Burnout is a debilitating condition caused by the buildup of stress over a long period of time. Many people who work long hours or have high-pressure jobs develop burnout. People who don’t maintain their physical and mental health or take time for relaxation are at higher risk of burning out than those who have a healthy work-life balance. This condition takes months or years to develop and is more serious than simply not liking your job or feeling unmotivated. If you’re concerned about developing burnout, be alert for these five warning signs.
Constant fatigue is one of the first signs of burnout. Physical, mental, and emotional fatigue are all possible. Many people who are burned out feel drained or spent before the day even begins, and they have difficulty mustering up the energy to deal with whatever challenges the day brings. When you’re in a constant state of tiredness, even small setbacks can feel like insurmountable difficulties. To make matters worse, burnout can also cause insomnia, making it even harder to get the rest you need. If you’re having a hard time keeping up with your responsibilities because you feel exhausted all the time, consider whether burnout might be the cause.
You feel hopeless or depressed.
Burnout can make you feel sad, detached, or apathetic. It may seem like nothing you do matters. This can lead to poor performance at work or school. If you’re burned out, your productivity might take a nose dive, you might start avoiding your co-workers, or you might struggle with feelings of guilt and worthlessness.
Nothing you do feels like enough.
When you’ve been focusing on work too much for too long, you might start to feel like you can never do enough to make a difference or meet your own expectations. Burnout can rob you of any feeling of satisfaction in your work, kill your motivation, and make you wonder why you even bother. This disillusionment can lead to behavior like procrastinating, calling in sick frequently, coming to work late, or not doing assigned work.
You get sick frequently.
Burnout is a mental condition, but it can affect you physically, too. If you’ve been having unexplained physical symptoms like headaches, backaches, or loss of appetite, burnout could be the cause. Burnout can also lower your immunity, making you more susceptible to illnesses and infections.
You’re not interested in anything anymore.
A major sign of burnout is loss of interest in things you once enjoyed. This symptom often goes hand-in-hand with feeling depressed or indifferent. You might feel bored, cynical, or unmotivated about a job you once loved, or you might dread walking into work every day. This apathy can carry over into other areas of your life and cause you to lose interest in hobbies and other activities, too.
Burnout can have a serious impact on your career, relationships, and home life. If you think you might be burned out, take action right away. Prioritize your health, set aside time to focus on your hobbies and interests, and consider whether you might benefit from changing jobs. By caring for yourself and making sure your priorities are aligned with your needs, you can overcome burnout and restore balance in your life.