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How Long It Takes To Recover From Burnout

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It took me Weeks Days to recover from burnout

There are a lot of sad moments in work life, but sometimes we cannot handle the situation and feel exhausted in terms of physical and social, which is called burnout in general.


What is Burnout?

Burnout can happen when you suffer from long-term stress in your job. When you’re exhausted from stress, problems seem challenging and you feel overwhelmed, emotionally weak, and unable to collect the energy to meet expectations of your job.

According to a new study published in "Frontiers in Psychology", the reason of job burnouts is the mismatch between your inner ambitions/motivations and the demands of your job. This mismatch may not be that obvious to notice but we will get to that in the later parts of this article.

Symptoms of Burnout

At the following, you can recognize main signs of burnout:

  • You feel that each day at work is bad.

  • You always feel drained.

  • You have no joy for work.

  • Your responsibilities overwhelm you.

  • Your job makes you feel depressed.

  • You think drinking is a solution to your problems.

  • You are impatient than you used to be.

  • You have no hope of your life or your job.

  • You feel like nothing you do is appreciated.

  • You suffer from chest pain, shortness of breath, sleeplessness.


If you have some of the symptoms mentioned above, you are probably experiencing burnout. You will recover much easily if you are having burnout in the beginning of your career. However, you must keep in mind that the important thing is knowing to recover from burnout successfully.


Recovering from Burnout

Burnout does not go away by itself and even get worse if you don’t figure out the reasons for it. Ignoring burnout causes more serious problems in your life; therefore, you must begin recovery as soon as possible after realizing that you are suffering from burnout.

As we mentioned before, there is a strong correlation between your feeling of burnt out and the mismatch between your passions and your job requirements. Thus, the first step of recovery is listening to your inner self. There are people who can work 100 hours per week without any feeling of burn out. In this case, we can safely assume that their work actually satisfies their inner ambitions.

Having a job that does not satisfy your inner motivations is not the end of the world. You may feel like you have to change your work in order to be happy but this usually not the case. No business wants to lose (or even worse, utilize in an un-efficient way) a well-trained employee. And for the most cases, you don't even have to change your job description completely to be happy. Authors of the research give an example for this case:

"Imagine an accountant who actually is an outgoing person, enjoys being in company and seeks closeness in her social relationships. However, at her workplace, she most of the time works on her own with hardly any contact with colleagues or clients.."

As you can imagine, small changes in the environment and may be in the structure of the team may fix the issue dramatically. However, the most important point here is to identify the issue.

Recovering from burnout requires time and space. There are some strategies can work for you to reduce the effects of the burnout when you are working on the ultimate solution:

  • Make a list which includes things make you stressed, nervous, anxious, discouraged, and helpless.

  • Then, set a goal for every item in your list. For example, try not to be stressed when doing a job which increases your stress before. You may not achieve your goal at the beginning, but keep on trying. Don’t forget burnout doesn't occur overnight and consistency will cause chance in a positive way.

  • Avoid taking too many responsibilities during the recovery phase. Learn to say people “No!” when they ask you for new commitments.

  • Don’t run big projects repeatedly. After finishing a stressful project, take a break and give your mind a chance to recover.

  • In your social life, do not spend much time with your professional group. To stimulate new ideas and have different perceptions, hang out with friends who are not your colleagues.

  • If you think you need a long break, you may consider leaving your current job but it is not possible for economic reasons, at least you can try to go away from the office for 3-5 days.

Recovering from burnout is not a quick process. To get rid of it, you have to change your lifestyle and priorities. Instead of taking work to home, visit new places and use your time to check things off your bucket list. If you try hard enough, you will recover less than a year from burnout in your career.

How do we know this?

The reference article:

Brandstätter, V., Job, V., & Schulze, B. (2016). Motivational Incongruence and Well-Being at the Workplace: Person-Job Fit, Job Burnout and Physical Symptoms. Frontiers in Psychology, 7, 1153.

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