Life Coach Explains How It Can Take Five Years to Recover from Burnout

Commenters were shocked online after a life coach explained on social media that it can take some people anywhere from three to five years to fully recover from burnout.

Niki Puls, or @niki_jo_, who is focused on helping people recover from burnout as a certified life coach, posted the video to TikTok, which has already amassed nearly 2 million views and 6,000 comments. Many commenters even mentioned that they had no idea burnout recovery was even necessary.

"I owe you guys an apology because I genuinely thought people knew it took three to five years to recover from burnout," Puls said as she pointed out a comment from her prior video where she shared the information initially. "I honestly thought it was common knowledge."

The life coach said that she has studied burnout for several years and that she too has suffered from burnout. In a March 2021 study that was done by Microsoft, 54 percent of survey respondents said they felt overworked while 39 percent reported feeling "exhausted."

Life coach explains burnout recovery time
A woman went viral after explaining that burnout can take some people about three to five years to fully recover. Prostock-Studio/iStock

"Once you have reached the stage of true burnout your body chemically is different," she said. "The chemicals in your body are very messed up, you have exhausted your resources, you're burnt out."

She explained that in order to recover from this, specific steps need to be taken and that it can take a few years for the body to return to the way it was pre-burnout. Experts recommend taking necessary breaks during the day and prioritizing self-care and mental well-being.

Although not classified as a medical condition, burnout is classified as an "occupational phenomenon" in the World Health Organization's (WHO) International Classification of Diseases.

Burnout is the result of unmanaged chronic workplace stress, which the WHO characterizes by three dimensions: lessened energy or exhaustion, growing cynicism or negativity toward work, and reduced professional efficacy.

"Burnout has been a rapidly evolving issue for years, but the pandemic just exacerbated an already massive problem," said Jennifer Moss, journalist and author of The Burnout Epidemic: The Rise of Chronic Stress and How We Can Fix It. "Essentially, since we hadn't addressed burnout in a real way before the pandemic hit, we missed an opportunity to prevent the extremely challenging experience of work today."

Thousands of users flooded the comments section, with many expressing how little they knew about recovery.

"Wow I gave myself 3 months to recover," one user wrote. "No wonder my job failed, only stayed 3 months because the same toxic feelings came back at 3 months."

"I think the whole world is burned out," another user commented.

"Wait my Friday PTO won't fix me?" another user asked.

"STILL recovering from when I burnt out at the end of my masters degree 4 years ago," one comment read.

Newsweek reached out to Niki Puls for comment.