Health

How To Recover From Burnout (And How Long Does it Take)

A businesswoman suffering from burnout working in the office

Outline: Burnout Signs and Symptoms | How to Recover BurnoutAssess the SituationIdentify Underlying IssueMake ChangesLeverage on Support SystemsPractice Self-care | How Long It Takes to Recover From Burnout | Final Thoughts

Burnout is a problem for many people, and it’s often hard to deal with. Feeling burned out is like hitting a brick wall. You feel exhausted, unmotivated, and hopeless. You may also feel you’re not good at your job or that you don’t deserve success. Recovery from burnout can take time, but it’s worth it.

In this article, we’ll discuss the signs, how to recover from burnout, and how long it takes to recover from burnout.

Understand the Signs and Symptoms of Burnout

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, and unable to meet the demands of your life, you may be experiencing burnout.

Burnout is a state of physical and emotional exhaustion that can be caused by chronic stress.

It’s important to understand the signs of burnout so you can take steps to prevent it from occurring or get treatment if you’re already feeling emotionally exhausted.

Burnout symptoms may include: 

  • Feeling overwhelmed or hopeless
  • Excessive fatigue
  • Insomnia or sleep disturbance
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Irritability or moodiness
  • Changes in appetite
  • Isolation from friends and family
  • Or loss of interest in activities you used to enjoy.

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s essential to take action to restore your mental and physical health.

But where should you start?

Step-by-Step Instructions to Recover From Burnout

An illustration of a man resting his head on a desk experiencing burnout
Credit: Photo by Cup of  Couple

1. Take a Step Back and Assess Your Current Situation

It’s easy to become so caught up in the day-to-day grind that we lose sight of the bigger picture. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or stuck in a rut, it might be time to take a step back and assess your current situation.

Self-assessment can be a difficult process, but it’s important to remember that you are not alone. Here are a few things you can do 

  • Talk to a trusted friend or family member.
  • Set a time to reflect on your life and activities daily

If you don’t feel comfortable sharing, write your thoughts in a journal.

Taking the time to assess your situation is a vital first step on the road to success. Once you understand your circumstances, you’ll be better equipped to make positive changes.

2. Identify the Underlying Issues That Cause You To Feel Burnt Out

Being burnt out is real, and severe burnout can manifest physical symptoms. Maybe you’re working too much and experiencing job burnout, or you’re constantly juggling a million different things and not giving yourself enough time to rest and recharge. Maybe you’re struggling to find work-life balance.

Whatever the case, it’s essential to identify what’s causing you to feel burnt out. Are you feeling overwhelming stress because of your workplace environment? Are you taking on more than you can handle at school or work? Are you lacking community?

Once you know the culprit, you can work towards making some changes to help improve the situation.

3. Make a Change – Even if It’s Small at First

Change is hard. It’s scary. But that doesn’t mean we should shy away from it. It’s important to our growth as individuals and a meaningful step in the burnout recovery process.

When we step outside our comfort zone, we open ourselves to new experiences and perspectives. We learn more about who we are and what we are capable of. And even if the change isn’t successful, we can learn from our mistakes and become stronger.

So don’t be afraid to make a change – even if small. Some ideas for small changes you can make to help manage stress are:

  • Taking a break from social media
  • Reducing your workload (if possible)
  • Asking for help from coworkers, friends, and family members
  • Making time for yourself each day to do something you enjoy
  • Getting regular exercise
  • Make an appointment with a therapist
  • Eating a healthy diet

These are just a few ideas and coping strategies to get you started. Again, it’s important to understand the root cause of your burnout and make effective changes.

4. Lean On Your Support System

Burnout illustration of a cartooned human carrying a battery at 1%

When life gets tough, it’s important to lean on your support system. This is one of the most helpful stress management techniques.

Whether it’s your family, friends, church community, or even a professional counselor, these people can provide the guidance and encouragement you need to get through tough times.

When you’re feeling lost or alone, it’s best to reach out to your support system and let them help you find your way. They’ll be there for you when you need them, just as you’ll be there for them when they need you.

Don’t be afraid to lean on your support system when life gets tough. They’re there to help you, and they’ll make sure you get through whatever stressful event you’re facing.

5. Practice Self-care

If you experience burnout, taking care of yourself is not selfish; it’s essential. When you make time for yourself, you can recharge and show up fully for the people and things you care about. Not sure where to start?

Here are some ideas:

  • Get enough sleep: As an individual and entrepreneur, it is essential to understand the benefits of getting quality sleep. The truth is that sleep helps you function. Also, most people need 7-8 hours per night. Consider going to bed and waking up at the same time each day to help regulate your body’s natural sleep rhythm.
  • Eating healthy: Eating nutritious foods helps your body to function at its best. Make sure to include plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains in your diet.
  • Exercise regularly: Exercise releases endorphins, which have mood-boosting benefits to combat negative feelings. A moderate amount of exercise has been proven to have many mental benefits and can help maintain your overall well-being.
  • Take breaks: When you’re feeling overwhelmed or burnt out, take a break from work or whatever is causing you stress. Go for a walk, read your favorite book, or take a hot bath.
  • Spend time with friends and family: Connecting with loved ones can help reduce stress and promote positive emotions. Make an effort to spend quality time with the people who matter most to you.

Self-care isn’t always easy, but it’s worth it. Investing in your well-being will pay off in the long run by making you happier, healthier, and more productive.

How Long Does It Take to Recover From Burnout?

Stack of rocks beside the ocean
Image source: Photo by Pixabay

Recovery time for burnout will vary depending on your situation. It will depend on the severity of your symptoms.

The most important thing you can do is be patient and give yourself time to heal. It’s also vital to take care of yourself and not push yourself too hard. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a step back and reevaluate your priorities. Make sure you’re taking the time to do things you enjoy that make you feel good.

It’s also a good idea to talk to a therapist or counselor who can help you manage your stress and work through your feelings. With time and effort, you will eventually recover from burnout and be able to live a happy, healthy life.

Final Thoughts

Burnout is a very real phenomenon, and it can creep up on you gradually over time. Therefore, it’s important to understand how to recover from burnout.

If you’re experiencing burnout, taking a step back and assessing your current situation is essential. Once you’ve identified the sources of your burnout, it’s time to make a change – even if it’s small at first.

Lean on your support system as you work through this process, and practice self-care to restore balance in your life. With time and effort, you can overcome burnout and return to living a joyful, fulfilled, and productive life.

author
Alisa Goz is a travel blogger and passionate life-long learner. Before starting her blog, Alisa worked as a non-profit fundraiser at top New York cultural institutions. She carries her passion for building community and helping people through everything she does. Join Alisa at AlisaGoz.com for the best tips and tricks for stress-free travel.