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What Is Recovery Burnout and How Do I Avoid It?

When you first begin your recovery journey, it is common to feel excited, motivated, and confident in your sobriety. You are beginning to enjoy the many gifts associated with sobriety and the things you have learned are all fresh on your mind. However, as time goes on, that motivation can wane a little bit. This can often be a result of recovery burnout. 

Recovery burnout is a very common thing to experience. It is not something to fear and it doesn’t mean that you can’t get over the hump and regain your motivation and excitement. You just may need to simply speak with your therapist or treatment provider and adjust your recovery plan accordingly. This can help you to get back on track and feel eager to put in the work toward your recovery journey. once again 

At Sage Recovery, we recognize that the recovery journey is one of growth and change. Your needs at the beginning of your sobriety may not be the same as the needs you have a few months or a few years down the road. This is why it is so important to stay connected to your treatment provider, attend support group meetings, and keep up with your continued treatment plan. 

Recognizing the Signs of Recovery Burnout

Recovery burnout can present itself in a lot of different ways. It is something that can completely sneak on you before you even realize it. In general, recovery burnout is often associated with a decrease in motivation to keep up with continued treatment. For example, you might not want to keep going to therapy or attending your 12-Step support group meetings. 

When experiencing recovery burnout, recovery may begin to feel more like work than it feels like a gift that you’re giving to yourself so you can enjoy a better life. You might feel like you are at a place now where you can skip out on meetings or don’t need to put the same level of effort into your recovery as you once did. However, the truth is that recovery is a continual process and not something that you simply accomplish and then are finished with. Because of this, simply deciding not to keep up with your continued treatment plan is not a good idea. 

If you are experiencing recovery burnout, it is something that you should take seriously and not overlook. Without addressing this issue, you could find it later progressing into the early stages of relapse. Some signs that this may be happening could include:

As time goes on, you may find yourself spending more time thinking about drugs or alcohol or even making plans to obtain these substances. If this is your case, it is important to reach out for help right away and take relapse prevention measures. 

Avoiding Recovery Burnout Through Fun Sober Activities

Once you have sat down with your therapist or treatment provider to discuss how your feelings, you can begin to try to pinpoint what the cause of your recovery burnout might be. This can vary from person to person, but some common factors can often play a role. In many cases this could be, not making enough time for yourself. 

Recovery is work but it is not supposed to feel like a job all of the time. You are supposed to be able to enjoy the many benefits associated with living a sober life. Yet, to do this, you have to make time for it. This is why our team at Sage Recovery believes that fun sober activities should be prioritized in recovery. 

Fun sober activities are essentially exactly what they sound like. They are activities that you enjoy doing that allow you to relax and connect with others but without substance use. This could include going out with friends to see a movie or enjoy a meal. It could include watching your favorite sports team play or enjoying your favorite hobby. 

Fun sober activities are meant to add enrichment and a greater sense of purpose to your life. They give you something to look forward to and can majorly improve your overall mental health and wellbeing. Without these activities, life can become stale and boring. Additionally, it can become a lot more difficult to find the motivation you need to put toward your recovery. 

Avoiding Recovery Burnout Through Self-Care

Practicing regular self-care is also a very important thing to consider when it comes to avoiding recovery burnout. Self-care is not only important for preventing relapse but it also plays a crucial role in maintaining your mental and physical health. It is important that no matter how busy you may get or how long you have been in recovery you still make time for self-care. Without it, your overall well-being can quickly take a hit. 

Furthermore, it is necessary to discover what self-care means to you because it looks a little different from person to person. Essentially, it involves doing whatever is necessary to protect your mental, physical, and emotional health. When it is practiced daily, you may be surprised by how much better you begin to feel. 

At some point in your life, you have probably heard the phrase, “You have to want to help yourself.” This phrase is true when it comes to the recovery journey. There are a lot of people that can help you get sober and stay sober. Plenty of resources are available to help along the way, but at the end of the day, you have to want to be sober and you have to want to put forth the effort to maintain it. Maybe you don’t yet feel like you have the deep desire to begin your recovery journey. However, at Sage Recovery, we can help you to find that desire and motivation within yourself. Call (512) 306-1394 today.