Workplace burnout is a concern facing many employees today.

However, burnout is a form of extreme exhaustion that is brought on by stress and that interferes with your ability to perform day-to-day tasks.


It can lead to mental and physical health problems if it’s not addressed.

How To Recover From Burnout
How To Recover From Burnout

In fact, the World Health Organization declared it an official medical diagnosis.

Anything that causes stress in your life can cause burnout, but work-related stress is usually one of the main culprits.

Up to seven per cent of people who work may experience burnout at any given time.


Psychology Today even called it a “chronic workplace crisis”.

Teachers, health care workers, and social workers are more prone to burnout, but it can occur in any field.

Here’s a list of actions you can take if you’re feeling burnt out.

Keep in mind that burnout looks different for everyone, so your recovery plan may look different from a friend or family member’s.


1. Identify Your Stressors

The best place to start is by evaluating your job. Which aspect of it is making you feel the way you do?

Is there anything you can change in the short-term to make things better?


Examine beyond your career. Are you also in school with a difficult schedule?

Are you overloaded with responsibility at home?

Is a family member sick? Maybe your time and energy are already being zapped elsewhere.

Handling burnout starts with identifying the root cause.

Determine what type of burnout you have, and whether the stressors start in your professional or personal life.

2. Communicate Your Needs At Work

Sometimes, an overloaded or under-challenged situation at work can be resolved by having several conversations with your manager.

Decide whether your current situation could be improved before you decide you want to search for another job.

If you decide that you want to keep your job and make changes, communication is key.

Also, if you feel like you can talk to your boss directly, then consider coming up with a strategy and plan for what you’ll say in the meeting.

Have a proposed solution or ideas for how you can either contribute to more projects or lessen your workload and step back from a task (whichever is needed).

If you don’t have an open dialogue with your boss, ask your HR or People team if they have any solutions.

If you decide that you want to switch jobs, take time to look around and apply.

Be careful not to overload yourself though, because applying for jobs (especially during an economic downturn) could add to your burnout.

3. Create Your Burnout Recovery Plan

Each case of workplace burnout is different, so there’s no silver bullet recovery plan.

The first step is to admit that a problem exists and that you’ll take several steps to address it.

As a result, things may get worse before they get better.

Drafting a plan for how you’ll deal with your burnout can help keep things tangible.

Once you’ve identified the root cause, reflect on what types of recovery will help.

For some, taking time off can help provide the perspective you need to be confident about your next steps.

Staying at your job and “fixing” your situation may require you to set better boundaries.

What projects can you say “no” to?

Push back on projects that won’t help you grow. Delegate tasks, if possible.

Consider seeing a professional therapist or counselor to provide additional insight, if it is affecting your mental health.

Make sure you’re exercising, eating a healthy diet, and getting plenty of sleep.

For some, quitting and taking a months-long break is a better solution.

In this case, create a plan for how you’ll spend your time.

4. Take Steps Toward Recovery

On a day-to-day basis, there are small tasks you can do that may help with your burnout or even prevent future burnout. These can be especially helpful:

  • Keep your workspace organised
  • Take little mental breaks throughout the workday
  • Set aside time every day to focus on something fun
  • Try to turn your mind off of work tasks when you’re not at work.
  • Prioritize your work tasks
  • Delegate the things you can’t do
  • Set boundaries with your boss and coworkers
  • Change your scenery if you can by working outdoors or spending some time working from home

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However, everyone deals with stress in their lives, but too much of it without the proper coping mechanisms can lead to burnout.

Stress at work is often a leading cause, but school, family, and lifestyle can also contribute.

If you choose not to address burnout, it could affect your ability to handle day-to-day tasks.

It could even lead to more serious mental and physical issues. Thankfully, there are steps you can take to recover from burnout.

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