top of page
  • Writer's pictureCait Donovan

#straightfromcait: Rest vs. Restoration - Which Helps to Heal Your Brain and Body from Burnout?

Updated: Sep 28, 2022

If you know that it’s time to actually DO something about the burnout cycle you’ve been in for too long - book your free consult today:


So you’re feeling burnt out, but the typical advice isn’t working? You’ve tried gratitude journaling, yoga, meditation, connecting with nature, and just about every Instagram “self-care” tip in the book….but you’re still just as burnt out as you started?

Unfortunately, there is often a conflation between burnout recovery and burnout prevention. While you can absolutely use these tips to prevent burnout, they’re honestly pretty useless when it comes to recovering from it. When your brain is already fried and your body is in a constant state of fight or flight, trying to rest in these ways will only cause additional stress. So how do you rest restoratively without aggravating the burnout cycle even further?

Here are three rules that I have found useful for both myself and my clients in recovering from burnout.

  1. Make it small. At the start of your burnout recovery, any attempt to intentionally rest for over 5 minutes is too long and will likely engage your stress response. One tip that I give my clients is to choose a song that they love and makes them feel connected to themselves. This does NOT have to be a calming song!! Just turn on the song and breathe while you listen to it. That’s your work for the day.

  2. Release the need to have gratitude and create space for anger and resentment. We often have a preconceived notion that resentment and anger are “bad.” This is not the case at all. Instead, these emotions are telling us something important about ourselves, our bodies and our boundaries. Rather than constantly quieting these emotions, try listening to them.

  3. Your rules are more important than mine! If something doesn’t feel right for you, then don’t do it. Or make the modifications you need to make it feel good in your own body and mind. Just because Instagram tells you to try something does NOT mean it is a solution that will work for you.

If you are feeling alone in your burnout, I am here to support you. Schedule a free consultation today AND join our brand new FRIED Facebook group to join a community of people that really gets it. We’re ready for you...are you ready to heal?


  • “Burnout recovery and burnout prevention are not equal. They are not the same things.” (3:41-3:46)

  • If you’ve never been burnt out, and you’re giving burnout healing advice, you’re probably doing it wrong. I understand that your intentions might be good, but until you’ve faced the absolute despair and inability to function that true burnout presents as, you simply don’t understand that adding a morning or evening routine to your day or setting up a new exercise plan, just isn’t going to f*cking happen.” (3:51-4:18)

  • “Burnout is not simply being stressed and tired. Burnout is exhaustion. Burnout is despair. Burnout is feeling like this is how life is always going to be and wanting to crash into a tree so that you get a ‘break’ in the hospital. Burnout can overlap with depression, but burnout is not depression. They are separate things.” (4:47-5:11)

  • “Burnout recovery requires gentleness, kindness, time, and restorative rest….Just slowing down is not enough when it comes to burnout.” (6:16-7:15)

  • “A major issue in burnout recovery is the need to focus on ‘positive emotions.’ If I see one more recommendation for someone to gratitude journal when they’re feeling burnt out, my own volcano might just blow. Our current inability to see the value in difficult emotions is something that really inhibits our ability to recover.” (11:05-11:26)

  • “If we can start creating space to actually see and feel resentment, anger and irritation and transform it, we can start rebuilding the fences that we need around our energy to keep us safe, which actually helps us allow rest to be restorative. When our boundaries are strong and we feel safer, our amygdala starts to back down...because it doesn’t need to keep us safe when we’ve decided that we can do it. The more resentment we transform into boundaries, the easier restorative rest becomes.” (12:24-13:06)


The Resentment Journal Mini Course:



If you know that it’s time to actually DO something about the burnout cycle you’ve been in for too long - book your free consult today:


bottom of page