Learn. Reflect. Grow.

Burnout Recovery: Simple, Not Always Easy

Reflecting on a conversation with a friend and fellow psychotherapist, I’m realizing that the ways to recover from burnout are in some ways simple.  For example, one piece of burnout recovery is releasing stress from the body by completing the stress response (check out my free e-book for more on that).  The most effective way to do this is exercise (or movement for those who have aversions to the “E” word). 

Exercise seems like a simple answer to the awful way burnout has left us feeling.  It’s not profound or mind-blowing.  And sure, it’s not the only thing we need to do to recover from burnout, but it is a solid first step.

The thing about burnout recovery that is hard is getting our burned out selves to do the stuff that we know will help.

In my nursing burnout recovery program, the first thing we do is go over how exercise and other tools help us complete the stress response and why this is an essential first step.  ...

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The Essential First Step to Changing Your Life

Over the course of my life, I have done really well with creating new habits.  While I didn't realize it at the time, I did this by identifying the kind of person I wanted to be and then did behaviors that matched that.

For example, while the language is dated, when I was a young adolescent I decided I would be “thin and in shape” and then shifted my behavior to match that (e.g., was active, ate relatively healthy foods, ate less junk food, drank water).  It turns out, it worked!

While “thin and in shape” has shifted over the past 36 years to “healthy, fit, and strong”, this identity or way of being in the world has helped me shape the choices I make more easily.

James Clear talks about this as a first step in behavior change.  That is, identifying who and how you want to be in the world and then getting clear on what those kinds of people do and starting to build those habits.  He of course shares more on how to build those...

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