Recovering From Burnout: The First & Hardest Lesson

Recovering From Burnout — Burnout was one of the worst things that has ever happened to me.

At the peak of my burnout, I was physically exhausted and emotionally depleted.  I felt hopeless and worried that things would never get better.

Although recovering from burnout was a long and painful journey, I am grateful for it.

I’ve grown, learned, and transformed into a stronger, more fulfilled version of myself.  However, my healing was only able to start after I learned this one important thing…

Disclaimer:  The information provided on this blog is written from personal and lived experience.  You should not rely on this information as a substitute for, nor does it replace professional mental health services, medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health or mental health, you should always consult with a health-care professional.

I had to learn to love myself.

The term self-love is so often connected to selfishness.  This understanding robs those of us who’ve never had any self-love from even looking in its direction.  It paints self-love with a negative brush.

The truth is, those who need self-love the most are often the least selfish and conceited.  We are the serial people-pleasers, who lack self-esteem and self-compassion.

How did I learn to love myself?

Two things happened:

# 1 – I was terrified by the deep level of burnout I reached, and I knew something needed to change.

I woke up one morning and told myself enough was enough.  I got sick and tired of being miserable.

I started reading every self-help book I could get my hands on;  I took time off and allowed myself time to rest; I confided in loved ones who showed me love and support, and I did a lot of soul-searching.

It was during this time that the tiniest spark of self-love first shined its glorious face.

# 2 – I started to question my negative thinking.

It went a little something like this:

  • Negative Thought:  I am worthless // Questioning:  Why am I worthless?
  • Negative Thought:  I will never accomplish my dreams // Questioning:  Why won’t I ever accomplish my dreams?
  • Negative Thought:  I am not brave enough to make positive changes in my life // Questioning:  Why will you not make positive changes in your life?

This questioning had a profound effect on me. In the beginning, I had many reasons to support my negative thinking. However, the more I questioned, the more I began to see how irrational my negative thoughts were. I had no evidence to support them. I had evidence to support the exact opposite!

By continuing to question, that tiny spark of self-love grew a little bit brighter.  I slowly started to treat myself more like I would a loved one, which was with more kindness, love, and acceptance.

Related:  11 Signs of Burnout You Need To Stop Ignoring Today

Fast-forward to the present time, and here’s my greatest takeaway…

Without self-love, my burnout recovery would have never happened. All the self-help books and advice in the world wouldn’t have made a difference if I didn’t love myself enough to make an effort.

If I didn’t begin to see even an ounce of worth in myself, I wouldn’t have a reason or the motivation to fight for a happier, healthier life.

It all started with a little self-love.

My message to you…

I hope that you are inspired to love yourself a little bit more today. I’m living proof of how it can transform your life into one that’s filled with more optimism and happiness.

Look in the mirror and say, “I love who I am.” It’s okay to fake it until you make it in the beginning. Just keep faking it until it becomes authentic, and it will.  

Decide to invest in your wellness – seek out information, start seeing a therapist – try it all. 

Commit to loving yourself enough to do whatever it takes to start healing.

By being kinder, more patient, and more understanding with yourself, your view of your self-worth will shift. You will begin to see positive aspects of who you are; aspects that you will grow to love and find worth fighting for.

I know the journey of recovery is a tough one, but you’re not in it alone.  I’m right there with you, each day, fighting for a happier, healthier me.  We’re in this together.

“Your heart truly deserves the priceless feeling of unconditional love that can only come from you to you.” – Edmond Mbiaka

What has recovering from burnout taught you? Let me know below.

Thanks so much for stopping by <3

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  1. 11.18.18
    Amber said:

    Hi there !
    I’ve kind of been going through something similar and I love the fact that you stated your never alone. It’s absolutely true, even though when your in your bubble that’s all you think is that your the only one. I just wanted to say thank you for sharing your story with the world ❤️

    • 11.19.18
      Amanda at Tulip & Sage said:

      Thank you, Amber! It is true – feeling like you’re not alone can be really comforting. That’s what I hope to do with this blog, so this comment means so much to me! Wishing you health & happiness <3

  2. 2.23.19
    Shar F said:

    I absolutely love your site and am happily repinning your content. Every post is inspirational and so, so on point. Recovery is such a learning process and it takes so much introspection. Accepting yourself for who you are, as being good enough and believing you can make a difference. It’s a long and sometimes lonely road, and burnout is common because we work so hard.

    • 2.26.19
      Amanda said:

      Thanks so much, Shar! Yes, self-acceptance is a life-long journey and a definite learning process, but it is all so worth it! Thanks again for your kind words <3