face and businessman burnout

In Singapore, workloads extend beyond the standard 44-hour week, reflecting a culture of efficiency and dedication. Prioritizing work-life balance, the city-state faces a growing concern about the risk of burnout, and a significant number reporting de-energization at work.

Sometimes overwork can result in burnout and these symptoms of burnout at work are devastating. You can go from a person who excels in the workplace to someone who can barely function. This is often particularly tough for someone who has put so much into their career.

Fortunately, some solutions can have you feeling energised and full of life again. In this blog, we look at exactly how to recover from burnout at work and also tell you all about the signs of burnout.

Strategies on How to Recover From Burnout At Work

The most effective recovery from burnout is a holistic approach that involves significant lifestyle change so you can recover.  Implementing some of these suggestions can help your energy levels improve.

Take a Break and Prioritise Rest

While in the past you may have forced yourself to “push through”, once you are suffering from burnout, this is no longer possible. To recover, you need to give your body and mind the time they need to heal. 

The time it takes to recover from burnout varies from person to person, but the sooner you start resting, the quicker you will recover.

Set Clear Boundaries at Work

Going the extra mile for your boss or clients can pay dividends, but when you’re recovering from burnout, it is time to ease off the gas. If you want to recover from burnout quickly, it is time to start being clear with the people you work with about how much you are able to do.

Make sure the people you work with know that you are unwell, and to recover you may need to reduce your workload somewhat.

Establish Good Sleep Hygiene

Staying up late at night working on your laptop may help with productivity, but it is sure to affect your sleep quality. When looking at how to recover from burnout, you should consider going to bed at 10 pm, and switching off all electronic devices at least an hour before you go to sleep.

Engage in activities that bring joy and relaxation

When you’re burnt out, it’s likely that your nervous system is frayed. Calm your nervous system down by doing things you find fun. If your burnout is severe, you are unlikely to want to go trampolining. Consider playing board games or watching a movie with a loved one.

Implement Stress Management Techniques

Office worker doing stretching exercises

Reducing stress is a crucial element of how to recover from burnout. Try engaging with breathwork or meditation practices. These may allow you to feel a little calmer and invigorated and will help you to recover more quickly.

Reevaluate and Adjust Workload or Responsibilities

While it may be impossible for you to stop working entirely, taking steps to reduce your workload or delegating responsibilities to others where possible can help expedite your recovery. 

Seek Trauma Treatment

While work may be the obvious catalyst of your burnout, it is common for trauma to play a major role in work burnout. Trauma can cause nervous system dysregulation, which increases your propensity towards burnout.

Trauma can also be the cause of overwork, as a person with trauma may unconsciously use work as a way of escaping feelings caused by trauma. 

If you have trauma, knowing how to recover from burnout at work means engaging in trauma treatment, with either a counsellor or somatic therapist. You can also consider attending a center like The Cabin Chiang Mai, that can help you deal with your trauma.


Stop Using Drugs and Alcohol

It is common for substance abuse to be the primary cause of burnout. Substances take a massive toll on the nervous system and can affect every organ in the body. People with work burnout often find they are unable to recover until they stop using substances for a prolonged period of time.

If you are experiencing burnout and feel unable to stop drinking or drugging, it is time to reach out for help. The Cabin Chiang Mai Rehab Center offers residential treatment for burnout, addiction, trauma, and mental health problems.

Be Gentle With Yourself

If someone experiences burnout at work, they likely have perfectionistic tendencies. Often, perfectionism leads to burnout, as they always feel they should be doing better and working more.

Healing from burnout means learning to be kind to yourself, and understanding that it is okay to take it easy sometimes. This can be one of the gifts of burnout: coming out of it with a more loving relationship with yourself.

Consider Professional Help

If you have tried the strategies in this list already and you are still fatigued, it is time to consider professional support. Many people with burnout find that speaking with a counsellor greatly accelerates their healing process.  In Singapore, The Cabin Singapore offers outpatient treatment services to help people who may be experiencing burnout as well as mental stress.

What Are the Signs of Burnout?

Sometimes it can be difficult to spot the signs of burnout when they first start happening. You may brush off the onset of burnout as a difficult-to-shake cold, or a fatigue that happens to everyone occasionally.

If you start noticing these symptoms, it is important to start taking it easy. Recovery from burnout is easier if you can catch it in the early stages.

Chronic Fatigue and Exhaustion

I hate mondays paper

The most common symptom of work burnout is a massive reduction in your energy levels. Whereas previously you may have been able to get through a work week and still have the vigour needed to enjoy your weekend, now you use the weekend to recover and still feel depleted on Monday morning.

Your crashed energy levels may mean you’re unable to take part in physical activities you used to enjoy. Or perhaps you can exercise but suffer from even more profound fatigue in the days after exercising.

Increased Irritability and Impatience

When you burn out at work, the little things may begin to bother you. You may lose your temper with colleagues and have disagreements with people you had previously gotten along with. You may also experience this irritability in your home life, causing relationship problems with your family.

Difficulty Concentrating and Forgetfulness

Burnout can affect both long and short-term memory. Burnout often comes with elevated levels of cortisol caused by high stress levels, which over time can impair memory and cognitive function.

Raised cortisol levels can affect the hippocampus, which is the brain region crucial for memory and learning. Over time, structural changes occur. Getting the hippocampus back to the condition it was in involves eliminating stress for a prolonged time.

Insomnia or Disrupted Sleep patterns

As levels of cortisol ramp up, it becomes more challenging to go to sleep at night. This leads to poor or little sleep, which further exacerbates your burnout.

Loss of Interest or Satisfaction in Previously Enjoyable Activities

When you burn out, your neurotransmitters downregulate. Your brain produces lower levels of norepinephrine, dopamine, and serotonin, resulting in the inability to feel pleasure. Once you have discovered how to recover from burnout and gone through the healing process, you will begin to feel joy in life again.

Escalating Levels of Stress and Anxiety

Burnout is caused by stress, but experiencing burnout also causes stress levels to rise, as our body and mind stop becoming able to deal with chronic stress. Our hormonal system falls out of balance, resulting in even higher levels of tension.

Recover From Burnout at The Cabin in Chiang Mai

For more serious cases of burnout and mental health issues, inpatient treatment is recommended. This provides a secluded and private setting to focus on immersive therapy for maximum effectiveness. The Cabin in Chiang Mai is the ideal location to recover from burnout at work. Located just accessible by just a 3-hour flight from Singapore, it offers everything you need to overcome burnout and get back to enjoying life.

There are multiple treatment modalities offered at The Cabin Chiang Mai that can help manage burnout

Focus on the foundations:  At The Cabin Chiang Mai, clients will be getting sufficient sleep each night and will be eating nutritious and healthy meals. There are also many physical activities to choose from which are curated by our personal trainers who deliver bespoke treatment to each client: cardio, weight training, Muay Thai, exercise classes, bicycle riding along the river, and other exercises.

Yoga Session at The Cabin Chiang Mai

Holistic treatment

Our programme includes personalized holistic treatment sessions each week, taking place in a one-on-one setting with an experienced holistic practitioner, and includes sessions such as meditation/mindfulness, yoga, reiki, and sound healing.  

Thai massage

Traditional aromatic oil massage is also part of the programme with personalized sessions taking place each week. This combined with physical fitness and holistic treatment will accelerate your treatment.

Holistic Counselling

We also have personalized counselling sessions that help you to address issues related to burnout: anxiety, stress, trauma, and depression along with helping to resolve any issues related to substances or process addictions.  Our qualified therapists are licensed and experienced. We also offer many therapeutic modalities such as neurofeedback, EMDR, and Cognitive Behavior Therapy along with a full therapeutic programme. We also provide art therapy as part of the programme and this can help serve to unlock areas deep in the psyche to offer lasting treatment.

Group Therapy

We also offer group therapy as part of the programme and this offers a chance to work with other clients who are also professionals and who are facing similar issues. The community of clients acts to support each other and this provides an additional therapeutic benefit.

Sunday Excursion

Lastly, we offer weekly excursions to experience the lush paradise that is Chiang Mai year-round with the opportunity to get out into nature and explore the flora and fauna of Northern Thailand: We are situated along the banks of the idyllic Ping River, allowing you to unwind and rejuvenate while getting to the roots of your burnout in an idyllic setting.

For a consultation to talk about how we can help you recover from burnout, contact us today at +65 3158 7621.

Lee Daniel Hawker-Lecesne