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What is Burnout?

Burnout is a state of physical and emotional exhaustion. It can be a result of experiencing long-term stress in your job, such as overwork, or of having worked in a physically or emotionally draining role for a long time.

It can also occur when your efforts at work have failed to produce the results that you expected, and you feel deeply disillusioned as a consequence.

Burnout can also occur in relationships. This article deals with job burnout.

Symptoms of Burnout

You might be experiencing burnout if you:

  • Feel exhausted much of the time.

  • Feel overwhelmed by your responsibilities.

  • Feel that every day at work is a bad day.

  • Feel no joy or interest in your work, or even feel depressed by it.

  • Engage in escapist behaviors, such as excessive drinking, etc.

  • Have less patience with others than you used to.

  • Feel hopeless about your life or work.

  • Experience physical symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath, sleeplessness, or heart palpitations. (Make sure that you see a physician about these to rule out other causes!)

Other symptoms of burnout may include:

  • A feeling of deep emptiness or meaninglessness

  • A lack of interest or caring about anything

  • Indecisiveness

  • Lack of self-esteem

  • A desire to “run away”

  • Erratic or conflicting emotions

  • Loss of motivation

  • Reduced contact with other people

  • Feelings of being out of control

  • Decreased interest in things you normally enjoy, such as entertainment, food or sex

  • Increased vulnerability and reduced resistance to colds, flu, and other illness

Whereas one perception about burnout might be, that it is a weakness, the opposite is actually the case: Burnout is a strength that can help you grow beyond your current circumstances if harnessed correctly.

Studies show that people who experience burnout early in their career often find it easier to recover than people who go through it later in life. However, it’s important that you know how to recover effectively and grow from your burnout experience, whatever stage you’re at in your career.

The above symptoms are just a few of the many symptoms that you can experience with burnout.

To see where you are on the burnout spectrum, take our Burnout-Self-Test here. If you are suffering from prolonged chronic stresses burnout becomes inevitable. Take action to make lifestyle changes. If you are already suffering from symptoms of anxiety and depression, these can be precursors of burnout, so be sure to address these as early as possible.

If you'd like to learn about my programs to prevent or recover from burnout, or deal with anxiety or depression, connect with me here.

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