Charlotte Labee

How long does burnout last?

Burnout is one of the most rapidly emerging mental disorders in the Western world. At least 20% of the Dutch working population show burnout symptoms such as forgetfulness, chronic fatigue, anxiety and insomnia. Experts speak of a true epidemic, the end of which is unfortunately not yet in sight.

Like many other brain-related complaints , burnout has its origins in the brain. A brain that is out of balance appears to be more susceptible than others to this condition. But what can you do to prevent burnout and how long does it take to recover from it? Read all about the duration, course and recovery of burnout below.

How long does burnout last on average?

Burnout is the result of an accumulation of stress, which proceeds differently for each person. Sometimes it is a dormant chronic stress that only results in burnout after five years, while for others it is the inevitable outcome of a period of intense and acute stress lasting several months.

Once a phase of stress or overwork has turned into burnout, it takes at least 11 weeks to recover from it. For most people, recovery from burnout takes anywhere from a year to several years. An active approach can help shorten this time as much as possible and alleviate common symptoms.

What is the course of burnout?

The course of burnout usually takes place in 3 different phases:

Phase 1: Acceptance and peace

Recovery from burnout starts with accepting that your symptoms are caused by more than just temporary fatigue or overstress. Burnout is the result of chronically exceeding your own limits and is a serious condition with a major impact on your life. Therefore, accept that you are sick and need a lot of rest to work on your recovery.

Phase 2: Causes and solutions

Recovering from burnout is not something you do by hanging in bed or on the couch all day. What works best is an active approach to the problem, looking for causes and solutions for your chronic stress and burnout. Dare to look at it honestly and map out what you will have to change in your life to prevent burnout in the future.

Phase 3: Lifestyle change

In the final phase of your recovery, you will use your new insights to actually implement the changes you have proposed in your life. These include lifestyle changes such as healthier eating, more exercise, less stress, more relaxation, a better mindset, better sleep and more knowledge of your own brain and its needs.

3 tips for faster recovery from burnout

Do you want to recover from a burn-out as quickly as possible, or rather avoid it altogether? Then apply the following 3 tips:

1). Prevent brooding and negative thoughts

When you end up at home with a burnout, you quickly become bogged down in worries and negative thoughts. It is important to let go of these thoughts or to turn them around, but this can be quite difficult in the first phase of your recovery. Journaling is a very effective way to get rid of unpleasant thoughts and create more space and peace in your head. Check out my own journal here.

2). Create new and healthier habits

You want to replace old lifestyle patterns that led to burnout with new and healthier habits. These include a Brain Food diet, better sleep, more exercise and daily meditation. Learning these new habits is an important part of the personal development needed for a faster recovery.

3). Get to know your own brain better

A fast and successful recovery from burnout stands or falls with the amount of knowledge about your own brain. Only when you know why your brain works the way it does and what it needs to do to relax, can you give your own recovery process a kickstart. More knowledge of your own brain can be gained in my Online Burn-out Training or the Burn-out Brain Balance Boost.

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