If there is one lesson I have learned about burnout, it is: Once it happens you can’t undo what has been done. And you can’t rush your recovery. You’ll need to let it run its course. There are ways in which you can help yourself recover quicker. And this is what I’d like to share with you: practical ways to get back on track with your work and prevent burnout from happening again.

Listen on the player in this post or on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, YouTube or your favorite podcast player. Or scroll down to read a full transcript.

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  • Acknowledge when you feel burnt out and surrender yourself to recovery.
  • Pump the brakes, slow down work, and have grace for the healing process.
  • Prioritize daily acts of self-care to help with recovery and continue making this part of your routine.
  • Seek support from loved ones (or professional if needed) by openly discussing feelings of burnout.
  • Reevaluate your goals and plans to figure out how to prevent future burnout – journal about your main goals for next year and what you need to prioritize now to achieve them.

Resources Mentioned

Ghostwriter – Terrence Roche ([email protected])

Promote your food blogging services: www.eatblogtalk.com/audioclip

Megan’s recommended books and resources at eatblogtalk.com/books.


Click for script.

EBT547 – 5 Steps to Recover from Burnout

Intro  00:01

Hey food bloggers. Thank you so much for joining me in this mindset and self-care focused episode here on Eat Blog Talk. One of the reasons I started a blog talk was to hold a space to talk about the importance of mindset and self-care. Being an entrepreneur can be a lot. If we are not taking care of ourselves, then getting actionable information about SEO Pinterest or whatever else is all moot. I will meet you back here every Wednesday to discuss various mindset and self-care topics. So you have the energy and space to tackle the rest.

Sponsor (Terrence Roche)  00:36

Are you overwhelmed by the amount of unfinished posts in your computer? You sometimes wish you just had more available time? My name is Terrence Roche and I am one half of the Plant Power Couple, food blog I run with my partner, Brittany. I’m also a former English teacher who spent 20 years helping young writers find their voice. I currently offer freelance content writing and copywriting services for other bloggers. I can ghost write recipe posts, informative content, About me pages, LinkedIn bios and more. If you have any old posts or outlines sitting in your backlog, I can help get those up on your site by writing SEO keyword rich posts for you freeing up your precious time for other personal or business endeavors. Feel free to reach out to me with any questions or to request writing samples and my rate sheet you can contact me at terrence@plantpower couple.com That’s T-E-R-R-E-N-C-E@plant powercouple.com.

Megan Porta  01:28

Hello there food bloggers. Welcome to this self care and mindset focused episode Eat Blog Talk. Thanks so much for listening to these. I hope you’re enjoying them. Today we are going to talk about five steps to recover from burnout. Burnout, oh my goodness, every time it hits, I act like I’m all surprised like, what? How did this happen? And then I look back at the buildup that led to it. And I can see clearly how it happened. The more I focus on self care, the less it definitely happens in my life. But I am not immune, it can creep in. And these past few weeks that I’ve just experienced, have been a reminder of that. Despite my consistent efforts at exercising and meditating and just generally taking really good care of myself. I’m here I’m in the middle of burnout. I will explain in a little bit about how it happened this time and from the trenches, which I think will be really valuable if you are experiencing it too. Also talk through a few ways to recover from it. If you are indeed here as well. And I recommend saving this episode, you may not need it now. You may not be in burnout right now. And I really hope you’re not. But if it happens in the future, you can come back to this episode and listen then. Okay, how did I get here? As you might know, I have a propensity to, well, to do a lot of things. I have a lot of different plates spinning at all times. It seems like over the years, I’ve grown my team so that I personally don’t have to keep all of those spinning plates in the air myself. In fact, I tracked my hours that I’ve been working all through this past fall and winter, just because I was curious. At times it felt like I was so energy depleted, I must be working like 50 to 60 hours a week. And guess what I wasn’t I was working about 15 to 25 hours a week. In January of this year, my VA of eight years left to the business and I totally misjudged the impact that would have on my business and also on my energy levels. It takes significant time and energy to train new people. Maybe you know this, maybe you’ve been through it. Well, I feel really good about my incredible new assistant, Cara. Oh, shout out to Cara I love her so much. She is doing a great job. But it does require extra to get things going. It doesn’t matter how good someone is, it requires work, especially when someone has been with me. For so long it transferring all those duties and details over to someone else is significant.

Megan Porta  04:14

In addition to this, you may have heard about this awesome conference that just took place a few weeks ago in Denver, Colorado. Planning and preparing both logistically and emotionally for this event is something I had never experienced before. It was a totally new experience for me and for my system. It was a great experience, but it was also a very intense experience. In addition to this, I kept up with my regular business tasks. I kept up with the podcast, my mastermind groups, my blogs, etc. So by the time I got to the conference week, I could feel something was brewing. Thankfully adrenaline got me through the event. Then, Dan and I got home from Denver after the event and I crashed. At first, I thought I would just need maybe a few days to clear my head, I let a few days pass. Then a week passed, I didn’t have motivation to do much of anything relating to work. Anytime work popped into my head, I would almost want to vomit. Another week past I continued to avoid work outside of my mastermind calls and my podcast interviews, I was starting to become irritated with myself for not wanting to be working and wanting to jump back in right away. It wasn’t until two solid weeks after the event that I realized, oh, my gosh, this is burnout. And that is when I backed off. One thing I do know about burnout is that it’s pointless to resist burnout, burnout has to run its course it’s like a virus. So here’s where I’m at. I see how I got here. I’ve accepted where I’m at, and I’m letting things play out. I truly hope you don’t need this episode. But if you do, I hope my experience literally from the trenches of burnout can help you either a present version of you or a future version of you. I think it’s pretty clear how I got here, a few new big things were added to my business, my calendar, and not just my business and calendar. But those things required a lot of extra energy for me, despite my constant self care, those new big things taxed my system, it was just too much. Maybe you are in burnout mode, and you can see how it has happened like I can, or maybe you’ve been confused about why you’re feeling a certain way and need to evaluate things. Perhaps traffic loss from the recent Google update has just taxed your system without you even really knowing it. We talked to a lot of people at Flavor Media who were feeling drained for this very reason. So it is possible, and it’s worth evaluating. 

Megan Porta  07:03

I think it’s important to insert this here too. There’s a difference between burnout and depression. If you are prone to depression, or if you think that what you’re experiencing goes deeper than burnout. Please talk to a doctor. For me, I know that what I’m experiencing is burnout because I can look back and see the buildup of what happened. The things I’m going through do not feel serious in the way that depression does. I’ve been there too, so I know the difference. I found this definition on the World Health Organization website. They defined burnout like this. Burnout is a syndrome it conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed. It is characterized by three dimensions, one feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion, to increased mental distance from one’s job or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job and three, reduced professional efficacy. Burnout refers specifically to phenomena in the occupational context and should not be applied to describe experiences in other areas of life. I am also noting here that one way I’ve been able to assess that this is indeed burnout, I have found enjoyment in non work areas of my life. I think that’s a critical piece that you too, should evaluate. 

Megan Porta  08:26

So on that note, let’s talk through five steps to recover from burnout. Number one, accept and surrender. Acceptance is the first important step. As I talk through my story, you heard that I was pretty clueless. Even though I’ve experienced burnout many times before. I was clueless until about two weeks into this recent bout of burnout. If you know you’ve done too much, and you feel depleted, and you have diminished desire to work beyond what is typical for you, and you do not have depressive symptoms, you’re likely in burnout mode. This might seem scary, and you might have the desire to run for the hills and resist this. Don’t do that. Accept that this is where you’re at trust me on this, the entire process is going to be a lot more difficult. And it’s going to take a lot longer if you resist. And I use the word surrender. Surrender doesn’t equal weakness. Surrender means to yield yield to what is that you are here in burnout mode. 

Megan Porta  09:31

Also, I want to point out that there are different degrees of burnout. I’ve been on every part of the spectrum with this over the years. So just because you’re here doesn’t mean you’re not going to work for three months or one month even. It could have a much shorter recovery period. You’re just going to have to let it run its course. But first you have to accept that burnout has happened and surrender to it.

Megan Porta  09:53

 Number two, pump the brakes and have grace. Once you accept that you’re in burnout mode. You have to slow down. This is coming from a girl who has a really hard time slowing down when it comes to work. Everything in my brain right now is telling me to get to work. What are you doing, you’re sitting around, you have to get working. There are days when I sit down at my desk and expect myself to perform and feel like I normally perform and feel very quickly, my system reminds me that I need to slow down. It’s like when you’re sick, and you try to work and your body is just telling you you cannot be working right now. And you should not be working right now. It’s the same thing. Currently, I am doing the bare minimum with work. I’m recording my podcast interviews. I’m writing and recording these self care episodes. But these are honestly more cathartic than anything. So these don’t really feel like work. I’m tying up loose ends with Flavor Media that we just have to tie up right now. And I’m hosting my mastermind calls. 

Megan Porta  11:02

I’ve stopped posting or updating the blogs. I’m currently not selling anything with work right now. I’m relying a lot on my team to keep everything else afloat. And when I feel the pull to go above and beyond what my mind and body tell me I should be doing. I just thought myself, I can’t go there. I need to heal, I need to let this run its course. If you are in burnout mode, you need to let it run its course as well. Healing cannot happen without slowing way down. This requires so much grace, am I right? It’s so easy to get caught up in thinking. But I shouldn’t be doing this. Or I could have done that last week, I could have gotten all of those projects done. I could have touched that blog post. That’s not helpful. It doesn’t matter. That thinking is resistance. And I am surrendering, I am not resisting. I’ve been comparing this lately to our oldest son, Elijah after some of his big surgeries. His body went through massive trauma after each of his open heart surgeries. Can you imagine if he tried to get back to normal a day or even a month after surgery? It’s absurd. And it’s not possible. Burnout is no different. What I just went through and what you might be going through was a trauma to my system, I have to treat it as such. And I have to respect what just happened. That comes with a healing process that must occur in order for things to be restored. So accept then slow down and have a mucho grace for the healing process that is unfolding inside of you. 

Megan Porta  12:38

Number three, self care. I mentioned earlier that I’ve been religious about myself care for the past five months, thank God, I have been trying to imagine how things would look right now if I had not been on top of that. It might be a really ugly situation right now. This is the best reason to diligently perform daily acts of self care. No matter what season you’re in. You never know when burnout might strike and daily self care is going to protect you. It might not ensure it doesn’t happen. But it will protect you from getting too deep and it will shorten that healing process. If you are in burnout mode and you haven’t been staying on top of your self care, it’s okay. Don’t feel guilty. Don’t beat yourself up now is always a great time to start. Burnout relates directly to work, as we talked about earlier, and how you feel about your work and how you perform your work. It can bleed over into your life because of the mental exhaustion you feel. But I think generally speaking, you should still have motivation and desire to do other typical things. So self care shouldn’t necessarily feel super hard. There’s no better time than now to start practicing that self care. This is going to speed up your healing process, I promise. Listen to episode number 499 here on Eat Blog Talk if you want to start a powerful morning routine, I give some really good tips for that. And you can start as small as you want, or you can go as big as you want. Or you can just start by doing acts of self care that don’t involve a morning routine. You can add a walk to your day. Commit to squeezing in a workout a few times this week, meditate, get out in nature or plan dinner with a friend. Self care can mean different things to each of us do the things that make you feel most like you and that set you the farthest from stress as possible. Some of my favorite acts of self care just to give you a few ideas, doing a hard workout, walking outside, creative time, gratitude, meditation, going to Valleyfair with my youngest son, going to lunch or dinner with my husband, my sisters or my friends, hosting friends at our house for a relaxing evening. Hopefully this helps just to get your wheels turning and think of a few things you can do this week that help to take care of you. You’re going to heal much more quickly from burnout if you place a focus on taking care of yourself. 

Megan Porta  15:05

Number four, seek support. This is something I avoided in my past bouts of burnout, it felt really embarrassing to admit that I gotten to that point for some reason. A lot of people don’t understand burnout. So I often felt very isolated and alone, even just talking about it. This time around, I have thrown that out the window, I have been super open about it. And I just made the decision to talk through it with loved ones and people who I trust. Because it has just felt good it felt right to do that. Just saying the words, I’m in burnout mode feels empowering. Like I’m here, and I’m healing and I’m recognizing this and I am ready to move on from it. It’s been really good to talk through the different emotions as they’ve come up too. Just this morning, I was sitting outside with my husband, Dan, and I told him, when I look at my calendar, and I see how long it’s been since I’ve really wanted to work, it’s easy to start feeling really frustrated with myself. So he just assured me that I’m doing all the right things, all of the steps we’re talking about here in this episode. And he told me again, because he’s been saying this to me repeatedly over the past few weeks, you have to have grace with yourself, you have to have grace with the process. I already knew this. But his support was so validating and it was just what I needed this morning. So find people who love you and just openly talk to them about what you’re going through and what you’re feeling. Even if they’ve never experienced burnout themselves, they will encourage you to get those feelings out of your head, because they love you. If you feel like you need professional help, definitely seek that out. There’s nothing wrong with getting professional help. In fact, I strongly recommend doing this, especially if this feels like it’s too much to handle. Or if it’s your first time going through it. 

Megan Porta  16:56

Number five, reevaluate goals and figure out how not to repeat it. Something that I feel is coming soon for me is reevaluating what my goals are for the next year, and making a plan so that the same thing does not happen again next year. Here’s what I’m going to do probably next week. And what I recommend for you if you are in a similar situation, write out or journal about the following. What are my one year dreams and goals? Write those out in full detail. Even better, write them out and then talk through them with a trusted friend or a spouse or family member a loved one. When I do my planning calls with my mastermind members, I have them dream out loud about this very thing. I asked them to really feel the emotions that they want to be feeling a year from now. I asked them what is different about your life? What projects have you completed? What positive changes have you made? How does all of this make you feel? Really put yourself in your one year in the future shoes. So do that first and then you sit down and you write out what needs to happen in the next three months? So in the next quarter? If today is day one that will bring you closer to all those things? Do you need to hire help and outsource some things? Do you need to stop doing certain things? Do you need to start writing the book do you need to get the second blog launched or maybe get podcast episodes recorded and published. Figure out what needs to happen in the next quarter that will support those bigger one year goals. Next, sit down and write out what you can do this week to support the quarterly goals that you just talked or wrote through and put those things in your calendar and commit to doing them. 

Megan Porta  18:53

I will talk through an example since I mentioned that planning and hosting Flavor Media kind of pushed me over the edge a little bit this year. Since we are hosting a Flavor Media again next year, I need to make sure the same thing is not going to happen again. Looking ahead to one year from now, I envision this we have finished all of our busy work, busy tasks at least one week prior to the event. Hopefully more than that. I go into the event feeling competent about speaking in front of people this worry totally depleted my energy this year. And I didn’t need that. The entire event runs seamlessly and when it’s done I take two weeks off of work. Minus those few wrap up details that we probably will need to do after the event. No blog work or podcast interviews will happen during those two weeks. I will have everything planned and scheduled out so I don’t feel guilty about not doing it. And maybe Dan and I take a relaxing weekend away somewhere during that time. After that two week break I slowly inch back into work that at all sounds so good, and so ideal. What needs to happen between now and then to support this? 

Megan Porta  20:07

Well, I need to refine my speaking skills. I’ve been thinking about doing like a speaking class, or maybe Toastmasters or something along those lines, Melissa and I will need to work ahead on some things so that we’re not doing everything in the last couple of weeks and months before the event. So we’ll need to get some due dates on the calendar and consider hiring some things out that we don’t love doing. I need to be scheduled ahead of time with both my podcast and my blog content. So I need to get this on the calendar. And I 100% need to stay on top of my self care between now and then never stopping with that. Just talking through that plan makes me feel so good. It gives me energy it gives me hope. I know that if I do, everything I just talked about next year will be a completely different story. I can put a few things on my calendar for the next few weeks coming up here that I can do to support this plan that makes me feel really good. So finding a Toastmasters group, continuing self care and maybe getting on top of my blog content well in advance, it really comes down to just looking back it what led to where you’re at, then thinking ahead about what changes can be made next time and following through. Easy peasy. I will follow through with my plan, by the way, because I will remember how these past few weeks have felt. And I will do what I need to do not to experience this again. That is one positive thing about burnout, it feels so crappy that you really do do what you need to not go through it again. 

Megan Porta  21:46

So let’s summarize the points we talked about in this episode. To recover from burnout, there are five steps number one, accept and surrender. Number two, pump the brakes and have grace. Three, perform that self care for seek support and five reevaluate goals and figure out how to not repeat the burnout. Again, I’ve said this a couple times, I hope you’re not in burnout mode. I really do. But if you are if you ever find yourself to be I truly hope this episode helps you. And always feel comfortable reaching out about this. This is a topic that has been really hard for me over the years at times. It’s never a good place to be. I hate that I’ve been there so much in this burnout mode. But because I’ve been there so much I truly can relate to it. So if you want to talk through anything, please feel free to reach out to me [email protected] Thank you so much for listening food bloggers. I will see you next week. 

Outro  22:45

Thank you so much for listening to this mindset and self-care episode here on Eat Blog Talk. If you are a food blogger providing a service for other food bloggers, and you want to spread the word about the value that you offer. I would love to offer you a free way to do just this. Send me a 60 second audio clip to be featured in a mindset and self-care episode here on Eat Blog Talk in 2024. Go to eatblogtalk.com/audioclip to learn more.

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