It can be difficult to run errands and keep up with a growing laundry pile, care for small children, and juggle work.
Your head spins with an endless list of to-dos that keeps growing by the time you fall asleep at night.
The symptoms of burnout may vary from person-to-person, but if any of these signs are present in you, it might be time to slow down and take a step back.
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1. You are never satisfied
You may not feel well-rested if you take on too many projects. You might not be taking enough breaks at work, or you may be rushing from one project to another without stopping.
You will have trouble sitting still or getting your thoughts to quiet down when you finally try to relax. This can make it difficult to recharge your batteries when you most need it.
2. You are awake all night
When you’re stressed or overwhelmed, sleep is the first thing to go. Pay attention to whether you are staying up late trying to complete a project, or if you wake up at odd times and can’t fall asleep.
You might also have insomnia if:
- You have had at least three nights of sleep disturbances per week for at least three months
- Sleep problems can cause major distress and interfere with your ability to function.
3. You eat differently
A change in your eating habits could also indicate when you should take a break.
You might find yourself eating less or skipping meals more often than you used to. You might also notice that you eat more than usual or are always hungry for snacks. Both of these situations can indicate stress.
4. There is no motivation
Burnout can be defined as a lack of interest or a grudging commitment to your job.
You may have been once the person who organized social events at work. But you are struggling to find the motivation. You can find yourself doing monotonous, boring tasks because of high stress levels.
5. You are always sick
You can’t get that one cold! Continue to get knocked out each time a bug comes around the office.
Frequent illness could indicate that your immune system is under stress. Your body’s ability fight infection may be affected by too much stress.
6. You feel like you are a satrap of energy
Stress can make you feel physically and mentally exhausted, even after just 9 hours of sleep.
It might take you longer to get to work each morning. You might find that your routine workout feels more difficult than usual, even though it hasn’t changed.
7. Concentration is difficult for you
Do you find it difficult to understand what is being said in meetings? Are you finding it difficult to follow the conversation in a meeting? Or are you rereading the same lines every time you read a book?
Mild forgetfulness and off days are common in people. If you notice that your normal tasks take longer or are more difficult than usual, it could be because you have too many things on your plate.
8. You feel indifferent about your life
While it’s natural to feel down from time to time when it comes to work or other responsibilities, you shouldn’t feel constantly demoralized by the things you do.
You should feel satisfied and accomplished after you complete your daily tasks and activities.
It can be difficult to feel connected and engaged when you wait for the time to pass or are feeling bored all of the time. This could indicate a burnout.
9. You are becoming cynical, or even negative
Do you snap at people more than usual? Are you getting on your nerves?
Burnout can start out as mild tension and irritability. But it quickly escalates into anger at work or home. It’s possible that you don’t even know what it is that you are mad at — but that doesn’t mean you’re always cranky.
You can determine if you are reacting too strongly to minor irritations by paying attention to your frustration.
These are some questions you should ask yourself:
- Are you becoming more impatient with your coworkers lately
- Are you more likely to have outbursts following a difficult day?
- Did you ever yell or snap at an innocent person and feel shocked afterwards?
10. You have been withdrawn
Are you refusing to go out or trying to make excuses for not attending social events?
While solitude is essential and important, being under too much stress can lead to isolation and even damage to your relationships. Consider how much you avoid seeing people and how social you were once.
11. You’re self-medicating
Do you grab a quick drink when you get home from work? You can also keep marijuana in your pocket for the commute home.
While it’s okay to do this occasionally, you should not depend on alcohol or drugs as a way of dealing with stress.
If you are experiencing these symptoms, it is worth looking for help or learning new relaxation techniques:
- You can’t avoid a substance even if it is tempting.
- You may find that you need more of the substance in order to get the same results
- You may experience withdrawal symptoms if you stop using the substance
- You spend the majority of your day thinking about or looking forward to using a substance.
12. You don’t enjoy your favorite things
It’s a sign that something isn’t quite right if you lose interest in the things you used to love. It’s time for you to step back if going to the movies with your friends or eating out with friends once felt fulfilling but now feels pointless.
It can indicate burnout or feel apathetic about the things you once loved. However, it could also be a sign of depression.
The bottom line
Everybody needs to take a break every now and again, but it can be difficult to know when to stop.
For additional support, you might also consider speaking with a therapist. These therapists can help you to identify stressors in your life and suggest ways to improve your well-being.
These symptoms can overlap with depression symptoms. These feelings may not go away even after a restful vacation. It’s worth speaking with a mental healthcare professional if they persist.