Double Burnout Recovery Time

Of all the negative emotions, the one feeling that stays with you the longest in a burnout is probably impatience. Of course you will deal with anxieties, depressed feelings and in some cases anger, which are not bad at all and should be given as much space as possible. But when you've gone through that you'll end up wondering when this burnout thing will end. So I'll share the advice my boxing trainer gave me: double the time, double the patience.

Apart from all the feelings burnout has a practical side to it too. You have to give yourself time to recover but that is one of the hardest things you'll have to do. You'll feel like this thing is never going to end, yet it absolutely certain that it will. On a rational level you already know you will recover. But on the emotional level you just want to get back to your - improved - life as soon as possible.

This will of course not happen immediately. The burnout will subside in its own time. A good way to speed it up is to actually focus on the body, not the mind. But your mind wants to have it 'done with' right now. Here, we get to the heart of all burnout symptoms: lowering expectations over the board. In this particular case the expectation is time. So let's get really specific about this for a moment: you need to factor in a time of building up again.

At some point, the burnout will be gone. But that will not be the end of it. After the initial recovery you need a period of building up again. For instance, you'll be more sensitive to sounds, movement and light, because your body is still not done with the stress hormones. You'll also find you now look at lots of things differently, including relationships or things like drinking, exercise and food.

This new awareness - and it really is that, a heightened awareness of everything - needs some time to settle down. Again, through a focus on the physical, you can speed that up. But as a rule, the time you need to fully settle in to this improved life is about the same as your burnout lasted. If your burnout lasted a year, it takes another year to 'land'. Two years? Give it two extra to land.

This is a big test to your (im)patience. Try to except it, however hard it may be, because what you get back from it is full on, unadulterated happiness. I know I did. So as always, take it easy. Especially with that impatience.