The brain is very negatively impacted and damaged by burnout.  Thus mental health is key to overcoming burnout.  Some ways to improve mental health may be in the form of social support, support groups, therapy, or journaling. However there are other specifics which are also helpful.


Burnout literally depresses the brain and sometimes medication may be necessary to improve the ability to follow through on doing the things one needs to do for recovery.  Most of the suggestions for burnout also will improve depression.  Make sure you are getting sunlight in your day. Start out with 20 minutes per day and work your way up to 30 minutes.  If sunlight is not feasible, then use a light which mimics the sun.  These are at least 10,000 lux with blue light and have it at about a 45 degree angle from you.

Many of my clients know the things they which will help their mood, but they are unable motivate themselves to even do the smallest things for a few minutes because of their depression.  Any task feels overwhelming to them.  In these cases, therapy may be necessary.  (Click here for an article on therapy.). Medication is often helpful so they can take charge of their lives and health once again.  (Click here for an article with an Adventist view on medication.)


When suffering from burnout, negative thoughts can be nearly constant, taking charge of these and purposefully focusing on positive thoughts has been proven helpful.  Also, consciously not allowing oneself to speak negatively for a period of days up to two weeks has been shown to improve mental health.  This may also take the form of a gratitude journal or any posting notes of gratitude to God around your house as a reminder daily.  End your prayers with gratitude for the many blessings you have, big or small.

Writing Thank You cards to help with a positive focus was found by research to be positive for mental health.  It actually made no difference if the cards were mailed or not, it was still beneficial to the writer.  However, if mailed they will likely impact both parties positively.


Prayer has been shown to relieve stress and improve mood and anxiety.  Often when we are hurried and stressed, prayer is the first item to to get throw out of our schedule.  Prayer of even 5-10 minutes is helpful.

When you are frazzled and rushed, it can be difficult to stay focused at all.  Sometimes I start to pray and I think I may be focused for 30 seconds.  Options I have found to help with this are:

  • never pick up my phone prior to time with God
  • do not do my time with God on my phone
  • write down things I want to pray about in a small spiral notebook or on notecards
  • walk and pray, notecards are helpful especially while walking
  • read one Bible verse and meditate on it, read it multiple times praying over it

Prayer does bring healing to the mind and puts you in touch with the source of all healing.

In upcoming articles we will discuss more about preventing burnout, as prevention is key to not burning out in the first place and not having it happen another time.

Previous posts in this series:  What is Burnout?,  Burnout in the Brain, Recovering from Burnout

If you are feeling suicidal, please call 988 for support, go to your hospital’s emergency department, or call 911.  God is not done with you yet.