introvert burnout

How to Send Introvert Burnout Packing (For Good)

5 February 2019 | by Gina Lucia

I experienced a form of introvert burnout for the first time a few weeks ago and I had no idea it was coming. To be honest, I never even thought it could happen to me. A person who encourages others to have balance in their lives – there’s just no way.

Obviously I was completely wrong, and what’s more, I’m now a firm believer that to really understand something, you have to have experienced it first.

introvert burnout

How I got introvert burnout

So here’s what happened – I overworked. I got so excited by all the ideas, progress and prospects I had in my head, that I worked constantly. Don’t get me wrong, I finished work at 5 pm and wasn’t at my desk on the weekend. But I was listening to work-related podcasts, reading work-related books, writing notes on my phone all the time. I never really switched off. In other words, I was not achieving a work-life balance.

The worst part about it all was that I had no idea that burnout was swiftly on its way. After all, I was enjoying myself.

Then one day it hit me. I crashed and burned, got ill and lost my drive, ambition and self-compassion. Instead, my stress levels rose and anxiety took over. This wasn’t just being tired. This was full-on introverted burnout.

If you’ve ever experienced it, you know exactly what I mean.

In fact, for introverts, it can happen in a variety of different ways. Something which fellow introvert Morgan talks about in her in-depth post.

It took me about a week to come out of it, but what I learned when I did was so incredibly important.

introvert burnout work

How do you know if you have burnout?

‘Normal’ burnout and introvert burnout are very similar. You can tell you’ve reached the point of burnout when:

  • You feel less capable and motivated to work
  • You’re exhausted constantly
  • You start to emotionally distance yourself from others
  • Your stress levels are starting to affect your physical wellbeing
  • You’re starting to make poor work decisions

Essentially, burnout is a reaction to prolonged overwork and stress which leaves you feeling exhausted, demotivated and lacking in self-worth.

Why introverts are more at risk of burnout

Introverts are particularly prone to overstimulation.

‘Normal’ burnout is usually caused by overworking, or a particularly high amount of stress. Introvert burnout, on the other hand, can be a little more than that. It can happen as a result of:

  • Prolonged exposure to other people
  • The lack of quality alone time
  • Reduced amount of quality conversations or interactions
  • Lengthy exposure to overstimulating environments with loud noises, smells or sights

Usually, all of the above result in social or introvert burnout if exposed over a lengthy period of time. For example, if you’re at a week-long conference and you have to be on ‘top-form’, the overexposure to people and stimulation over a long period will likely burn you out.

introvert burnout phone

What to do if you already have introvert burnout

If you’ve read the above and have burnout right now, the good news is, it’s not permanent

The first step is recognising you have it – great news – you’ve clearly done that if you’re here. 

Then, you need to pinpoint what caused it. There’s no use in putting a plaster over burnout because it will just come creeping back if you don’t deal with the root cause.

Take some time to analyse what caused it and how you can stop it happening in the future. At this stage, it’s worth telling someone close to you, they will be able to help you work around the problem you’re having. 

Oh and while you’re there, you need to do some relaxing. Burnout doesn’t go away if you ignore it and it certainly won’t go away if you don’t rest. So take some time away from whatever has caused your burnout and move onto the next section for some more tips.

Note: If you’re experiencing burnout right now and it’s having a serious effect on your work and life. Please talk to a mental health professional. 

introvert battery recharge

How to avoid getting burnout ever again

As an introvert, you need to give yourself enough time to rest.

It sounds so obvious but I basically ignored this in the pursuit of my goals. There’s just no point in being on all the time because what you produce will be of poor quality – especially as an introvert.

Don’t be on all the time, just don’t. Pursue your goals in set chunks of time and then completely switch off from them. Don’t take your goals into your leisure time thinking that you’ll get more done. You’ll end up having to take a week off just to recover from emotional exhaustion.

Tell somebody what happened

I was lucky, my husband saw it coming before I did. He even said that I was working a lot and maybe I should slow down. To that, I denied all of his worries and carried on all the same – that’ll teach me!

If it happens to you, make sure you tell someone. Once you hit introvert burnout it can stop you right in your tracks and it may take a little time for you to pick yourself up again. Tell somebody you love and let them be there for you.

Set boundaries

As introverts, we need to make sure we set boundaries. I’m not talking about boundaries with other people here – we all know we need that! I’m talking about everyday boundaries with things that give us even a little bit of anxiety.

Does checking emails make you stressed? Remove them from your phone so you only see them at specific times. Or, pause your emails so that they all come in at specific times during the day.

How about social media? If you’re comparing yourself, scrolling too much, generally feeling overwhelmed, then set some boundaries. Set a timer on your phone to pause the app after a certain amount of time. Set specific times in your diary to check social media – you’ll be thankful for it.

Lastly, if you’re feeling overwhelmed with work – chunk your time more effectively and break your tasks down into much smaller chunks. The smaller a task is, the easier it is to do – it makes it seem much more possible and less stress-inducing. Similarly, if you chunk your time with similar tasks, you can get everything done much quicker.

As introverts, we’re prone to being perfectionists. Don’t let this drive for perfection overwhelm you. Instead, accept that perfect is impossible and done is better.

Fill your ‘off’ time with things that are fun

When I say fun, I mean ONLY fun. I’ve said it before, don’t kid yourself if you’re filling your spare time with anything at all related to your goals. It doesn’t matter if your goal is fun, your business is fun, it’s still work and your brain needs a break.

Instead, rediscover your hobbies, make time for simple pleasures. Enjoy things that make you feel creative, or alive, or fulfilled. After my setback, I got back into artistic hobbies, played a few video games and got back into gardening.


That’s it, all you have to do is take care of yourself. As introverts, we live from the inside out, it’s so important that we keep check to make sure we don’t burnout and surprise everyone around us.

Have you ever experienced introvert burnout? Or have any tips for avoiding it? Leave me a comment and let’s chat.

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How to Send Introvert Burnout Packing (For Good)
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How to Send Introvert Burnout Packing (For Good)
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Learn how to send introvert burnout packing with these tips. Including what to do if you have burnout and how to prevent it in the future.
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Limit Breaker
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8 Comments

  1. Kyra

    2nd January 2020 at 5:19 PM

    This is so true. I’m currently experiencing it at the moment, but it’s hard to switch off, especially when you have many ideas in your head. Great blog post and it’s taught me how to manage it properly.☀️

    Reply
    • Gina Lucia

      3rd January 2020 at 9:47 AM

      I absolutely agree. It’s all those wonderful ideas and excitement. We don’t want to lose momentum, so instead of planning rest time, we keep going forgetting that rest makes us stronger.

      Reply
  2. Sabrina

    11th April 2020 at 11:34 PM

    Good information, thank you for sharing. I’m an introvert and I’m trying to recover from severe burnout. I kept trying to push through and keep working, but I even had to leave nursing, not sure if I’ll ever return. Still working on figuring out what I’m going to do, but for now, I’m taking care of me and trying to work from home doing anything, so I can get better. I hope by people sharing information like you and I, maybe some people will learn about burnout and do something about it before it gets too late.

    Reply
    • Gina Lucia

      12th April 2020 at 9:56 AM

      Absolutely! I hope it all works out well for you. Taking care of #1 is way more important than we think.

      Reply
      • Laura Jongenburger

        2nd May 2020 at 5:21 AM

        I’m in the stages of recovery and it was a long winding road to here and I still slip. I crashed and burned so bad I was an angry crying mess. Self employment, chronic pain and depression, while being an introvert took its toll, along with all the other added pressures and projects I broke down at the slightest of pressure. Like dinner options, friends planning catch ups, I couldn’t work out what was wrong with me. I didnt want medication for depression or anxiety, so I finally got sent through to counseling. Where she pin pointed it straight away. And we’ve been working on strategies for me to continue my journey.

        Something that helps is note books for all the ideas and lists of lists. Self care and compassion for thy self ♡ sending love those that need it.

        Reply
        • Gina Lucia

          2nd May 2020 at 2:15 PM

          Thank you for your suggestion Laura, that’s a great idea.

          Reply
        • CJ

          21st May 2020 at 7:27 PM

          Thanks for sharing. Same as you, I’m quite lucky my husband pointed out to me too. I had no idea what a ‘burnout’ is until recently my work from home schedule so out of hands, I worked from 9am to 5am for several days and it got me feeling anxious and even lose the control within my colleague (in which I quickly apologise) after acknowledging whats going on with my introvert-overworked-self. It has been challenging during this work from home period, but am recovering. Thank you for letting me know that this could come by as a surprise, thought it was just me. Stay safe and healthy!

          Reply
          • Gina Lucia

            22nd May 2020 at 1:05 PM

            Absolutely, I’m so glad you eventually recognised it though – not everyone does!

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