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How Do I Avoid Recovery Burnout?

Recovery from substance use requires dedication, time, and effort. It involves making the choice to stay sober every single day and doing the work involved to stay on track. However, there are most likely going to be times when you feel more or less motivated than others. The good news is that there are things you can do to avoid recovery burnout.

Recovery burnout is a type of mental or emotional exhaustion that is often associated with a lack of motivation. When recovery burnout is not addressed, it can lead to an increased risk of relapse. There can be a variety of factors that play into the reason why you might experience this kind of burnout. Making sure to identify these factors is important in getting to the root of the problem.

If you need guidance avoiding burnout while in recovery, our team at Sage Recovery can help.

What Does Recovery Burnout Look Like?

Even if recovery burnout is not something that you have personally experienced before, it is important to know what it is and be able to recognize the signs. This way, if you begin to experience it in the future you’ll know what steps to take to address the issue. For some people, recovery burnout can feel like a sense of fatigue or boredom. Others might feel overwhelmed with the dedication and work necessary to stay sober and feel like giving up.

If you have been in recovery for a significant period of time, think back to the early stages of your sobriety. You undoubtedly saw a lot of improvements in your life both mentally and physically. Perhaps you also experienced a lot of benefits like better relationships with loved ones, increased productivity, and better finances. All of these exciting things associated with sobriety likely helped increase your motivation to stay sober.

However, as time goes on, you may forget how much better your life has become since becoming sober. As a result, you may think to yourself, “Maybe it wouldn’t be that big of a deal for me to have a drink.” Even if you aren’t yet at this point in burnout, you may still be thinking that you don’t need to put the same effort into your recovery that you once did.

In reality, however, continuing to put daily dedication and effort into your sobriety is crucial no matter how long you’ve been sober. Whether it be three months or thirty years, these things are still necessary.

What Can I Do to Avoid Recovery Burnout Turning Into a Relapse?

The most important thing that you can do to avoid recovery burnout from turning into a relapse is to take action right away. If you feel yourself getting bored or losing motivation during your recovery, it is important to determine why that is and work to address the problem. Perhaps, you need to add some variety to your recovery plan. For example, maybe you have been attending support group meetings with the same recovery group for many years.

You don’t have to leave your old group behind, especially if you feel like it’s still working for you. In fact, sticking with the same group can play a role in helping to hold you accountable because these are people who know some of what you have been through and have seen your growth. However, consider switching things up from time to time by attending new support group meetings. This can be a great way to make new connections and learn and grow in fresh ways.

It is also important to consider what kind of fun sober activities you’ve been participating in. Have you been making enough time in your schedule for these things on a regular basis? If not, that can be one of the most common causes of recovery burnout.

While recovery does take effort and dedication, it should not feel like a job that you dread doing. However, if you’re not making the time for fun, it can quickly start to seem like a burden. Make a point to schedule a time for fun sober activities regularly. Be sure to try out new things to keep this exciting.

If you’re having trouble finding sober friends to participate in these things with, reach out to your local support group. Get connected and you may be surprised by how many other people out there are looking for people to have sober fun with.

When Is It Time to Ask For Help?

If you’re experiencing recovery burnout, the first thing that you should do is reach out to a counselor or your primary care provider. They can help you to identify different factors that may be contributing to burnout and make any necessary changes to your treatment plan.

If you are experiencing recovery burnout, our team at Sage Recovery can help.

Many people think of relapse as a major event that happens at one point in time. However, in reality, it is often a much slower process that occurs over time. It may begin with a sense of burnout or fatigue and then slowly progress into something more. Relapse is generally experienced in three primary stages: emotional, mental, and physical. It is important to reach out for help as soon as you think you may be at risk for relapse before it progresses any further. If you are currently struggling with thoughts about turning back to drugs or alcohol, our team at Sage Recovery can help. We are here to offer you the support you need. Call (512) 306-1394 today.