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Burnout Recovery Time: How Long Does It Take To Recover From Burnout?

Do any of these things sound a little too familiar? ⤵️

🫠 exhaustion

😤 irritability

😵‍💫 easily distracted

🤕 frequent illness

🥴 reduced creativity

🥱 trouble sleeping

If you answered yes, you may be on the cusp of burnout.

(I’m not a doctor, and this is not medical advice. I’m simply sharing my own experience.) When I was in the throes of burnout, I was constantly exhausted, irritable, easily distracted, and my creativity was zapped. (I also gained 20lbs.) I felt like garbage 🗑️

Maybe you're not there just yet (I pray you're not!).

However, if you feel like you are teetering on the edge, I hope this blog helps you to regain a sense of balance in your life.

I always think about, if I could go back in time, I would tell younger Erin this:

Make rest a daily practice starting TODAY. If you aren't proactive in your rest now, it's only a matter of time before it's no longer a choice. Your body will force you to take that break, and it's really hard to come back from once you reach that point.

With that said ⤵️

How long does it take to recover from burnout?

How long it takes to recover from burnout depends on the severity of your exhaustion and how long you've been burning the candle at both ends.

So, how long does it take to recover from burnout? ⤵️

On average, burnout recovery time can range between three months to a year.

Burnout recovery time will be different from person to person, but small business owners are especially prone to burnout because they tend to be extremely passionate about their work (some refer to their business as their baby), driving them to work longer (unpaid) hours.

Small business owners are said to work twice as much as regular employees, with 25% of them working over 60 hours a week.

It's important to note that burnout is not just caused by overworking (although that can be a large contributing factor); it can also be caused when we feel a lack of purpose, progress, or even recognition.

As an entrepreneur, especially in the start-up phase, you are usually working in solitude as a team of one, and you are working a lot (for little-to-no pay and without recognition).

These aren’t necessarily things you can avoid, so here are some suggestions to help you navigate this moving forward:

1. Establish routines and rituals ♾️

First thing in the morning, leave your phone on the nightstand and pick up your Bible or a personal development book instead (preferably both!).

Wash your face, sit in front of a window, drink some coffee, journal, take a few deep breaths, and take control of your day rather than your day controlling you.

When we immediately pick up our phones first thing in the morning and start scrolling social media, responding to text messages, or checking our email, we start our days in a state of reactivity rather than proactivity.

Think of a thermometer versus a thermostat – a thermometer reacts to the environment around it, while a thermostat sets the standard, and the environment reacts to it. We want to be like the thermostat, setting the standard for our days, not the other way around! 🌡️

2. Unplug/disconnect 🔌

Take a full day (or two!) away from the mindless scrolling, stop comparing yourself to other people on the internet, and do something you truly enjoy that is NOT work-related (i.e. read Harry Potter, knit, go for a hike, garden, paint, etc.) to let your mind reset and recharge.

If you have a hard time taking time away from your work even just for a day (I get it), consider scheduling smaller, more frequent breaks throughout your workday. Maybe it's a 10-minute "micro-break" a few times a day or a one-hour break every day for lunch.

When we work really hard at something for extended periods of time without prioritizing frequent rest and recovery, our once beloved work becomes a monotonous chore.⁠ Just like in physical fitness, a person can actually stall their progress if they are continuously overtraining and not resting. Our muscles need time to repair themselves between workouts. This goes for our minds as well 🧠

3. Set (and honor) boundaries 📆

When we work from home, it’s easy to let work bleed over into other aspects of life. We can’t “leave work at work” because “at work” is at home! It is important to set work hours and honor those, meaning when the time comes to be done, you close up shop regardless of if you finished the task or not. Having clear boundaries will allow you to “turn off,” relax, and recharge regularly.

Some examples of boundaries:

✨not picking up your phone for the first hour of your day ✨taking one full day to completely unplug ✨setting 15-20 minutes aside in the morning and in the evening to check and respond to email and/or DMs ✨scheduling a one-hour break into your daily schedule ✨turning off all notifications ✨deleting the email app from your phone ✨using your desktop to do business-related activities

4. Nourish your body 🛁

Drink enough water every day – at least half an oz for each lb. you weigh (i.e. if you weigh 150lbs., consume 75oz. of water).

Eat enough food (a good balance of tasty food that brings you joy as well as micronutrient-dense foods).

Sit outside and get some sun for 10-15 minutes a day.

Move your body 20-30 minutes a day – this could be a walk, a jog, stretch, HIIT, etc. You could essentially feed two birds with one scone and do your movement outside, so you are also getting some sunshine in the process.

Lastly, sleep a minimum of 8 hours every night.

We don’t think about these things as being needle-moving, but if your body isn’t being taken care of, everything else ultimately suffers.

5. Track your habits + daily actions 📈

Rather than being laser focused on achieving the end result or hitting the next metric, utilizing a habit/productivity tracker can help to keep you focused on the daily actions instead. This allows you to take each day as it comes, keeping you grounded in the present moment, and gives you a chance to acknowledge your progress.

It is important that we learn to enjoy the daily work and appreciate our progress.

It doesn’t hurt to look back at your past accomplishments, either. This gives you a sense of purpose, success, and progress. Otherwise, without that purpose and enjoyment in the day to day, we feel discontent and begin to work from a place of striving because we “just want to get there already,” which causes us to feel frantic, hurried, and pressured. Being in this state for extended periods of time ultimately leads to burnout and fatigue.

So, instead of looking ahead for what’s next, choose to focus on the day to day and be grateful for the season you are in now and the work you are putting in today.

6. Create evergreen, automated systems for your business ♻️

Let’s be honest… you can only trade so many hours of your time before you cap out. The good news is there are plenty of areas in your business you can automate (i.e. lead generation, nurturing your audience, selling, etc.).

The beauty of an “evergreen” system is that you create the system ONCE, and it works for you forever and ever (without you needing to be present 1:1 for every little thing).

For example ⤵️ 1️⃣ Create a value-packed, juicy piece of freemium content (aka a lead magnet) related to your offer/niche (i.e. a free email course) that helps your ideal person solve a specific problem.

2️⃣ Create a landing page to collect emails in exchange for the freemium content.

3️⃣ When the prospect opts into your email list to receive the lead magnet, they will automatically get subscribed to an evergreen, dripped email sequence. An evergreen email sequence is a series of emails you create in advance that send out automatically at whatever interval or frequency you predetermine. 4️⃣ Use this email sequence to educate, nurture, and add value, and end the sequence with a specific call to action (invite them to join your community group, book a call, buy your product, etc.). (If you are looking for an email service provider, I have used Mailchimp for years and love it!)

5️⃣ Create and post a few different pins on Pinterest all driving traffic to that one piece of freemium content. You can use Tailwind to automate this.

Creating automated systems is a great way to streamline your business and protect your mental health.

To summarize, if you are a work-from-home entrepreneur, you are much more prone to burnout than regular employees. Here are 6 things you can do to protect yourself from burnout:

1. Establish routines and rituals ♾️

2. Unplug/disconnect 🔌

3. Set (and honor) boundaries 📆

4. Nourish your body 🛁

5. Track your habits + daily actions 📈

6. Create evergreen, automated systems for your business ♻️

The underlying theme here is: Make rest a daily practice.

I am encouraging you to calendar your rest into your schedule (just like you do your work) and honor that.

Stick to that consistently for 6 months and see where your business, your relationships, your mental health, etc. all land after consistently making rest a priority.

Disclaimer: If you buy something through my links, I may earn an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you. I only feature things I use and truly love. Thanks for your support.

If you are a service provider, creative entrepreneur, or small business owner who wants to grow a simple, sustainable, and profitable business without social media, subscribe to my email list here to receive weekly tips, tricks, and encouragement.


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