Recognizing the Signs of Burnout


Burnout from your job and daily life is a very real problem that can have far-reaching impacts on your performance, functionality, and your mental and physical health.

There are things you can do to reduce burnout, like practicing self-care or planning a vacation or getaway to places such as Branson where there’s a lot to do. In fact, check out for the events there.

In order to take steps to reduce burnout, however, you have to recognize the signs that it’s happening.

Below, we talk more about what people should know about burnout and how to recover.

What is Burnout?


Burnout is exhaustion that can be mental, physical, and emotional. It can also be all three.

Burnout is caused by ongoing stress, and you might feel overwhelmed, drained emotionally, and like you can’t meet the demands you’re facing. As it continues, burnout can lead to a loss of motivation and interest. Your productivity declines, as does your energy. You might hopeless and resentful and like you have no more that you can give.

Even if your burnout is related to your career, it will eventually impact every area of your life. As it goes on, it can also contribute to physical health conditions and a low immune system.

Indicators that you could be approaching a state of burnout include feeling like every day is a bad one, you feel like you’re wasting your energy, and you’re tired all the time, no matter what you do. You might feel like you’re spending most of your day on tasks you find dull or overwhelming, and you could feel like nothing you’re doing is appreciated or makes a difference.

Signs and Symptoms


It’s normal to have days where you’re feeling unappreciated, tired, or like you have too much on your plate. If you’re experiencing those feelings most of the time rather than occasionally, it can indicate a more significant problem.

Burnout is a gradual problem that doesn’t occur overnight. The signs are subtle initially and then worsen over time.

The physical symptoms of burnout can include:

  • Feeling drained and tired the majority of the time
  • Changes in sleep or appetite
  • Reduced immunity and frequent illnesses
  • Headaches and muscle pain

Emotional signs and symptoms of being burned out include:

  • Self-doubt
  • Feelings of failure
  • Feeling defeated or trapped
  • Detachment
  • Lack of motivation
  • A cynical, negative outlook
  • Reduced satisfaction and feelings of accomplishment

Behavioral symptoms of burnout can be:

  • Withdrawal from responsibilities
  • Isolation from other people
  • Procrastination
  • Using drugs, alcohol, or food as coping mechanisms
  • Taking out frustrations on other people
  • Skipping work, coming late, or leaving early

It’s important to note that burnout and stress aren’t the same things. Burnout can result from stress that doesn’t let up, but it’s not the same.

Stress occurs when you feel like too many pressures are coming down on you at once and affecting you mentally and physically. Stressed people, though, can still envision if they can tackle everything they need to, they’ll feel better and get everything under control.

When you’re burned out, you don’t feel like you can get things under control, and in many cases, you don’t care. You’re beyond caring, and you lack motivation. You may not see any positive outcomes in the situation you’re in.

What Causes Burnout?


We’ve talked a bit about the fact that, in general, burnout is the result of unrelenting stress, but there are specific factors that can cause it and contribute.

For many people, the causes are work-related. You might feel like you aren’t recognized for your good work, or you’re working in a high-pressure or chaotic environment. Some people also experience burnout when they work in a field that’s not challenging to them or requires repetitive, monotonous work.

Lifestyle causes of burnout include a lack of supportive relationships, not getting enough sleep, and taking on too many responsibilities.

Personality traits can contribute as well. If you have a pessimistic view of the world and yourself, or a need to be in control, you could be more pre-disposed to burnout.

Someone who is a perfectionist or feels like nothing is ever good enough could also be more at risk.

How to Deal with Burnout?


If you notice the red flags that burnout could be on the horizon for you, or you already believe it’s happening, there are things you can do.

One way that you can begin the process of dealing with it is to take some time away from whatever is causing it. There’s research that shows, for example, that people who take regular vacations tend to be physically, mentally, and emotionally healthier than those who don’t.

Taking a vacation isn’t a cure-all for the underlying issues, but it can be a way to break out of some of the unhealthy patterns you’re dealing with and change your perspective.

Other ways to deal with it include:

  • Turn to other people. When you trust other people and open up to them, it can help you become more resilient. Reach out to your partner, friends, and family when you’re feeling vulnerable or burned out. Don’t think it’ll make you a burden. Make sure that the people you turn to have a positive perspective and aren’t going to drag you down further. It’s important to limit your contact with overly negative people.
  • Change your perspective. You might work with a therapist to do this, but some people do it on their own. For example, maybe you focus on the things you enjoy in your work rather than the ones you find monotonous or tedious.
  • Set boundaries. Learn how to say no, and feel comfortable doing so when it’s appropriate.
  • Take technology breaks. A lot of people don’t realize how much they’re constantly connected to their work simply by always checking their email. Put your phone away at the end of the day.
  • Find things that challenge you creatively to do in your free time.
  • Schedule time in your daily life for relaxation and self-care.

Finally, consider whether you might need a change. Maybe burnout is a sign to you that it’s time to change careers, for example. Maybe you use it as a catalyst to take on a new challenge or something you’ve always wanted to do.