5 Steps to Recover From Workplace Burnout

Updated on December 22, 2017
Purpose Embraced profile image

Dr. Yvette Stupart is a clinical counselor and educator. She gives insights on how to experience emotional health and relational well-being.

If you are a victim of workplace burnout, there are steps you can take reignite your passion and sense of purpose you once had.
If you are a victim of workplace burnout, there are steps you can take reignite your passion and sense of purpose you once had. | Source

Do you feel that you lack the passion and drive you once had for your work? This could be a sign of burnout. If you're experiencing emotional exhaustion and feel that you are giving a lot, but getting back very little, chances are you're burnt out. For example, you might feel that your boss does not recognize the extra effort you put in to complete a project. Or, you might have been given an extra responsibility that you struggle to meet.

Other warning signs of burnout include lack of energy and the loss of interest and passion you once had for your job. You may feel overwhelmed by the constant demand on your time and resources. What is more, you are unable to meet these demands. As your energy decreases, you feel helpless and even resentful.

In addition to not having a sense of your life's purpose, you might be experiencing unexplained physical problems. With these signs of burnout, it's time to set new priorities for your life, and take the necessary steps to move towards a more balanced lifestyle.

Recognize the Warning Signs

If you experience extreme and prolonged stress in your life this could result in burnout. You might find that you are physically and emotionally exhausted with feelings of being overwhelmed.

When this happens, your interest and motivation wane, and you find it difficult to meet life’s demands. You can move from feelings of helplessness and failure to full recovery, and work towards a more balanced life.

Are You Suffering From Job Burnout?

Reassess Your Life

It's now time to make plans, and take specific steps to deal with burnout and bounce back. Begin by being honest with yourself. You could start with increasing your emotional intelligence by becoming more aware of your own emotions, and those of others.

As your emotional intelligence increases, you are better able to manage your emotions, such as the feelings of inadequacy that you are experiencing.

You might need a life coach to help you to take steps to re-evaluate the goals and priorities in your life. This will mean that you change the way you have been doing things. It might not be necessary to change jobs, but there are specific things that you need to do, like asking your boss to update your job description or asking for new duties.

Burnout could be a sign that your boundaries are not clear. This could mean that you are extending yourself too much. For example, you might be taking up the slack for your coworkers on the job.

Take time to make a list of what you want from your job, then decide what needs to be changed for a more fulfilling and rewarding work experience.

Prioritize Your Life

Strive for a Balanced Life

It is critical that you balance the demands of your job and the rest of your life. You can begin by scheduling time with your family and friends each week, and don't allow the responsibilities of work to consume you. Be proactive in separating your work from your personal life.

Pay attention to the tasks you do daily, and decide on what is necessary each day. In some cases, you might need to decrease what you do, and delegate some responsibilities. A simple (or not so simple) approach is to learn to say "no." Practice saying "no" in a respectful way without feeling guilty or obligated to the person.

Take care of personal well-being by paying attention to your diet, getting adequate rest, and regular exercise. For example, find time to relax and do exercises that relieve any build up tension you are experiencing. Remember that your physical health affects your emotional states.

The essence of promoting a balanced life is to replace the self-defeating messages you tell yourself based on how you perceive your job. These could include thoughts of hopelessness worthlessness, and not being treated fairly. Instead, as you develop more realistic and healthy cognitive messages, your feelings of anxiety and inadequacy are likely to decrease.

Steps to Prevent Burnout

Develop a Caring Support Network

One thing to keep in mind as you take steps to burnout recovery, is that you can't do it alone. So, develop a network of people to be there for you. Seek to network with you your coworkers in a way that they will cover for you, the way you would do for them, when the need arises.

A good support system among your family and friends is also important in your recovery. For example, have friends or relatives who will babysit for you when you enjoy your weekly date night with your spouse. Also, share household chores with other family members so that you are not overly pressured with household tasks.

As you build these mutually beneficial relationships, strong bonds develop, and you experience a sense of connectedness and belonging. This energizes you and helps in your recovery process.

Factors That Contribute to Burnout

What do you think is the greatest cause of workplace burnout?

See results

Begin Your Recovery From Burnout

Enjoy Your Life

Life's challenges can negatively affect your emotional states. You can take steps to deal with the stressors in your life and prevent burnout. Even more, you don't have to wait, you can enjoy your life right now.

A good start is to make a conscious choice to become happier and more grateful. Spend time giving thanks for the things that are good in your life. Then reflect on what your life would be without these blessings. You might be surprised to find that even with the continuing demands on your emotional resources, you are truly happy.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2013 Yvette Stupart PhD

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    • Purpose Embraced profile imageAUTHOR

      Yvette Stupart PhD 

      6 years ago from Jamaica

      Mel Carriere, depending on the work we do, it is sometimes very difficult not to take work home . But it is so very important to find balance in our lives. We need to give proper attention to all the important aspects of life, such as our family life. Thanks for sharing.

      Hi FlourishAnyway, thanks for visiting my hub. I agree, we all need to make healthy connections with others. This sense of belonging helps to relieve stress and prevents possible burnout.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image


      6 years ago from USA

      I enjoyed this hub. A network of those who genuinely care about what happens to you and how you are feeling is so important to not only emotional but also physical health. There is an important mind-body connection.

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 

      7 years ago from San Diego California

      My biggest problem is compartmentalizing my life so that I can keep work at work and enjoy myself when I am away from it. I once had a terrible job that made it impossible for me to enjoy myself when I was away from it. It was like I had a black cloud following me all the time. I finally got out of that job, which I guess was a pretty effective solution, but I have wondered if there are other ways besides quitting to keep your mind free from an unhealthy work environment when you are not there.

    • Purpose Embraced profile imageAUTHOR

      Yvette Stupart PhD 

      7 years ago from Jamaica

      Thanks MsDora, I'm really honored to be selected.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      7 years ago from The Caribbean

      Congratulations on your nomination as a Rising Star. Your subject matter is very relevant, and your presentation is very good. Thanks for sharing. Voted Up!

    • Purpose Embraced profile imageAUTHOR

      Yvette Stupart PhD 

      7 years ago from Jamaica

      This hub was selected by the HubPages community as a Rising Star. Thanks for voting for me.

    • Purpose Embraced profile imageAUTHOR

      Yvette Stupart PhD 

      7 years ago from Jamaica

      Thanks BkCreative, and nice to meet you too! I can understand your experience having taught high school myself for many years. I am learning to strive for more balance in my life now , and do more of the things I like (but I can't say I'm totally there!)

    • BkCreative profile image


      7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      You know Purpose Embraced - teaching is one of those burnout jobs. Here in NYC - as bad as the economy is - still in the first 5 years there is a 50 percent turnover. As per your poll I voted for 'too demanding' because despite what people think this is not a job that is done between what may appear to be a shortened workday - it is a job that you take home.

      You are always preparing for the next day - but as an English teacher, first I had to grade all the work I had to bring home. Add to that the very low salary for a master's degree - and stress wins out. I left because I wanted a 9-5 job where I was finished when I left.

      I enjoyed your hub. It seems jobs are a major cause of so much stress in our lives. Not good.

      Nice to meet you too. I'll follow and keep up!

    • Purpose Embraced profile imageAUTHOR

      Yvette Stupart PhD 

      7 years ago from Jamaica

      I'm happy you found the article helpful Tamaya. A balanced lifestyle is very important to prevent or recover from burnout.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Great Article Dr. Stupart.

      It's a good reminder of the importance of balance in life.

    • Purpose Embraced profile imageAUTHOR

      Yvette Stupart PhD 

      7 years ago from Jamaica

      Thanks you. I'm happy you found my hub useful.

    • dwachira profile image

      Danson Wachira 

      7 years ago from Nairobi, Kenya

      Hi, Yvette

      Recognizing ones warning signs is a good measure as you have outlined. Great article, voted up and useful.

    • Purpose Embraced profile imageAUTHOR

      Yvette Stupart PhD 

      7 years ago from Jamaica

      Thanks SaffronBlossom, sometimes we really need a change to deal with burnout.

    • SaffronBlossom profile image


      7 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Great hub! I worked as an attorney after law school and found it to be miserable--I definitely burned out. Then I transitioned into a new field and am MUCH happier...it made such a difference to get out of the situation when I found out I couldn't change the situation.

    • Purpose Embraced profile imageAUTHOR

      Yvette Stupart PhD 

      7 years ago from Jamaica

      Thanks Denise for sharing your own personal experience on the helpfulness of the steps to recover from burnout. I am sure it will encourage readers suffering from burnout.

    • denise.w.anderson profile image

      Denise W Anderson 

      7 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      Having experienced burnout, I have used these suggestions and know that they work. Thanks for writing about this important subject!

    • Purpose Embraced profile imageAUTHOR

      Yvette Stupart PhD 

      7 years ago from Jamaica

      Thank you, I'm happy to be a part of the HP community. Glad you found my hub informative too.

    • Taleb80 profile image

      Taleb AlDris 

      7 years ago


      Welcome to HP community, I am sure you will enjoy here.

      Your hub is very informative, thank you for sharing these thoughts.

      Enjoy your life.

    • Purpose Embraced profile imageAUTHOR

      Yvette Stupart PhD 

      7 years ago from Jamaica

      Thanks hwarnero50. I am happy the article could be of some help to you.

    • hwarner050 profile image

      Heather Marie 

      7 years ago from Terre Haute

      Very good article. I work in a very high burnout field so any advice I can read to help ease burnout is helpful.


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