Close this search box.

How to tell if burnout is bedeviling you


Burnout has become a prevalent issue, especially in today’s fast-paced world where the balance between work and personal life often blurs. Recognizing when you’re burned out is crucial to taking proactive steps toward recovery and maintaining your well-being. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the signs of burnout, understand its causes, and offer practical advice for managing and overcoming this state. Whether you’re a professional, a student, or anyone else feeling the pressure, this article aims to provide valuable insights and actionable solutions.

Burnout is a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. It occurs when you feel overwhelmed, emotionally drained, and unable to meet constant demands. As the stress continues, you begin to lose the interest and motivation that led you to take on a certain role in the first place.

While stress is a common response to demanding circumstances and can be transient, burnout is a more severe and persistent condition. Stress typically involves too much pressure that can actively engage and energize you, albeit negatively. In contrast, burnout is characterized by feeling empty, mentally exhausted, devoid of motivation, and beyond caring.

Signs you’re experiencing burnout

Emotional and physical symptoms

  • Chronic fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Forgetfulness/impaired concentration and attention
  • Physical symptoms such as chest pain, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, gastrointestinal pain, dizziness, fainting, and/or headaches
  • Increased illness due to lowered immune system
  • Loss of appetite
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

Behavioral symptoms

  • Withdrawal from responsibilities
  • Isolating yourself from others
  • Procrastination, taking longer to get things done
  • Using food, drugs, or alcohol to cope
  • Taking out your frustrations on others
  • Skipping work or coming in late and leaving early

Causes of burnout

Personal causes

  • Perfectionistic tendencies; nothing is ever good enough
  • Pessimistic view of yourself and the world
  • High-achieving, Type A personality

Work-related causes

  • Feeling like you have little or no control over your work
  • Lack of recognition or rewards for good work
  • Unclear or overly demanding job expectations
  • Doing work that’s monotonous or unchallenging
  • Working in a chaotic or high-pressure environment

Lifestyle causes

  • Working too much, without enough time for relaxing and socializing
  • Being the sole caretaker of someone without adequate support
  • Not getting enough sleep
  • Lack of close, supportive relationships

Overcoming burnout

Strategies to manage stress and recover

  • Start with small steps: Begin with small, achievable goals to avoid overwhelming yourself.
  • Seek support: Talk to others for support, whether it’s friends, family, or professionals.
  • Try a relaxing activity: Explore activities that can help relieve stress like yoga, meditation, or hobbies that you enjoy.
  • Get some sleep: Prioritize sleep to recover from mental and physical fatigue.
  • Set boundaries: Learn to say no to requests on your time.

Lifestyle adjustments

  • Evaluate your priorities: Balance work with lifestyle elements that bring joy and relaxation.
  • Take regular breaks: Short breaks during work can help clear your mind and improve your focus.
  • Consider a job change: If your work is a major contributor to your burnout, consider changing roles or jobs to something less demanding or more fulfilling.


Identifying and addressing burnout is essential to preserving your health and happiness. By recognizing the signs early and taking appropriate action, you can regain your energy, reduce stress, and restore your sense of purpose. In this article, we’ve explored the multifaceted nature of burnout, provided you with signs to watch for, and offered practical solutions to help you combat this pervasive issue. Remember, taking care of yourself is not a luxury—it is a necessity. Making changes to manage burnout isn’t just about improving your current situation; it’s about investing in your future self and ensuring a healthier, more balanced life.

This comprehensive guide on how to tell when you’re burned out should serve as a starting point for anyone feeling overwhelmed by stress and fatigue. Recognizing the signs and taking action early can make a significant difference in your overall quality of life.


This story was created using AI technology.