How Long Does it Take to Recover from Burnout?

Burned out skeleton laying on the computer

Burnout is one of the response mechanisms to chronic stress. Burnout is harmful not only to health, but also to studies, activities, and relationships with others. According to various sources, recovery from burnout takes between one or three years to a decade. But it is difficult to say the exact recovery time for every person. Recovery from burnout depends on various factors including the length of employment, the severity of burnout, the availability of support systems, the work environment, self-care practices, and personal factors.

According to statistics, more than 70 percent of employees experience burnout. The biggest driver of employee burnout is unrealistic deadlines and high results expectations. The good news is that burnout is treatable. To know more about recovery from burnout, factors that may impact the recovery process from burnout, and how to beat burnout, continue reading.

How Long Does Burnout Last?

The burnout can persist for weeks, months, or even years if not properly addressed. The duration of burnout can vary significantly from person to person and depends on various factors, such as the individual’s circumstances, the severity of burnout, and the steps taken to address and recover from it. Burnout is a state of chronic physical and emotional exhaustion often caused by prolonged periods of stress, particularly related to work or caregiving responsibilities. In general, burnout is not a condition that simply resolves on its own without intervention.

What are the Factors that May Impact Burnout Recovery Time?

Burnout recovery time can be influenced by various factors. Here are some examples:

Length of Employment

The length of employment or the duration of exposure to stressful work conditions can impact burnout recovery time. If someone has been working over 60 hours per week, it may take longer to recover from burnout compared to someone who has been working for a shorter duration (over 40 hours per week).

Severity of Burnout

The severity of burnout symptoms can also play a role in determining recovery time. If burnout is in its early stages and recognized and addressed promptly, the recovery process might be shorter. However, if burnout has reached an advanced stage and has had a significant impact on an individual’s physical and mental well-being, the recovery process may be more prolonged and require more intensive interventions.

Availability of Support Systems

The presence of a robust support system can contribute to a faster recovery from burnout. Supportive relationships, both personal and professional, can provide emotional assistance, guidance, and practical help during the recovery process. One study results show that nurses with high sources of social support and high levels of satisfaction with that support reported less burnout than nurses with few supports and less satisfaction with those supports.

Coping Mechanisms and Self-Care Practices

Individual coping mechanisms and self-care practices also influence burnout recovery time. Those who have well-developed coping skills and engage in regular self-care activities like exercise, relaxation techniques, hobbies, and healthy lifestyle choices may recover more quickly. Effective coping strategies help individuals manage stress, build resilience, and promote overall well-being.

It is a known fact that lying to the coach also can help recover from burnout faster. One study shows that three daily activities, including social (e. g. spending time with your friends), low-cost (e. g. watching TV), and physical (e. g yoga) activities, have a positive impact on physical vigor, cognitive liveliness, and recovery. But only social activities improved all these 3 criteria in high-risk participants.

Work Environment and Job Satisfaction

The work environment and job satisfaction levels can impact burnout recovery. If the work environment remains unchanged or continues to be highly stressful, it may impede the recovery process. For instance, it is a known fact that burnout is a hazard for various people-oriented professions, such as health care, education, and human services. People-oriented professions and their environments sometimes cause stress due to harassment and bullying. Conversely, if changes are made in the work environment, such as reducing excessive workload, improving communication and support systems, and enhancing job satisfaction, it can positively affect recovery time.

Personal Factors and Resilience

Personal factors and individual resilience can influence burnout recovery. Factors such as overall health, personality traits, life circumstances, and the presence of other stressors can impact the speed and effectiveness of recovery. Individuals with higher levels of resilience, and the ability to bounce back from adversity, may be more resilient to burnout and recover from burnout more quickly.

It’s important to note that these factors can interact and vary in their influence on burnout recovery time. Each person’s situation is unique, and multiple factors may affect the duration of recovery time from burnout. Professional guidance can help individuals navigate the recovery process effectively.

What are the Symptoms of Burnout?

·        Physical and emotional exhaustion and fatigue;

·        Cynicism and frustration toward work and colleagues;

·        Decreased work performance and productivity;

·        Emotional distress;

·        Isolation from social interactions;

·        Avoiding work;

·        Neglected self-care;

·        Loss of satisfaction and achievement;

·        Conflicts with colleagues and loved ones.

These symptoms can also be summarized into three components. It is known that burnout is a three-component syndrome (exhaustion, cynicism, and inefficacy).

How to Recover from Burnout?

1. Recognize burnout. Start by acknowledging and accepting that you are experiencing burnout. Recognizing the signs and understanding that burnout is a valid condition can help you prioritize your recovery from burnout.

2.  Take a break. It is not enough to start taking care of your health – this will not solve the problem, you need to live more slowly or just take a vacation. Get rid of as many obligations and activities as possible. Find time to rest, reflect, and heal. Use this time to relax, engage in activities you enjoy, and recharge your energy.

3.  Seek support from loved ones and specialists. When you burn out, all the remaining energy is spent protecting yourself from other people, but family and friends are just as important in bad times as they are. Turn to them for support. The burden will be lightened by sharing it with another person. Consider talking to a mental health professional who can offer guidance and support tailored to your specific situation and help recover from burnout faster.

4.  Recovery from burnout involves not only taking care of your well-being but also finding ways to improve your productivity healthily and sustainably. Some productivity tools, for instance, the Virtue Map app and its strategies implemented in your daily life, can support your recovery from burnout. Based on Virtue Map reviews, this app helps organize plans, deal with stressful situations, and provide useful information.

5.  Practice stress management techniques. Incorporate stress management techniques into your daily routine. This can include practices such as deep breathing exercises, meditation, yoga, or engaging in physical activity to release tension and promote relaxation.

6.  Maintain wellness. Maintaining wellness during the recovery process from burnout is crucial to prevent relapse and support long-term mental, emotional, and physical well-being. Try to stick to a routine, eat healthily, drink a recommended amount of water daily, avoid smoking and drinking, and maintain healthy boundaries with technology.

7.  Reassess your goals and priorities. Burnout is a sign that something important in life is wrong. Take time to think about your hopes, goals, and dreams. Did you miss something significant? This situation can be useful to find something that you like and change your life plans accordingly.

8.  Explore work possibilities. Find a job that aligns with your values.

9.  Gradually return to work. Start with shorter hours and reduced responsibilities at your workplace. Increase hours and workload gradually when you feel ready and have energy.

10. Never forget to rest again. Do activities on weekends and vacations which provide you with the opportunity to forget your work.


Burnout is emotional exhaustion, cynicism, depersonalization, and reduced personal achievement caused by excessive and prolonged stress. Burnout is associated with a loss of motivation, feeling hopeless, easily offended, and prone to cynicism. Everyone has days when they are sad, bored, have too much work, or do not have enough appreciation from others. However, if you feel this way most of the time, it is worth worrying. How long your burnout lasts will depend on various factors. To recover from burnout faster, you should maintain a healthy lifestyle, slow down the pace of life, reassess your goals (productivity tools might help here), and take more time to rest.


Is it possible to recover from burnout without leaving work?

All people strive for maximum productivity and the best results at work. However,  the emotional well-being of employees is important. Therefore, it is necessary to know professional burnout symptoms and be able to recognize them. If signs of burnout are noticed, help take measures against burnout, allow yourself to rest, and find the right balance between work and rest. Ask for help from the manager and start looking for solutions together with the manager –  review the workload, and tasks, and talk more not only about the planned work, but also to emphasize the team member’s achievements. If you see that your colleague has burnout, do not limit yourself to questions about work. It shows that you care about your colleague not only as an employee but also as a person.

What are the stages of burnout?

There are 5 main burnout stages: The honeymoon phase, Onset of Stress Phase, Chronic stress phase, Burnout, and Habitual Burnout.

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