Man driving car with no gas left

Imagine you're in a car.

Your gas tank is empty and you're running on fumes.

You continue to drive...

If you don't fill up, you can't go on and will break down.

Does this sound like your life?

If so, you may be experiencing burnout. Recognizing the signs of burnout can prevent you from breaking down and help to fill your tank back up.

What Is Burnout?

Burnout is a form of physical, mental and emotional exhaustion caused by constantly feeling overwhelmed.

It's different from stress because stress comes and goes, whereas burnout builds over time and can change your mindset from positive to negative.

Burnout can affect anyone. If you're feeling like this, you're not alone.

Hamster spinning on a wheel

Don't worry, though! Burnout can be managed and reversed with awareness, understanding, and action.

What Can Contribute To Burnout?

Burning match

Everyone is different, but there are some more common factors that can contribute to burnout:

  • Work stress

  • Taking on too many tasks

  • Working from home

  • Loneliness and isolation

  • Financial worries

  • Caring responsibilities

  • Lack of sleep

  • High expectations

  • Relationship pressures

  • Neglected physical health

Do you think any of these exist in your life?

Types Of Burnout

Not all burnout is the same. See if any of the three types resonate with you.

The word 'Burnout' in an animated flame

Overload Burnout

  • Are you working harder and harder in search of success?

  • Are you taking on so many tasks that you can't cope?

  • Do you often feel out of your depth?

Under-challenged Burnout

  • Do you feel unappreciated, bored, and unmotivated in your job?

  • Are there few opportunities to develop and progress in your career?

  • Does your work life feel like it's just the same thing every day?

Neglect Burnout

  • Are you putting work ahead of your private life and health?

  • Are you constantly struggling to keep up with demands?

  • Are you feeling passive and disengaged from your personal life?

You might relate to one type or a combination of the three.

What Are The Signs?

Disney's 'Stitch' character from 'Lilo and Stitch' scratching eyes.

If you're experiencing burnout, typical signs are:

  • Lack of concentration

  • Changing sleep habits

  • Irritability and impatience

  • Lack of energy

  • Physical symptoms such as headaches and stomach problems

  • Lack of interest, satisfaction, and passion

  • Poor food or drink choices, such as fast food or increased alcohol intake

  • Lack of motivation

  • Cynicism and being critical about others

You may find that many of these apply to your situation.

Quiz

You started finishing work later and getting fast food on your way home to save time. You stopped exercising after work. What are some of the effects of continuing these habits long-term?

Reduced energy

Weight gain

Sleep struggles

No outlet for stress relief

What You Can Do

Drake meme. No to

Tackling burnout requires the Three R approach...

Recognize the signs of burnout.

  • Evaluate: work out what's causing your burnout

  • Be mindful: stop and focus on the moment

Reverse the damage by getting support and managing your stress levels effectively.

  • Talk: speak to friends, family, and colleagues about how you feel

Resilience will come with good physical and mental well-being.

  • Relax: try to chill out and make time for yourself

  • Sleep: get enough sleep and set a routine

  • Exercise: play sports or do physical activity regularly

Above all else, speak to a mental health professional. They're best-placed to deal with mental health concerns and issues. Anxiety, depression, and stress can all be associated and confused with burnout.

Take Action

Help is available for people dealing with burnout.

It can affect anyone and can creep up on you without realizing it, so the sooner you recognize it, the sooner you can get help to manage it.

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This Byte has been authored by

MC

Matt Colledge

Helping others one Byte at a time!