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Burnout recovery

Community Member

Hi everyone,


I’ve had a look through the forums, and couldn’t find exactly what I was after so I thought I’d ask the question. How long did it take for you to recover from burnout? what symptoms you had initially to how you feel now and what did you do to get there. My story is below and thank you in advance. 

I was fit, active, and enjoyed life. I experienced chronic stress at work for sometime where I had a break down. This was 18months ago. diagnosed with severe burnout/GAD


I suffered severe whole body muscle tension, severe anxiety, random crying spells, sensitivity to light/sound, lightheadedness, overwhelm, tiredness, general feeling of being run down, unable to handle questions, break down for days after deep tissue massage, unable to shop, visit cafes, unable to socialize without feeing anxious etc


Now, my muscle tension has decreased, anxiety is less, random crying spells do occur but are less severe and only increase with too much activity or massage, can visit a quiet cafe without much issue, have random body aches after activity. 


What I do; I see a psychologist, take medication, meditate, practice breath work(5 months now), very light exercise 3/wk(tried to manage more however have deceased it over the last 12months as I thought it was light enough) gentle walks, fish, receive body fascia work(1 month now).


I have felt depressed at times but I wake up every day with a level of joy and take care of myself etc. I feel like it’s just more time that I need but I’m not sure. Any help is appreciated. 


2 Replies 2

Community Champion
Community Champion



Thank you so much for reaching out. I'm sorry to hear about your experience, but glad to hear that you're experiencing more joy now.


I've had burnout several times in both my adult and adolescent life, and it's taken me different lengths of time to "recover" depending on when it's happened and how intense it was. I use "recover" loosely, as I don't know if it's the right word to use to describe my experience. I was burnt out after Year 11 for instance, but within a few months after Year 12, I was back to a relatively steady baseline level of work ethic and wellbeing.


Then COVID happened, and I lost pretty much all of my motivation to do any work. I was struggling mentally and couldn't bring myself to put pen to paper anymore. I had periods of time where I'd do a bit of work and feel better, or I'd smash out a project a few nights before it was due with that added rush of adrenaline. But I was experiencing quite bad burnout, and it didn't really lift for a while. For this year in particular, it's come in cycles for me. Sometimes I've lost all motivation and can't find the strength or capacity to do any work, but sometimes I'll be really immersed in my university studies. Going on holidays also really helped for me, as it gave me a chance to be away from my laptop enough that I could immerse myself in something unrelated and not feel guilty. This semester at uni, my motivation seems to have returned.


In summary, I don't think there's really a time frame for how long recovery from burnout takes. I think that it's highly variable, and affected by many different factors. It would be interesting to hear the experiences of others, too. Relapsing into burnout is all too common too, which can further delay recovery. But as you've mentioned, there are a number of different things we can do to combat burnout or make recovery easier, such as meditation, exercising, and engaging in hobbies. 


I hope this is helpful, I'm sure others will chime in with their own experiences too.


All the best, SB

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi welcome


I have suffered burnout but married, 2 young kids and 3 jobs, my environment was likely much different. 


However, I've learned many things. Like some people never return to their pre burn out selves. Some fully recover and put protective measures in place.


Mental health issues are unique to everyone.


My workplace incident earlier than that burnout meant a change of profession and employer. Sometimes you have to make big changes to regroup.


So all that happened before 2000 prior to diagnosis of bipolar2, dysthymia and some anxiety left.




Beyondblue anxiety,  how I eliminated it 


Beyondblue worry worry worry 


Youtube prem rawat maharaji all is well

(And many more of his videos)


Great to see you recovering.