Are you hoping to discover how to avoid burnout in addiction recovery?
Do you believe that you could benefit from additional support? Here at Action Rehab, we are on hand to help you.
Addiction recovery is a lifelong journey that requires commitment. Like many other journeys encountered throughout life, addiction recovery is not simple, nor can it be rushed.
While an individual’s time in a drug and alcohol rehab will help set them up for success, it could be said that the hard work truly starts after leaving rehab.
After all, a residential rehab facility offers security, around the clock care and the ability to escape everyday life for some time.
As an individual leaves their chosen rehabilitation facility and once again comes face-to-face with their typical daily routine and life, the risk of relapse heightens. Armed with aftercare support, many remain sober and maintain a long-term recovery.
Although many individuals do make a long-term recovery, relapse is not unavoidable. Many factors including burnout can increase the likelihood that an individual will relapse. With this in mind, it is imperative to avoid burnout in addiction recovery.
What Is Burnout and Who Experiences Burnout?
As defined by the World Health Organisation, burnout is a syndrome that results from chronic stress that has not been successfully managed.
Typically related to the working environment, is it estimated that 22% of people in the United Kingdom have experienced burnout.
Although many individuals may experience burnout at some point in their life, burnout in addiction recovery can have disastrous consequences.
As burnout stems from extreme stress, individuals in recovery that experience burnout may feel more compelled to once again turn to substances that they were once addicted to in order to mitigate any unpleasant feelings. In doing so, relapse will be experienced.
If you are recovering from an addiction and are looking to discover how to avoid burnout in addiction recovery, we would encourage you to read on.
If you feel you are on the verge of burnout, we would highly recommend that you reach out for support as soon as possible.
What Are the Symptoms of Burnout in Addiction Recovery?
Although it is not pleasant to experience, burnout is part of real life. As you recover from your addiction and return to everyday life, you will be faced with various tasks such as work, finding a new job, repairing and maintaining relationships and slowly but surely building a new life without substances.
Although these tasks can be completed as and when you are ready, many feel an increasing pressure to tackle everything head-on. Unfortunately, this is when burnout is most likely to arise.
If you believe that you are experiencing burnout, but are unsure if your symptoms are related, there are several signs to look out for.
As burnout is often related to stress in the workplace, if you have returned to work, you may find yourself experiencing pessimistic thoughts about the people you work with and your working conditions. You may also lose interest in your job or experience feelings of imposter syndrome.
Throughout burnout, you will also experience emotional exhaustion. This will leave you feeling somewhat drained, extremely tired, unable to cope with daily tasks, and you will likely lack motivation.
Unfortunately, if you are recovering from an addiction, emotional exhaustion may cause you to relapse.
In addition to the above, burnout will present many physical symptoms. These include, but are not limited to;
- – Headaches
- – Stomach aches
- – Trouble sleeping
- – Fatigue
- – Chest tightness
- – Dizziness
- – Tinnitus
- – Muscle tension and aches
How to Avoid Burnout in Addiction Recovery?
If you are hoping to avoid burnout in addiction recovery, there are various things that you can do.
Below, we’ve listed a few ways to prevent burnout.
- – Make a note of how you feel and reflect on this – burnout is often experienced when work, life and recovery stress becomes too much for an individual to cope with. In many cases, burnout gradually arises when situations and feelings are left unresolved. As and when you feel stressed, make a note of all of the thoughts in your head. Putting pen to paper will help relieve you from the pressure you may be experiencing internally. This will also give you the ability to look back, reflect and evaluate why you felt a certain way at a later date. In turn, you can prevent this feeling from arising further down the line.
- – Take advantage of addiction recovery tools – when burnout arises, it can be difficult to prevent yourself from feeling overwhelmed, especially when you are in addiction recovery. However, it is essential to take advantage of addiction recovery tools and implement the various coping strategies that you will have created with your recovery team during your time in rehab. Taking advantage of said recovery tools will minimise your chances of experiencing burnout as you will deal with any issues as and when they arise.
- – Ask for help – although you may be hesitant to ask for help, you must do this. This could be as simple as asking a loved one to take more responsibility around the house, asking for a deadline extension at work or reaching out to the dedicated recovery team at the rehab you attended. While you may believe that asking for help suggests you cannot cope, this is not true. Asking for help will prevent you from being left to once again suffer in silence. In turn, this will minimise your chances of burnout and relapsing.
What to Do If You Are Experiencing Burnout in Addiction Recovery
It is important to remember that as addiction recovery is a life-long commitment, burnout in addiction recovery can be experienced at any given point.
Burnout does not only impact people that have been in recovery for a short period. It can also have repercussions on individuals that have been in recovery for many years.
If you are experiencing burnout, we would encourage you to contact us as soon as possible.