Just as it took time to become burnt out, the recovery process can be just as long. Below are a few tips you can try to help along the healing process.
- Leave the House Every Day
The burnout symptoms and recovery period can make you feel like turning into a homebody if you aren’t going to work. While you need to get plenty of rest, it’s just as important to keep in touch with people and the outside world. Even just going for a walk every day can help improve your outlook. Light exercise is ideal for beating depression and anxiety so go for a swim or join a casual team sport.
- Improve Your Diet
Mental exhaustion can make it difficult to shop and prepare meals for yourself but eating a poor diet supplemented with alcohol is a recipe for a longer recovery. A diet rich in vitamins and minerals will make you feel better and will help with building up your depleted immune system. There is now evidence that gut health is linked to mental health so eating foods that are good for your gut could be helpful. Remember to get a little sunshine each day for some vitamin D.
- Take Stock of Your Values and Goals
Burnout can be a life-altering time of life. Use it to assess what changes you could make to your life to improve it. For instance, sometimes people work long hours but are not necessarily productive during those hours. Others may have forgotten what they are aiming for in their career and feel on a treadmill that they can’t get off. You might decide to spend time with your family and friends rather putting in long hours at the office. Think about what you want in life.
- Be Prepared to Talk About It
Things are unlikely to change unless you do something about it. Burnout rarely goes away of its own accord. Mental health difficulties don’t have the same stigma they did 10 or so years ago. Don’t be ashamed to tell work that you are experiencing burnout or mental health problems. You may want to take some leave or reduce your workload to help with recovery. Your feedback may encourage your employer to make changes that could help your current and future colleagues. You may need to rely on your friends and family more than ever now to get through this challenging time.
- Practice Positivity and Mindfulness
You may have spent months being cynical and feeling angry but that doesn’t mean you need to be like this forever. Try to think positively and envisage a better future for yourself. Surround yourself with supportive and positive people who can help you maintain a positive outlook on life. It’s likely that you will need regularly reminding that this state isn’t permanent and that you will beat it. Mindfulness and meditation has been proven to help with anxiety, stress and depression and are worth looking into. Talking therapies, such as counselling or cognitive-behavioural coaching have considerable research proving they have a very positive effect. They might be helpful to keep you focussed on practical, positive thought patterns and activities.
- Be Patient and Kind to Yourself
If you are suffering from burnout, one of the most important things you can do is to be patient with yourself. Learning how to deal with work burnout takes time. Overcoming burnout can take months before you feel like your old self again.
For further advice & support contact EAP Assist