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Burnout: 6 simple steps that will take you from burnout to thriving

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Burnout: 6 simple steps that will take you from burnout to thriving

Battling brain-fog and exhaustion? You’re most likely burnt out. Selina Barker, life design and career change coach and author of the new book Burnt Out, shares the six simple steps of recognising burnout, and then recovering from it. 

It’s no secret that a lot of us are burnt out. Data shows that 75% of people have felt burnt out at work, and 40% have felt so during the pandemic in particular.

But it’s not just in the workplace that we can experience burnout. It can hit us where we don’t expect it, too – in social settings, when job hunting and even while dating. In the modern world, it seems like it’s something we can’t escape

Selina Barker, a life design and career change coach says we can. She has written Burnt Out: The Exhausted Person’s Six Step Guide To Thriving In A Fast-Paced World, a “no-nonsense, practical guide for the burnt out, bone tired and brain frazzled.” 

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Book cover of Burnt Out
Burnt out? This book shares the 6 simple steps to recognising and recovering from burnout

Already hailed as a “burnout bible”, the book is a “toolkit that will help you learn to thrive, no matter how busy life gets.”

“People everywhere are burning out,” she writes. ” From CEOs to nurses, to doctors, teachers, entrepreneurs, journalists, social workers, academics, creatives… even yoga teachers are at it.” But, according to Selina, life doesn’t have to be this way.

Thankfully, she has identified the six steps to take you from burnout to thriving. Below, we break them down for you. 

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Step 1: Commit to making your happiness and wellbeing a top priority in your life

“Don’t worry, be happy” might be a slightly simplistic motto, but the sentiment – of prioritising what gives and brings you joy – still stands firm. Whether it’s taking long walks in the fresh air, making time for self care or getting inspired by a motivating podcast, putting your wellbeing at the top of your list will help to keep burnout at bay.

Step 2: Get to know your inner Shitty Committee and how it is driving you to burn out

Ahh, our inner critics. It can be so hard to escape them sometimes, and for many, they’ve only become louder during the pandemic. But, as Selina identifies, our negative self-talk (or Shitty Committee as she terms it) is driving us to burnout. Taking time to listen and reflect on what areas are causing you anxiety may be uncomfortable at first, but will be worth it. 

Step 3: Tune into your inner Wise Cheerleader and turn up the volume

If you’re lucky, you’ll have a number of amazing cheerleaders in your life – the people around you who support and encourage you no end. But have you given much thought to your inner cheerleader? It’s true that we often forget that we should be our own number one fans. The more we can hype ourselves, the less we need to outsource to external validation – which can help us avoid overwhelm.     

Step 4: Learn how to become a master at managing your own energy

Life, particularly at the moment, can feel draining. We’ve gone from hardly anything going on to a barrage of pub garden invitations in the space of a few weeks, and that can be exhausting. At any time, but now more than ever, it’s so important to protect your own energy. This means saying no when you need to and making sure to rest and replenish, physically and emotionally. After all, pouring from an empty cup is how you burn out fast.

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Step 5: Design your life so that you can thrive

Okay, so it’s maybe not the smartest idea to quit your job, run away to the woods and go full blown Cottagecore like you’ve always dreamed, but there is so much power in identifying and visualising the life you want – then taking small steps towards it.

Shaping your routines around this idea – whether it’s committing to cooking exciting meals, taking more time for weekends away or teaching yourself a new make-up hack that makes you feel your best self. When you’re content with who and where you are, it is easier to thrive, and stave off burnout.

Step 6: Bring about big change when the people or environments around you are causing you to burn out

This is perhaps the hardest to come to terms with. Recognising that you are in a toxic environment, whether it’s a job or relationship, and then doing something about it isn’t at all easy. But remember: you don’t have to keep anyone or anything in your life that harms your wellness. It all goes back to the idea of protecting your energy and yourself. Not only is it essential for preserving mental health, it will stop you feeling exhausted from investing in a person, place or situation that drains you. 

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Images: Getty, Selina Barker/Octopus Publishing Group