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How to Recover From Burnout

This week I held a workshop all about how you can recover from burnout and I want to share this content with you. It seems burnout is top of mind for many people. And think about it, why shouldn't we feel burned out? With the pandemic, labor shortages, economic concerns, and being reminded every single day that you're not doing enough - it adds up. So I wanted to dive into why we feel this way, how we can acknowledge the signs and build resistance to burnout in the future. Recovery is all about understanding and finding grace to know you're doing enough.

Burnout begins with understanding what exactly it is. The World Health Organization defines burnout as emotional, physical and mental exhaustion brought on by excessive stress levels. In fact 63% of employees experience burnout according to Forbes.

AND in 2021 nearly 3 in 5 employees reported negative impacts of work-related stress, APA's 2021 Work and Well-being Survey. What does that look like at work?

  • 26% say lack of interest, motivation or energy

  • 19% say lack of effort at work

  • 36% reported cognitive weariness

  • 32% reported emotional exhaustion

  • 44% reported emotional physical fatigue

Burnout is a sign that something needs to change. - unknown

Symptoms of Burnout:

Psychological Symptoms of Burnout

  • Anxiety

  • Detachment

  • Difficulty concentrating

  • Lack of creativity

  • Loss of purpose

  • Cynicism

  • Frustration

Physical Symptoms of Burnout

  • Exhaustion

  • General achiness

  • Headaches

  • Gastrointestinal disorders

  • Difficulty sleeping

  • Lowered immune system

  • Muscle tension

Symptoms of Burnout at Work

  • Reduced performance and productivity

  • Job turnover

  • Absenteeism

  • Negative attitudes towards co-workers

Causes of Burnout:

  • Lack of control - No influence over decisions that affect your job - such as schedule, assignments or workload - could lead to burnout.

  • Unclear job expectations - Being unsure of your job expectations and unclear about your level of authority in your position - this could be co-workers or supervisor.

  • Lack of social support - Feeling isolated at work and in your personal life might be a source of burnout.

  • Work-life imbalance - If your work takes up too much of your time and effort that you don't have the energy to spend time with your family or friends.


Employees need attention in 13 different areas in their work lives. Needs are required because it is essential or very important. That might go without saying but it is important to realize that needs do not take place of wants. Here is a list of areas of needs in the workplace - read them carefully.

  • Fair Wages

  • Health & well-being

  • Job Security

  • Career Growth

  • Feedback

  • Belonging

  • Work-life balance

  • Recognition

  • Purpose

  • Leadership

  • Responsibility

  • Goals

  • Respect

Choose the top three areas you feel need to put your attention now. Keep these in mind as you do the activity below.

Burnout shows up subconsciously in our everyday from unmet needs.

Let's Tighten Our Boundaries - Activity

  1. Name a boundary that you could tighten...(think about the 13 areas of need list)

  2. What would a tighter boundary look like?

  3. What need is being met by keeping the boundary loose?

  4. What are two ways you might meet that need. - List two ways here you find a solution to this unmet need. Also, by setting a tighter boundary would the solution conflict with your values or be true to your values?

  5. Set your plan in action!

Example: If your need is to be paid fair wages - talk to your manager. But have a plan of action.

Manage Burnout On Your Team

  • Observe your team members - Refer back to the list of symptoms of burnout. Look for these signs among your team.

  • Give them designated time - Weekly one to wones are incredibly important for your team members. Give them a designated time each week and focus on the 13 needs outline for the workplace.

  • Listen and help when they ask - Listen carefully to your team member. Ask them open ended questions and take action only when they approve of an action plan.

  • Delegate - It is debilitating not to delegate if you know someone is looking for more and you don't give it over.

  • Breathe - Set aside time for your team to do some mindful breathwork. Use an app like Headspace or Calm to bring 5 minutes of mindful box breathing to the workplace (4-4-4-4).

  • Foster Belonging - Encourage your team to have a sense of belonging. Have weekly meetings to ensure they know what the goals are for the week and ask for input.

At the end of the day, make space for you! When you are at your best, your team is at their best. It is okay to be 'selfish'. By being 'selfish' you are holding your boundaries tight and you are giving back that much needed energy you've longed for.

Your needs will adjust and change over time. Be mindful of when your body is saying 'help' and pay attention to your most critical need.

Sometimes we are so focused on what we want, we miss the things we need. - unknown

If you want to reach out to speak to me about burnout, click the button below.


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