Burnout, burning the candle at both ends, completely spent, all are terms used when feeling totally exhausted. We all have days and months of exhaustion, but burnout is even more than that. Here is a post explaining what it is, and 12 signs of burnout to watch out for.
Burnout is a time when a person comes to a place of emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion. Its when you feel you’ve given all you can and eventually it feels you have no more to give. It can potentially happen anyone, and every person has a different stamina. However we all have limits to what we can cope with and handle. It can strike anyone and it comes when you are doing too much for too long also coupled with levels of stress. To sum it up, burnout is when you feel completely exhausted, lack interest in things, and would sooner be in bed regardless of responsibilities. Burnout is a feeling of being overwhelmed and simply feeling empty.
Here are the twelve signs of burnout so that hopefully it will help you avoid it:
Feeling tired is a problem for all of us. But if you feel tired all the time for extended periods of time even after rest it can be the beginning of burnout. It can also be caused by health issues so I would always say to get a check up to rule a health issue out.
2: Depressive mood
Feeling sad and of low mood for no reason. Not as happy as you usually are and showing disinterest in hobbies and things in general. We all have off days but when they become off weeks and months its a warning sign.
3: No motivation
Having a lack of motivation toward daily tasks including things that you would normally enjoy. Finding it a struggle to get up and go places in the morning and feeling like you don’t want to do anything or go anywhere.
4: Negative thinking
Are you finding that you are becoming more negative in your views and outlooks? Feeling more negative and more of a pessimist than you normally would be? Negative thinking and having a negative outlook on situations and things in life is an unhealthy way to have your thoughts. This negativity can be a real sign of fatigue and even burnout and is due to being overwhelmed.
5: Thinking problems
Do you find it hard to focus on tasks? Do you find it hard to remember things different to how you normally can remember? Due to a tired mind and stress, our cognitive thinking can be affected, and also our memory can be effected. This is temporary until you have recovered.
6: Productivity drop
Are you finding your usual work or home productivity is diminishing? The tasks you normally could achieve now seem more of an effort? Your creativity, your productivity decreasing, all can be a sign of burnout.
7: Agitated easily
When a person finds themselves burning out everybody can become annoying. The little things that where small annoyances now become full on grievances. Home life and loved ones can become the targets of frustration and venting. Overreacting is a sign of something is a problem.
8: Dodgy Diet and poor self image
Eating the wrong foods due to them being convenient. Not caring so much about appearance. Craving caffeine, sugar, and stimulants that keep you energised soon become a regular occurrence. This can be a real sign of burnout and exhaustion. Becoming dependant on stimulants to tackle your daily tasks.
9: Health issues
Health problems like IBS(irritable bowel syndrome), skin disorders, and headaches are just some of the health issues that can arise when exhausted and burning out. Your immune system can be in a weak state so you become sick easier and prone to colds and flues,etc. Burnout itself can have symptoms of constant flu, nauseousness, and lack of appetite.
Burnout generally climaxes with a feeling of being overwhelmed. Finding it hard to cope with facing your job or people. If this is left untreated and things keep getting piled on top it can lead to a nervous breakdown. So seek help to fix it. Burnout can be a feeling like you’ve failed, or are not able to cope. A total feeling of being overwhelmed.
Anxiety is generally the start but ultimately it can spiral out of control when you burns out. The nervous system is overloaded due to high stress levels for an extended period of time and leads to a person becoming easily annoyed, possible irrational thoughts, OCD, fearful, agitated, and finding it hard to rest. Mentally switching off can be a real challenge until burnout gets to a more advanced stage and becomes the opposite where switching on feels impossible. Anxiety attacks and panic attacks can also start occurring.
12: Withdrawing from people and social events.
When we feel that we have hit the end of ourselves we can become reclusive. Not wanting to socialise and feeling disconnected with people and even yourself. Becoming introverted is a real sign of burnout. It can be too much effort to talk with people and being alone seems easier and better. This can be a dangerous place to be as you will find your self alone at a time when you need support.
The Good News
I hope this brief post helps. If you are struggling with burnout talk to somebody. Its rest and support you need. Of course I can be contacted and will gladly be of help. The good news is you can completely recover from burnout with the right support and inner strength. You can contact me HERE.
By Mark Fennell