Burnout- What is it and how to rest

January 30, 2024

What is burnout?

Burnout is a state of “mental, physical, and emotional exhaustion”. So many people dealing with chronic health conditions feel burnout at some point in their lives. Learn what burnout looks like and how to embrace a season of rest to help heal from chronic stress!

Common factors that contribute to burnout

  • Stressful and/or unfulfilling jobs
  • Lack of boundaries
  • Saying “yes” to things that drain us
  • Saying “no” to things that bring us joy
  • Social Media
  • Nutrient deficiencies
  • Toxins and chronic infections
  • Poor gut health
  • Lack of sleep, water, proper nutrition and love
  • Lack of connection or community
  • Trauma
  • Mental health
  • Draining or toxic relationships
  • Financial stressors
  • Too many high-intensity workouts
  • and so many more!

crop pitiful black woman embracing knees on bed Photo by Alex Green on Pexels.com

Warning signs you may be burnt out:

  • feeling overwhelmed
  • on edge
  • not sleeping well
  • OR sleeping way too much
  • Unmotivated to do daily tasks and/or fun activities
  • Irritable or moody

Ok, so now we know you may be burnt out, here are my top 6 ways to rest to help heal from burnout or chronic stress:

How to recover from burnout: Rest


Create a strict rule for sleep. I’d recommend going to bed no later than 10 pm. This HAS to be a non-negotiable. Yes, you will go to bed without finishing everything on your to-do list but that is ok.

2. Take a break from working out (walks or stretching are okay)

Working out is a stress on the body. Usually, it is a really healthy stress that helps make us stronger and healthier. However, when we are already too stressed out, adding stress is the opposite of what we need. High-intensity exercises would be akin to running a marathon every day. We all know that would be too taxing on the body. Walks or gentle stretching will still provide movement without stressing the body more. And if you are too tired for walks, that is ok too!

3. Eat more! Simple, nourishing meals

I hope I didn’t lose you with “work out less and eat more”. This goes against every (stupid) diet-culture-based nutrition advice. But when under stress, eating too little will actually cause MORE weight gain, stress and overwhelm to the body. Trust me on this one.

This is also not the time to intermittent fast. Aim to eat breakfast within an hour of waking and be sure to include protein at breakfast!

Lastly, Make meals simple – frozen veggies, rice, rotisserie chicken. Simple can still be nourishing.

4. Take days to do nothing – no chores, no working or social events, etc

Days spent running around doing chores and errands aren’t exactly relaxing. Take a day (or more!) to read, take a bath or stay in bed watching a movie! Will your house be a little messier right now? Maybe! Will it be worth your health? Absolutely. So lay back down in your bed, grab a good book and enjoy doing “nothing”!

5. Get comfy with not “accomplishing” things

If I had to guess, I would say that many people who end up burnt out are recovering perfectionists or those who identify as “Type-A”. It can be incredibly frustrating when we go from high-achieving individuals to burnout. We are often proud of our hard work and accomplishing tasks that being unable to accomplish anything feels like a loss of self. But remember, we can get out of a problem the way we got in it. To recover and prevent burnout from happening again, we need to change our mindset and our actions. This includes looking at how your daily life is structured and loving yourself for you, not your accomplishments. Your missing energy, drive and motivation will come, but first, we have to rest.

6. Eliminate alcohol

I recommend eliminating alcohol for 1-3 months while healing. Remember, alcohol is a toxin that ruins sleep. That alone should be motivation enough to temporarily eliminate alcohol. This sober period definitely does not need to be permanent, but taking an alcohol break will certainly help with healing.

How long do I need to rest for to heal?

On average, it often takes about 3 months to recover from, however this varies greatly by person. For example, the longer you have been living in high stress, the longer it may take to recover. Additionally, making these changes requires a huge mindset and lifestyle shift. Not everyone can make these changes as quickly or at all. Lastly, some might have other physiological issues that are keeping them burnt out. For example, if you are dealing with gut health issues, long-covid, or nutrient deficiencies, your healing may be a little slower and require the guidance of a practitioner to help balance these factors while you make lifestyle changes.

Feeling like you won’t ever get better?

Who do we work with?

We work with clients who are dedicated to changing their health. Making dietary changes, lifestyle modifications, and taking supplements are part of the healing journey.