6 Simple (Yet Powerful) Tips For Recovering From Burnout & Preventing It From Happening Again

Burnout can make you feel hopeless. Here's how to get past it.

How To Recover From Burnout Symptoms & Protect Your Mental Health From Emotional Exhaustion by freestocks.org from Pexels

If you're feeling the effects of mental, physical, or emotional exhaustion, it can be hard to reconnect with your excitement for completing your goals throughout the year.

In order to focus on being truly happy and building happiness year-round (that isn't isolated to when you achieve something), you have to figure out how to balance your mental health and physical health and recover from burnout.


RELATED: 8 Self-Care Tips For Anyone Who’s Recovering From Burnout

No matter what time of year it is, it can be hard to reconnect to the giddy excitement you once had about your goals.

Whether you're focused on sticking to New Year’s resolutions or have been setting goals throughout the year, often the reality real-life sets in, leaving you taking on too much and suffering from burnout symptoms.


It can often feel as if you’ll never reach those goals.

That’s why it’s important to be reminded that you can still pursue your goals, reclaim that excitement, and learn how to recover from burnout.

What you have to be willing to do is to return to the basics of self-care. Soon, you’ll discover that not only will you be on the path to recovering from feeling burned out, but you’ll also discover you have the zest — and energy — to pursue your goals with gusto.

Want to know how to recover from burnout symptoms?

Here are 6 simple tips to help you get over your burn out and start feeling happy and excited by life again:

1. Watch your mouth (and thoughts).

Want to know one of the causes of feeling burned out? Thinking about feeling burned out. What makes it even worse is complaining about feeling burned out. Constantly.


It’s as if you’re taking your overwhelmed, negative thoughts and not only breathing life into them but giving them legs!

So, one of the keys to learning how to recover from feeling burned out is to shift your thoughts. Yes, allow yourself to acknowledge that you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed in the moment, and then shift your thoughts to a solution rather than the problem. (Complaining is all about focusing on the problem!)

If this sounds super hard, then prepare yourself by creating some go-to mantras or solutions to repeat to yourself when those thoughts arise. Personally, I like taking pen to paper and brainstorming a list of better thoughts and actions I can take when I think about feeling overwhelmed or burned out.

2. Watch what you're eating, too.

There’s nothing like a glass of wine and a good meal at the end of a stressful day. But there’s a big difference between having a nice dinner and numbing your stress with food or liquor.


Unfortunately, burnout can cause you to swap out good habits for bad ones, which creates a vicious cycle. On the flip side of that, dieting to an extreme often leads to feeling burned out, too.

Though it sounds like a cliche, if you want to know how to recover from burnout, examine what you put in your mouth.

Bad habits of overindulging, lots of processed foods, and numbing with alcohol can exacerbate burnout. Adhering to a strict of fad diet, even one that’s touted as “healthy,” can cause you to feel burned out as well.

Your body and mind need to be fueled with good, whole foods. And adequate hydration.

That means you need to eat meals that are made of whole foods rather than processed foods. And water over booze, wine, and caffeinated drinks. Of course, I’m not saying cut out all sweets, coffee, or wine. It’s all about moderation.


If you need help with this, consider meal planning as a way to both watch what you eat and relieve the stress of figuring out what to eat.

3. Get enough sleep.

I know you’ve heard it before, but you need to get enough sleep. Yes, I know that when you’re feeling overwhelmed and stressed out, experiencing insomnia can be one of the side effects. But I’m going to ask you the hard question: Are you really unable to sleep, or are you sabotaging your sleep?

Just like winding down at the end of the day with a glass of wine feels like it’s helping, numbing out to some mindless television or internet surfing seems like a great solution to feeling burned out.

Like food and alcohol, though, it’s all about moderation. And, to be honest, it’s also about timing.


The blue light emanating from your phone and computer can mess with your circadian rhythms, making it harder for you to fall asleep and leaving you feeling slightly jet-lagged in the mornings.

If you want to know how to recover from burnout symptoms, then you need to create a bedtime routine that doesn’t include television or internet or your phone within an hour of bedtime.

If you find that you’re going to bed early but waking up hours before your alarm clock, consider setting a non-negotiable standard for yourself. For me, if I wake up anytime after 4:00 a.m., I just get up for the day. Better yet, create a closed decision loop of, “If this happens, then I will do this."

For me, if I wake up long before the alarm, my “then” is to head downstairs to my office and get in some time nourishing myself: Stretching, reading, meditation, and/or writing in my journal.


RELATED: How To Know If You Have Parental Burnout (And 6 Steps To Take In Order To Avoid It)

4. Choose what you need to focus on.

I’m sure I’m not the only one that finds myself feeling super touchy and as if everything is super important. And urgent. And needs to be done right this minute.

Especially when I’m feeling burned out and overwhelmed. And then, of course, I get in a cycle of feeling more overwhelmed. And more burned out.


So, if you want to learn how to recover from feeling burned out, you’ve got to lighten up. Remind yourself that not everything is do-or-die.

Like gratitude, taking an optimistic and lighter view of life helps minimize stress. And, darling, that’s one of the ways to choose to be happy over feeling burned out.

5. Get a hobby.

People who tie their identities more strongly to their jobs are even more prone to experiencing burnout. Yes, even if you love what you do, it’s important to have interests outside of work. Socializing with friends is generally considered a good antidote to the drudgery of a working day, but remember that you need friends outside of work to help with work burn out.

Outside of doing things with friends, remember that hobbies like reading, cooking, and fiber arts (like knitting or cross-stitch) can be super relaxing. Just make sure it’s something you want to do and not something you think you should do.


6. Get clear on what you want — and why.

Sometimes, you feel burned out because you’re spending time on things that aren’t really important to you. That’s why it’s important to dive into what you really want. If that question feels too far out there, begin with defining your roles and go from there.

Once you get clear on things you want, then ask yourself why. Why do you want to achieve that goal?

Diving into your why of what you do and what goals you want to pursue allows you to truly recover from feeling burned out and overwhelmed.

My dear, life is short. And you deserve to spend your time loving life rather than feeling stressed out and burned out.


While these six tips on how to recover from burnout may seem overly-simple, that’s the real beauty of them. Solid, simple, practical actions allow you to truly recover.

And better yet, they help you create practical solutions and new habits that enable you to protect yourself from future burnout. And that is golden.

When you’re not constantly stressed out, overwhelmed, and burned out, then that precious energy and attention of yours can be put toward pursuing those amazing goals of yours.

RELATED: The Sneaky Way Your Work Stress Could Spiral Out Of Control

Debra Smouse is a life coach and author who has been published in Time, Huffington Post, MSN, Psychology Today, and more. She knows that the path to loving your life begins with an uncluttered mind. Snag a free workbook with life hacks on how to love your life.