5 Common Signs of Burnout and How to Recover

5 Common Signs of Burnout min

Burnout is concerningly common. In the US alone, 79% of American workers have experienced some degree of burnout. The telltale signs of burnout are similar for most individuals. They will usually include symptoms such as fatigue and exhaustion, excessive stress, and social withdrawal, as well as neglecting our physical and mental health.

Do you feel like you may be burning out? A licensed counselor who has completed an accreditation like an online Master’s in Counseling Psychology, for example, can help you overcome your symptoms, and rebuild, reset, and recover. Let’s discuss the signs that could indicate you may need professional support to help you recover from burnout.

Common Burnout Sign # 1: Fatigue and Exhaustion

Constant fatigue. It’s a common burnout sign. We’re not just referring to physical exhaustion, however. If you’re burnt out, you’ll also be feeling mentally and emotionally drained. The telltale signs? You’ll be experiencing especially low energy levels, a loss of focus, and a reduced ability to concentrate. 

Worse? You could even be more prone to becoming ill. Getting sick is a big part of burnout. As they say, if you don’t make time to rest, your body will force you to. The need for forced rest due to illness can often happen at the most inopportune moments – right before an important meeting or presentation at work, for example, or while you’re at an interstate conference. 

Common Burnout Sign # 2: Extreme Stress and Tension

Possibly the worst part of burnout – besides fatigue – is the stress, tension, and anxiety you’ll likely be feeling. When we’re burnt out, we can feel overwhelmed – with work, personal commitments, or coping with life in general. 

The worst part? Burnout-related stress can cause physical symptoms such as high blood pressure, hypertension, and insomnia. Chronic, long-term stress can also cause individuals to develop mental illnesses, cardiovascular diseases, or gastrointestinal issues.   

Common Burnout Sign # 3: Neglecting Your Physical Health

Due to your lack of energy and motivation, you may also find that you are unwilling to exercise or prioritize movement in your day. You’re so exhausted – the last thing you feel like doing is running a marathon or lifting weights at the gym.  

Even worse? Despite how tired you are, because of your extreme stress, you may also be experiencing insomnia. As a result, you’ll often wake up without feeling rested or recharged. This compounds your exhaustion, and can also make your stress worse. 

Common Burnout Sign # 4: Declining Mental Health

Burnout can commonly lead to low moods, and even, an increased risk of developing related mental illnesses such as depression or anxiety. 

The relationship between burnout, depression, and anxiety has been well documented. Research findings have shown that burnout and depression in particular have many correlations – namely, apathy, emotional exhaustion, and a lack of motivation. 

Common Burnout Sign # 5: Social and Emotional Withdrawal

Are you feeling unmotivated and uninspired? Burnout is often characterized by a sense of disillusionment.  If you find yourself withdrawing socially and emotionally, you could be burnt out.  

When we’re burnt out, even socializing with close friends and loved ones can feel like too much effort. We might find ourselves getting frustrated with those around us, and also, finding it difficult to express ourselves. When we feel this way, it’s tempting to withdraw from social events. We might find ourselves burrowing away at home and isolating ourselves from others. Why? Social withdrawal is likely a product of the accumulation of burnout symptoms: lack of motivation, low energy, and low moods.

How to Recover from Burnout

So, you’ve identified the signs and recognized that you’re experiencing burnout. How, then, do you recover?

First, take a break. A change of scenery does wonders. If you have the capacity, and the annual leave balance, a holiday somewhere warm can help ease your symptoms. If a holiday is a luxury you can’t afford, however, there are other options. The most effective method? Schedule some self-care. Set aside time to do things that uplift and soothe your soul. Whether it’s going for a much-needed massage, or perhaps having an at-home spa day, taking rest is the best way to recover. 

Need more support? Don’t be afraid to seek professional help from a licensed therapist. 

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