How long does recovery from being overworked or burnout take?
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How long does recovery from being overworked or burnout take?

door Simon Dewaele op Jan 31, 2023

Recovery from burnout or overwork can be a challenging and profound experience. It is important to understand how these conditions affect the body and how long the recovery process takes. In this blog, we discuss the effects of burnout on the body, how quickly you can return to work after being overworked and how long the effects are felt after recovery. Finally, we answer the question of how long it takes to get out of a burnout or phase of overstrain. Read on to find out more.

What does burnout do to your body?

Burnout or overwork can have a significant impact on the body and mind. The constant feeling of stress and exhaustion can lead to physical and emotional exhaustion. For example, overwork can lead to insomnia, decreased immunity and physical exhaustion, while burnout can lead to severe fatigue, loss of motivation and emotional exhaustion.

Lady laying down on her bed suffering from burnout and overwork, she's looking for tips to manage burnout and how to get back to work

It is important to realise that the effects of burnout or overstrain do not disappear quickly, and adequate treatment and care are needed to help the body and mind recover. If you want to know more about the effects of burnout or overstrain on the body and how to treat it, consult our blog Overworked - what do you feel when you are overworked and what do you do about it?". Here you will find more information on how to restore your body and mind after burnout or overstrain. We continue below about the time needed for recovery and the disappearance of symptoms. 

How long are you out? How soon to return to work after being overworked?

How long it takes to come out of an overstrain or burnout depends a lot on the person and the situation. The recovery process can take weeks, months or even years. However, there is a difference between burnout and being overworked. Recovery from overwork takes about 3 months on average, while recovery from burnout can quickly take between 3 months to a year. Many factors can contribute to the speed and effectiveness of recovery, including addressing the causes of overstrain, following a treatment plan under the guidance of a professional, and changing work or living conditions.

Returning to work after a period of overstrain or burnout also depends on the speed of recovery and the help one receives. Some can return to work within a few weeks or months, while others need longer to recover. It is important to listen to the body and follow the guidance of a professional to determine when is the right time to return to work. Experts sometimes dare to estimate the time needed for recovery from being overworked or burnout as 1/3rd of the time when the situation was building up, i.e. the period when you started feeling symptoms up to the worst point. 

Overwork and burnout are serious conditions and it is important to seek professional advice. Employers and employees should work together to create a healthy and balanced work environment and prevent overwork or burnout from occurring. It is also important to remember that recovery is an ongoing process and that maintaining healthy habits and addressing stress causes are essential to prevent relapse.

how long do you continue to feel the effects of being overworked after recovery?

Of course, this depends very much on you as a person yourself, and also on the severity of the situation. However, the effects of overstrain or burnout can be felt for a long time, even after recovery. It usually takes several months to a year to fully recover from the physical and emotional exhaustion caused by these conditions. Moreover, the after-effects of burnout or overstrain can persist for years, such as reduced immunity, emotional instability and other emotional and physical symptoms. It is important to seek professional help and continue to work on maintaining healthy coping strategies and a balanced life to ensure that the effects of overstrain or burnout are as limited as possible after recovery.

Conclusion: how long does it take them to come out of burnout or phase of overwork?

How long it takes to fully recover from being overworked or burnout is difficult to determine, and certainly beforehand. It depends on so many different factors. We advise you to seek the best follow-up to get out of it not on your own but with the help of an expert. This can help shorten the time to recovery and apply the right coping strategies that work best for you. We have however listed some easy-to-apply tips to get you started. Read them here.

Sign supporting you coping with burnout and stress showing the words "you're not alone, you matter, don't give up"

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