Addiction recovery is a rich time of learning how to live life sober, but it’s also a lot of hard work. When your sobriety journey gets tough and you do not have robust coping skills, burnout can occur. If you’re exhausted and starting to feel hopeless that things will ever get better, you might be dealing with burnout. 

Some other signs of burnout include:

  • Loss of motivation
  • Feeling depressed or anxious
  • Withdrawing from friends and family
  • Being on edge and irritable
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Physical symptoms such as headaches or nausea
  • Feeling negative
  • Sleep difficulties

Of course, giving up is not the solution. But what can you do to address burnout that doesn’t just feel like more work? The answer: reach out for help. 

Burnout often develops when we don’t feel supported in our efforts, and addiction recovery is a task that requires regular support and encouragement from others. If you have discontinued therapy or stopped being in touch with your recovery support group, you may easily become overwhelmed. So, burnout is a time to call someone. Say, listen, I need help. And then be willing to accept the help that is offered. You don’t have to do this alone. 

And now to our main point: the best remedy for burnout, as you might expect, is prevention.

Eight Tips to Avoid Burnout in Recovery

  1. Start by setting realistic goals for yourself each day. Try not to become overwhelmed by large tasks; instead, focus on accomplishing smaller tasks one step at a time. Take breaks throughout the day to give your mind and body some time to relax. If you begin to feel too overwhelmed, simply stop and resume your task the next day. 
  2. Connect with supportive people in your life who understand what you are going through and can provide encouragement. If you do not have friends or family who are supportive, consider finding support at 12-step meetings where others understand your journey and can share their own personal experiences. Finding a trusted sponsor can give you the support you need throughout your recovery, especially if you are beginning to feel burned out. 
  3. Find activities that are fun and bring joy into your daily routine, such as exercise, journaling, or spending time outdoors. These activities can help manage stress, beat boredom, and keep you focused on your sobriety. 
  4. Practice self-care and make yourself a priority. When you practice taking care of yourself, it can help keep you focused and maintain your overall well-being. Self-care can be anything from going on a daily walk, writing in a journal, listening to music or a podcast, or meditating. 
  5. Try something new and step out of your comfort zone. Consider taking a new class or volunteering in your community. Get out of your old routine and do something different.
  6. Get plenty of restful sleep every night. Feeling tired in recovery can be dangerous and can put you at a higher risk for relapse. Go to bed at the same time and wake up at the same every day to help your body get used to a routine. 
  7. Do not forget to give yourself credit for making progress. No matter how big or small, celebrate every achievement. 
  8. If at any point you start feeling as if you may relapse, reach out for professional support from a health care provider or counselor. Therapy is beneficial in recovery and can help provide you with guidance so you do not experience burnout.

Are You or a Loved One Looking for Support?

If you or a loved one is struggling with a substance use disorder, Mountain Laurel Recovery Center is here to help. We can help you find the right treatment options to put you on the path to a lasting recovery. We offer a holistic approach utilizing a variety of services, including residential treatment, medically monitored detox, family program, and extended care and transitional living services. To find out more about what programs and services are available in our Pennsylvania recovery center, please contact us today.