Burnout recovery is not always a linear process. It takes time and commitment to overcome burnout symptoms and we need to patiently grant our body and mind the sufficient time to heal. When we are struggling with burnout, we might wonder how long does it take to recover, and how much time needs to pass before we return to our old, happy self. In this article we explain how long does it take to overcome burnout and three important factors to take into account.
How Long Does It Take To Recover From Burnout?
So, how long does it take to recover from burnout? There is some good news and some bad news. The bad news is that you cannot put a number on it. Unfortunately, there is no instruction manual or magic cure that guarantees that in three days you will overcome burnout. But, why? This is where the good news comes in. Your burnout recovery depends on various factors, and some of them can be under your control.
1. Do Your Homework
First, your burnout recovery depends on how committed you are to healing. How often do you do your homework for overcoming burnout. This means, putting in the effort to change your habits, setting boundaries, and keeping track of your negative thoughts (for example, with CBT techniques). The first step in your burnout recovery journey is to commit to change and to act. This can be quite refreshing, as this is something that we can have some control over.
2. Your Burnout Stage
Your burnout recovery also depends on when exactly did you realize that you have burnout. That is, on which stage of burnout are you at the moment. In a previous article, we discuss the different stages of burnout in detail. The key is to learn the stages, identify which phase are you in, and, then, commit to work from there.
For instance, if you find yourself in the honeymoon stage of burnout, you will probably need less time to recover. The honeymoon phase is the starting stage; when you are beginning to create an imbalance between your work and life. In this stage, it can be relatively simple to change your habits and prevent developing severe burnout symptoms. You can work towards creating a barrier between your professional and personal life, and practice setting healthy boundaries.
However, if you realize that you are burnout after many months, and you are already experiencing chronic stress or severe depression, it might take more time to heal and return to your happy and healthy, previous self. Burnout can leave its handprint on our brain structure. Our brains can change due to burnout, so after many months of experiencing burnout, we need to grant our brain the appropriate time for healing. This will require patience, and, of course, your conscious choices of developing helpful coping strategies and habits that will help heal your brain and body.
But, please remember, it is never too late to recover from burnout. Whether you are in the first or fifth stage of burnout, you can overcome it by committing to work on your habits. Our self-care guide offers helpful support for jumpstarting your healing journey.
3. Let Go
One important consideration at any point of your burnout recovery is to let go. Let go of counting and let go of comparisons. Throughout your recovery, it is crucial to let go of checking your progress. We tend to obsess over our progress and count the days and months, obsessing over the fact that time is passing by and we are still not recovering. We also tend to compare our journey to that of others. We compare ourselves to acquaintances that perhaps overcame burnout in a quicker way. We can start questioning ourselves, wondering what is wrong with us and why we cannot recover as quickly as others.
These behaviours can be very counterproductive and can backfire. This type of mindset was created by burnout. Burnout is about experiencing chronic stress, and if we fall into these obsessions about our recovery, we are adding a new type of stress to our repertoire. If we begin ruminating about our progress, we are redirecting stress into a new domain. This time the stress is no longer focused on work, but on our personal development.
Our suggestion is to try not to focus on the time that has gone by or on other people’s journeys. Focus on the things that are within your scope of control, focus on your health, on your habits, on those things that you can change in the here and now. And, trust that if you continue your journey of self-development, the burnout will be over soon.
If you want to learn more about burnout recovery, we suggest you take a look at this video.
So, there is no magic number that lets you know when the burnout will be over. It all comes down to when the burnout symptoms began and on your commitment to change your habits and thoughts. Whether you are experiencing job burnout, parental burnout, or social media burnout, please remember, you are not alone. Many people are struggling with burnout at the moment, and many have overcome it. You can too. We wish you well on your burnout recovery, and if you ever need a helping hand, we are always willing to help. Take care.
TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR LIFE.