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Recognizing the Signs and Symptoms of Burnout

Burnout is long-term exhaustion meets diminished interest, energy and passion. What can you do about it?

Does this sound familiar? You feel overwhelmed, physically and emotionally drained, and unable to meet the constant demands of day to day life and the simplest of tasks. Find the strength and drive to restore your sense of wholeness and self. Burnout is long-term exhaustion meets diminished interest, energy and passion. What can you do about it? Click through to find out. Pin it now, read it later. #selfcare #selflove #bestlife #mindfulness #wellness

I’ve never been very good at recognizing burnout until the symptoms and feelings could no longer be ignore.

Looking back not too long ago I now recognize a time when I was very burned out. I attributed feelings and symptoms to other things. It wasn’t until I started making changes in my lifestyle and started feeling incredibly good that I realized how bad it was.

Burnout is a state of emotional, mental and physical exhaustion cause by unbalance; too much work or responsibility and too little time to do the things that need to be done, causing a prolonged period of excessive stress. Burnout occurs when you feel overwhelmed, physically and emotionally drained, and unable to meet the constant demands of day to day life and the simplest of tasks.

The symptoms of burnout are not always dramatic. They’re often overlooked or attributed to something else.

Symptoms

  • You have an illness that you can’t seem to recover from. Like having a cold that seems to last forever.
  • You go to bed physically and mentally exhausted every night and you wake up tired every morning. Even when you get enough hours of sleep you’re not waking up feeling rested and refreshed.
  • Everything feels like it takes too much energy and effort, visiting friends, going out to dinner, or going shopping. Things you would otherwise enjoy and look forward to doing.
  • You’re unusually cranky and overly emotional. You feel like you’re frequently on the verge of tears and it’s not always obvious as to why.
  • You feel trapped and hopeless.
  • You feel like you’re never doing enough.
  • It’s a challenge to find contentment and happiness in life.
  • You constantly feel like you have to prove yourself to others.
  • You seek the approval of others more often.
  • When you feel “off” and you’re not sure why or how to fix it.

Sound familiar?

What can you do when you’re burned out?

Assess your interests, skills and passions. Are the things you’re doing match your interests or core values?

Related content: Align Your Actions with Your Priorities

Identify and manage the stressors that contribute to burnout. Look at your stressors individually instead of the big picture. They’re a lot less overwhelming and making changes can be easier.

Seek support. You’re not alone. The support of loved ones helps with stress and feelings of burnout.

Evaluate your options. What can you realistically change about your lifestyle?

Get enough sleep. Sleep restores well-being and helps protect your health.

Related content: Are You Getting Enough Sleep?

Adjust your attitude. Consider ways to improve your outlook. Rediscover enjoyable aspects of your life. Make the time to do things you enjoy.

Get some exercise. Regular physical activity can help you to better deal with stress.

Related content: 7 Mental Benefits of Fitness

When you realize you are or on the path to burnout, it’s up to you to make the lifestyle changes that need to be made.

Find the strength and drive to restore your sense of wholeness and self.

This information is for informational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for the medical advice and supervision of your personal physician. 

Lets chat.

Have you ever experienced burnout? Did you recognize the symptoms of burnout early?

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56 Comments

  1. I think we’ve all been there at one point or another. Its nice though to be able to recognize the symptoms.

  2. I feel like I’m almost there. Thankfully I’m headed out for a getaway with the hubs this weekend. Hopefully that will help me recharge!

  3. Love these tips – recognizing burn out before it happens is so important! I have had this happen several times because I wasn’t taking the time to just breathe.

  4. Reesa Lewandowski says:

    Burnout is never a good feeling. Recognizing it and doing something about it is definitely key.

  5. Great article.. I was going thru this phase so I know how it feels. I recently got a new assistant who is amazingly attentive and diligent. He has helped me with a lot with lot of work including organizing meetings and other daily tasks. Feel much better now.

  6. This is definitely something I’ve been working through this year! Among many other things, I actually took a few months off from blogging to help me reassess and reavaluate

  7. I’m completely burnt out when it comes to my day job but can’t do anything about that at this time.

  8. Thank you for this great read. I have felt burned out several times in life and it is not a pleasant experience. I think I should work on changing my attitude about it. When I get that feeling, all I want to do is scream and shout and then cry.

  9. For me, this is the absolute worst feeling ever when you’re working, especially if you’ve been working in the same place for a long time. It’s good to know what the symptoms are so you can find a remedy for it before things go down the drain.

  10. It’s not healthy to allow yourself to become burned out especially with your work. But sometimes, people can’t help it and it’s really going to take a toll on your life. It’s important to recognize the symptoms so you can overcome it before it gets to you entirely.

  11. I have my master’s in Mental Health Counseling. So, we always talked about this topic and talked about warning signs that we can recognize. Burnout is a real thing. Definitely something to be aware of, because we have to take care of ourselves!

  12. I dont often feel burned out or stressed. I have been feeling burnout towards blogging lately though. I went through a few weeks where I didn’t want to blog but felt like I had to.

  13. Nicole Escat says:

    I am still finding contentment and happiness with my family. This is a nice checklist, I will keep this post.

  14. Ourfamilyworld says:

    Burnout is a dangerous thing if you will mishandled everything in your life. It is important that you recognized the symptoms and acknowledge them.

  15. Great tips! I always try to get more sleep if I feel a burnout coming out. That does seem to help.

  16. I have hit quite a few burnout moments here lately. I have reevauluated everything in my life and had to make some changes.

  17. You have nailed the symptoms so well. Strange how we often don’t recognize them until they are well advanced. An interesting bit of trivia, my doctor told me yesterday. People with O- blood types are most likely to gravitate to exercise for stress relief.

    Kathleen
    Bloggers Pit Stop

  18. It is easy to confuse these symptoms with normal life. I went way past burn out until I couldn’t function well anymore. I have to set really firm goals for myself to avoid that happening again.

  19. Elizabeth O. says:

    Burnouts are dangerous because you’re going to have to deal with being demotivated every day until something changes in your life. I think these are great suggestions for overcoming being burned out!

  20. Oh burnout – yes! I know it well. Right now I am writing about being overwhelmed, and it is really interesting to flesh out the feelings and root causes, and then to try and fix it!

  21. I’ve been blogger for a few years and never really experienced blogger burnout. However, over summer I sure did. It was just too much with the constant southern heat and humidity. I’m just getting back into the swing of things now. I’ll have to use some of these tips for the future!

  22. I’ve definitely experienced burnout. Last year, my husband spent every night and weekend renovating the house we bought for several months before we could move in. I did not get any breaks from parenting our 2 young children and completely burned out. It slowly got better once we moved in. I also started exercising again, and that has made a huge difference.

  23. Lately, I have been feeling a little burnt out, been spending most of my time working. I work from home and it is hard to quit when I have so much to day… 🙂

  24. Megan mccoig says:

    This post really moved me. I have a lot of close friends and family that would love to read these and learn from some amazing tips.

  25. This is such an important article! I burnt myself out in 2014 and it took me a long time to reprioritize and get back to normal. I never want to let that happen again!

  26. I had major blog burnout earlier this year. Stepped away for a few months, which helped me come back fresh and more inspired than ever! Great post!

  27. I think taking breaks for yourself is so important. That is something I have had to teach myself.

  28. This is a great post! When I feel a burnout coming on I try to get as much sleep as I can and always take an hour out of my day to get out of the house and go walking or (if it’s raining) I go walk around Target. Taking care of yourself is so important, thanks for the reminder!

  29. This! Such a great reminder to take care of ourselves. I think burnout is def something that happens more than people like to admit. I used to be the DO EVERYTHING kind of girl to avoid dealing with my own pain, and it lead to burnout in so many areas of life. I am so thankful for the personal support of friends & family who helped me refocus during that time. Now I can feel it coming on and I take action right away!
    Saying NO helps me so much, and I don’t feel guilty anymore about taking time for me!

  30. SO helpful to list the signs of burnout, because I didnt even realize some of the symptoms. The one about having a cold that never goes away is really interesting… I wouldnt have thought of that.

  31. I’ve felt this way with blogging but never anything else in life. I’m glad to have the signs right in front of me though, now it will be more easy to recognize!

  32. I get this feeling every now and then, especially when I’m overloaded with work. Taking a small break, even if it means going for a walk, sometimes help.

  33. Working full time, blogging, having 2 small kids, and a husband – I feel burnout often! I definitely need to try some of your suggestions – this momma needs it!

  34. These are awesome tips. Getting enough sleep is very important, so I always make sure I sleep at least 7 hours.

  35. I’ve definitely experienced feelings of burnout before and it’s fun. It usually occurs when I’m working too much or am overextended. That’s when I take a step back and give myself a break. Exercise and sleep really do help as well.

  36. I love that you wrote this and it applies to anyone. I was just writing my own post about burn out from running. I had it after marathon training.

  37. i go through burn out sessions every few months or so…it either means i am not longer inspired or have overdone something. seeking support and taking rest really helps me regather my focus.

  38. On point. I was burnt out for a while and I was sooooo tired. all day, all night.

  39. Wow! This is awesome, too many of us fall under this and don’t ever realize it.

  40. Angela @marathonsandmotivation.com says:

    Very informative post, I have experienced burn-out before, so it is great that you are creating awareness around it!

  41. Thanks for sharing this article!! its so important to take care of your body, min and soul.
    <3

  42. I love the items on your list. I think with good rest, good nutrition and some movement in my life I would do better, too.

  43. When I feel burnout growing, I’ll take my mind away from blogging and do other things not blog related. I like walking or take a bubble bath.

  44. There have been too many times to count that I have suffered from burnout and I always realize it too late. In fact, once stress and burnout lead to premature labor!! I’ve made a lot of life changes lately to help avoid this in the future.

  45. Great great tips Jill. We are not invincible, and burnout can be sneaky. i hope this helps people figure it out!

  46. Love this! I think it would be great for my readers. I’m adding this to my Viraltag queue as we speak!

  47. Burnout is real! I haven’t gotten to the point of being completely burned out in awhile, but it has definitely happened and you can really feel helpless. This is wonderful advice.

  48. I went through a period of burnout during the first few weeks of motherhood. It was a tremendous change in my life and I had to find ways to manage it – Getting support was important and finding time to exercise even if it was just a walk around the block.

  49. Adequate sleep, exercise and hydration is my first method of defense. I like the other things on your list too though. it’s very important to have strong emotional support when your mood is low.

  50. These are such great tips! I definitely feel more burnt out when I’m tired. I also have to do a little digital detox when I get overwhelmed. It helps me if I don’t check my phone every 5 seconds!

  51. Great tips Jill, on how to recognize and prevent burnout. Sometimes it is so hard to recognize burnout before it gets bad. For me, exercise really helps. I can release some of that negative energy and can re-focus my mind on positive solutions.

  52. Great tips! I always try to get more sleep if I feel a burnout coming out. That does seem to help.

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