breaking down the process of behavior change into small, manageable steps, Clear guides readers towards making lasting changes that can improve productivity, well-being, and overall satisfaction. This book offers valuable insights for those seeking to break free from burnout-inducing patterns and establish healthier routines.


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