Burnout recovery

Ways to come back from overwork/emotional collapse



Worn out from excessive overwork, finally, the emotional damage caused by a close death hit me. I found myself burned out, in a fragile state where my usual control, responsibility, and steadfastness have given out. Panic attacks, depression, and a general collapse ensued. Some residual side-effects, like migraines, have remained.

This is my story, and how I first sought to remedy this state, to ‘fix it’, only to find that it is not as simple a logic as that thinking allows.
Burnout recovery
Status: Archived
Updated: May 29th 2017

Tagged: Mental Health

Burnout Recovery Update:

I’ve now published a complete Burnout Recovery blog post which captures more nuances of my story, the ways I’ve healed, or am healing, and is a better place to read about this stuff. Read that instead of this page!

Burnout: My story of chronic fatigue, neurodiversity, tech, and my shadow side

Serious burnout

I’ve witnessed many frustrations in my self since I first felt this ‘state’. Fear (at my fragility, vulnerability), anger (at the collapse of my previous ‘working’ state), depression (swirling negativity, hopelessness), and others. The first brutal reality for me was the lack of understanding. Only the close around me saw how bad this was.

However ‘advanced’ our culture may be, our language, (or our education of our language), can still leak like a sieve. ‘Burnout’ in the modern sense explains a range of experiences, ranging from a long Friday at work, to complete emotional meltdown. Luckily, most haven’t seen the far end of this spectrum, but that does water down the understanding of the word.

The best explanation of this experience I have found is by comparing it’s symptoms with that of PTSD, (as in the TED presentation below, by Dr Geri Puleo). For me, many of these tally with my current state. It’s serious.


I’ve built myself to find solutions. In the capitalist, materialistic place that we reside, it’s the logical way to grow security. I am beginning to believe, though, that for some depth of spiritual issues, there may be no such refinement or straight answer. Or perhaps I am not ready to see it yet.

Prescriptions work if you’re producing sliced bread. But our psychology is not a packagable product. Prescriptions fail to allow for context, or error. With that in mind, here I’ll share things I’ve tried, and their effects on me in this state of burnout.

  1. Getting help – Realising I do not making helping me easy – Counselling
  2. Last month (Apr 2017) I started a partial sabbatical. My plan here is to work only where necessary (one day a week for now), and otherwise I am travelling with my partner, battling off my addictions to caffeine and activity, and sitting with my thoughts, however spiky they present themselves.
  3. Walking, outdoors, landscape (scale)
  4. Consumption
  5. ATIP (All things in proportion)

Note: This is a fragment, unfinished and painfully still in progress! But good news, I have a BIG post capturing it all holistically now… read it here.

Let’s make mad sh*t.

I’ve made a lot of things in my life, and I intend to make a lot more. My biggest goal is to make a good and happy life.

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    Project Log

    April 2nd 2024
    I've made BurnoutNutrition.com
    After getting a lot of questions on my big burnout recovery post about nutrition, I collated all the data on various CFS, ME, (Burnout), nutritional aspects (diet, supplements etc.) into a single site (Burnout Nutrition). I found when I was burned out that it hurt me to have to go around playing with doctor google and struggling to see the nutritional options that might help me all in one place.
    March 28th 2024
    Published my Big Burnout Post
    I’ve let this project page get quite stale! Last month I published a blog post pulling together everything Burnout Recovery related that I’ve been through. It’s a massive post, so I won’t copy paste here, but you can read it here:

    April 17th 2017
    Published AFK – Rest & Recover from Burnout
    As I finish publishing my first novel Canopy Harvest, while juggling a new business, (Zero BS CRM), and far too many activities, I realise that I need a break. This is me, trying to get that escape:
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