How to Cope with a Burn-out or Overexhaustion

This blog is related to the previous blog: “Are people with a burn-out lazy people? NO, on the contrary”.

Seeking professional help to learn to cope with a burn-out or over-exhaustion is highly recommended. This can be a difficult step but the quicker you seek help the sooner you recover.

In therapy we will have a look at different aspects:

Step 1: Understanding

Psychoeducation on what a burn-out or over-exhaustion is (see my previous blog ) and reflect on what has contributed to you experiencing these symptoms.

Step 2: Short term change

In this step, we look at finding back a balance. To get you on a structured balance and feel a bit more yourself. With a structured balance, I mean looking at, among other things, lifestyle changes, sleep patterns, self-care, healthcare, nutrition, time management, relaxation, mindfulness, rest, work-oriented interventions.

Step 3: Long term change

If we stop here and don’t do step 3 the chances of you not feeling 100% better or you relapsing in a burn-out again are huge.

In this step, we look at how we can make a long-term effect by looking at your personal coping styles and where these coping styles come from. We look at how you cope with certain situations due to your beliefs, personality, your thoughts, and the origin of these beliefs. What has contributed to the existence of these beliefs (past experiences, upbringing, parenting, traumatic events, schools, bullying, friendships, relationships) and how can we cope in a healthier way that fits in this life phase that you are in.

Step 4: Relapse prevention plan

And last but not least we set up a relapse prevention plan for you to have as an instruction manual for yourself. This instruction manual will help you recognize the signals of your body sooner and that when these symptoms arise you know what you can do to help yourself. In this prevention plan, we will also look at risk factors and how the environment can contribute to help you prevent from relapsing.

The process of recovery from burn-out and over-exhaustion goes with ups and downs, but overall there will be an average increase in vitality. When you have a down the down will be less severe or last less long and you will recover more quickly from the down period.

Written by:
Flo Westendorp, Registered Clinical Psychologist
Extended Health Care Psychologist Certificate, MSc & BSc (Clinical Health Care Psychology)
SACAC Counselling

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