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Creative Work Has taken a toll on you: How Do you recover from a burnout?

Burnout, unfortunately, is everywhere. If you haven’t experienced it personally, you probably know someone who has self-diagnosed. Burnout causes exhaustion, “feelings of negativism or cynicism,” and reduced efficacy, and the condition has become something of a catch-all for chronic, modern-day stress.

It’s the feeling you are always a step or two behind where you should be and yet you feel you’ve come to the end of your capacity to do anything. Burnout has become so commonplace. We’re simultaneously exhausted and plagued by the idea that we’re not trying hard enough.

Avoid comparison

Frustratingly, comparisons can be hard to avoid. We live in a culture that’s inundated with everyone’s updates. This makes you feel ineffective because your expectation is built on the aggregation of everyone else’s highlight reel.

Reframe your relationship with productivity and achievement

No matter how much we’ve achieved, there’s always more to be done. This, unsurprisingly, fuels burnout. Recovering from an episode or, better yet, avoiding the condition altogether often requires a reset.

Reevaluate your expectations

Social media can delude us into thinking its possible not just to do everything, but be excellent at everything. This, of course, is a fantasy. Start by mapping out all of the various identities you’d like to fulfill, and then separate them into those that are core to your personhood and those that are aspirational.

Cultivate rest

To recover from burnout, you need to truly rest. Often, this first requires an acceptance of the state itself.

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