10 Signs you are Burned out

I am sure you have all heard of the term “burnout” recently, and even more so as we are being more open with workplace well-being and finding that work life balance that we all need in our lives. Therefore, I think it is important to look at the signs if you are burned out before it turns into something more serious.

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So, what does Burnout mean?

This term was first spoke about during the 1970s by psychologist Herbet Freudenberger. Freudenberger stated that this new condition as a state of exhaustion that is caused by prolonged working, and he borrowed this term of “burnout” to help describe it.

According to the World Health Organisation there are three elements when you are feeling burned out: feeling exhausted, poor performance at work and mental detachment from your job. But it is important to note that it can happen to anyone in any profession and at any time.

The first step to burnout is being able to recognise the signs. Here I explore 10 signs you are burned out

Mornings are hard

Of course you might want to distinguish between “I am not a morning person” and mornings being hard due to feeling burned out. For example, before you might have jumped out of bed and now you dread getting up/ you are finding getting out of bed more difficult.

This could be even more predominant when it is during the work week and you know you have a to do list, or meetings and presentations to get through that week.

Related: How to implement an effective morning routine

You have no excitement for anything

Another sign you are feeling burned out could be you have lost that feeling of excitement in your life. This is probably for a lot of us during the lockdown period and constantly living in the unknown.

However, if you are noticing that you have lost enthusiasm for your hobbies or even your work and you are struggling to find any passion or creativity then it could be due to burnout.

people woman relaxation bed
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Finding it hard to start tasks

You could be about to start work or begin writing or doing your hobby and you just sit there wondering “well how can I start”. This can also be similar to other things as well (such as “brain fog”) but the underlying problem could be a lot deeper.

However, you can have a meeting with your team or manager, create a fresh to do list or even set yourself new goals. This could help reboot yourself, but as I said it could also be a deeper issue.

You are procrastinating

Linking into the point above, there could be tasks sitting on your to do lists and everyday you are just pushing them aside. It could be that you choose to do something else or distract yourself, just anything to avoid actually doing that task that needs to be done.

If this is happening think about if there are any patterns or if this is just occurring for certain tasks more than others.

You struggle with small decisions

Another sign of feeling burned out is struggling to make small decisions. It could be you are struggling with deciding what to eat, what you want to watch or do, where to go for a walk. These are small decisions but you just cannot seem to find the answers to them.

This could definitely be a sign of your mind telling you it is feeling overwhelmed and burned out. Therefore, your mind does not want to make anymore decisions/take on additional decisions and so does not want to make the effort at all.

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You feel more irritable

Something else that is a sign of feeling burned out is feeling irritable. It could literally be over the smallest of things and you just find yourself irritated by everything and anything in your way.

When this does happen do take that moment or time to stop and think “would this have happened normally” or has your behaviour changed and become out of character?

Your achievements don’t mean much to you

I always go on about the importance of celebrating our victories and achievements no matter how big or small. It is good to appreciate your hard work and just you. However, if you notice that suddenly you are not reacting to your achievements as you normally would then this could be because you are feeling burned out.

Strained relationship with others

This could be your relationships towards others feels different. If you are normally a social person and now you are finding yourself cancelling plans or not replying to messages then it could be time to reach out for help.

When we go through any mental health challenges ensuring our relationships with the people around us is so important.

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Struggling to concentrate

Feeling burned out and stress can both contribute to problems with paying attention or concentrating on tasks. This is because, when we are burned out or stressed we focus our attention on the negative element that we perceive as a threat. In the short term this is great and helps our bodies deal with the problem however, when this becomes long term/chronic this is when it can become difficult to concentrate.

Not taking care of yourself

When you are feeling burned out you might find yourself engaging in unhealthy habits. This could be eating too much fatty foods, snacking, drinking too much or even not being able to sleep.

You might find yourself relying on these unhealthy habits to get yourself through the day because at the time in the short term these habits make you feel good. However, these habits do not solve the long term or underlying issues which could be you being burned out.

Related: 6 well-being tips whilst staying at home, Self-care habits that will better your life

10 Signs you are burned out, a pin for pinterest

There you have it 10 signs you are burned out. But please remember that if you need to then do ask for help and get that extra support you need. As I said the first step is to acknowledge the signs of burnout and then seek support where you need. However, do remember that some of these signs could be a lot deeper and could be related to mental health too.

Are you feeling burnout right now? Do you have any other advice or things you do to help when you are feeling burned out?

Thanks for reading,

Gemma Jayne x

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Author: gemmaajaynee

24 year old just wanting to write with her spare time.

18 thoughts

  1. I’ve been feeling burnt out lately. What helped me to recover is to slow things down and taking a long break. Rest is really important and we should also prioritize it. Thank you so much for sharing this x

  2. I don’t think I have met all of these signs yet but I hope not! Feeling burned out sounds awful and scary. It’s hard to get that motivation back up and running. Fantastic read, learned something new! Thanks for sharing.

  3. This is so important to share and recognise this! I definitely have experiencing burnout a lot and I’m trying to work better to not overwork myself xx

  4. I hate how much I relate to this. Burnout should definitely be talked about more – feel like they should talk about it in schools which is where my burnout started. It helps me to plan my meals & make sure there’s an easy meal in the freezer so I don’t even have to think about it. Great post <3

    1. I feel like a lot more people can relate! I agree this topic and mental health need to be talked about in education and even in adulthood! Thank you lovely 🙂 xxx

  5. Hi Gemma. A very topical issue at the moment – I suspect that burnout rates will have increased as a result of the pandemic. Thanks for the list of signs to look out for – I don’t recognise any of those signs in myself but its useful to know what to look out for in others, too. Thank you.

    1. Yes definitely, I would believe that a lot more people than we realise suffer from burnout at the moment due to the pandemic. Thank you for your comment x

  6. I definitely find myself feeling burned out more often than not, which is frustrating. However, I’ve been working on finding ways to reduce burnout lately and it has helped a lot!

  7. I have encountered burnout before. You would think after one encounter I would recognize the signs before I hit up against it again but, no, it is human stubbornness that gets in the way of admitting to something and seeing clearly. Love that you share a comprehensive list of things that might be signaling burnout! I get more conscious about procrastination and slow mornings now. 🙂

    1. I think it is definitely more common than we all think! Also I agree sometimes it is just something we don’t recognise at first. I am more conscious of those too 🙂 xx

  8. Sometimes I have encountered some these but I’ve been working out to take care myself more than ever so I won’t feel burn out too often! It’s good to know when you need to take a break from working or when you need to stay away from toxic people – these really helped me a lot x

    1. That is good that you are taking care of yourself more, I think that is so important for us to all look after ourselves and I agree get rid of toxic people xx

  9. Lovely post, Gemma! I often feel like I’m taking on too much but have been doing well with setting strong boundaries with myself! When I feel like I’m on my way to being burnt out, I usually take a step back and reorganize my priorities! Thanks for sharing, babe! xx

    Lynn | https://www.lynnmumbingmejia.com

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