Burnout Recovery Strategy

I’ve put together a few dot points in response to several requests for a positive approach to dealing with burnout. All comments and suggestions for improvement are welcome.

Put temporary boundaries in place

  • Get a proper break – press pause
  • No major decisions
  • No new responsibilities
  • Suspend contact with work
  • Minimal screen time
  • Recommended: suspend use of social media


Receive love

  • Be with those you love without distraction
  • Listen deeply
  • Allow time for conversations to develop naturally – don’t force it
  • Be vulnerable enough to ask for what you need


Care for your physical health (N.E.W.S.)

  • Nutrition – eat healthy, modest amounts regularly
  • Exercise – at least an hour a day
  • Water – at least 2 litres a day
  • Sleep – at least 7 hours and enough that you don’t need an alarm


Reflective practice

  • Prayer – simply be with God, only speak when you have something you want to say
  • Document your reflections where possible, review and edit progressively
  • Revisit your values – the ‘why?’ question
  • Consider what you want to do with your life and how that fits with your role
  • Identify sources of stress, put them in perspective and develop ways to deal with them


Ease back in

  • Work in defined time periods
  • Resist pressure to respond quickly – buy time
  • Share the load more than you did previously
  • Confront graciously – appropriate assertiveness
  • Do things that restore your soul


Review the signs of progress

  • Laughter becomes more spontaneous
  • Interest in people increases
  • Positive reaction to interruptions
  • Compulsive behaviour abates
  • Creativity / fresh ideas come again
  • Concentration span increases
  • Better able to cope with complexity and ambiguity
  • Future orientation
  • Generosity wells up
  • Patience in the face of irritation
  • Feeling of resentment abates
  • Sense of gratitude rises
  • Joy and peace rises