How to Break Free of a Burnout


Too many people are headed for burnout. Maybe you’re one of them.

“Burnout is nature’s way of telling you, you’ve been going through the motions your soul has departed; you’re a zombie, a member of the walking dead, a sleepwalker.” – Sam Keen

Because here’s the thing – no one is immune.

I’m pretty sure even the Dalai Lama has to manage this to some degree. It’s part of the human condition, and we all go through it from time to time.

Sometimes it’s because you don’t know how to say no.

Other times it’s due to overwhelm of the awesome kind. There are simply too many great things to do, attend or take part in.

Either way, burnout is imminent.

“Just like there’s always time for pain,
there’s always time for healing.” – Jennifer Brown

If you’re too far gone down the path, you may not be able to avoid it.

The good news is, you don’t have to stay stuck there.

So grab a notebook and a pen. We’re doing this the old school way.




List #1

Start with Danielle LaPorte’s infamous ‘stop doing’ list. 

Sit yourself down and get real.

I start with everything that’s currently on my plate – commitments, promises, projects, whatever.

Then I go through the list letting myself feel whatever energy comes up.

If my gut winces or my brow furrows, I get rid of it.

Do this with integrity.

If other people are involved, let them know where you’re at. Clean it up, repromise, change your mind – it’s all good when done in service of you being of greater service, to yourself and others.

If your gut flutters and you smile as you look at the item on the list, it’s a keeper.

It’s not rocket science. Trust your body. It never lies.


List #2

On this list write down all the ways you’ve given away your energy.

Maybe you ignored what you needed.

Maybe you stepped over a boundary or two.

Maybe you gave away more than you had.

Tell the truth.

Let the words slip from your fingers to the page, leaving space to reclaim your energy.

Now’s the time to get real.

Later is too damn late. Recovering from burnout is much harder than nipping it in the bud.

So, take a deep breath, feel your heart beating, and look. . .

really look at your Self in the mirror.

Breathe in the beauty of you, and with all the love and compassion you’d give someone else say, “I’m sorry. Forgive me. I love you. Thank you.”


Over to you:

Take this one step further and write yourself a love letter.