How To Recognise Signs Of Burnout (And What To Do About Them)

We all feel burnt out from work now and again, but it's not always easy to recognise and easier to place blame elsewhere. Here are some burnout signs to look for and what you can do if you fit the bill.

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Dr Sherrie Bourg Carter, writing for Psychology Today, is a psychologist who works with "high-octane women". As a result, she's come to recognise the signs of burnout in people who are frequently overextending themselves. Here are a few from the list:

  • Physical signs: chest pain, stomach pain, sleep problems, frequent headaches, chronic fatigue.
  • Psychological signs: activities you once enjoyed aren't enjoyable anymore, excessive anxiety, inability to concentrate, pessimism, hopelessness, frustration, anger.
  • Behavioral signs: skipping meals, drop in productivity, long work hours yet several incomplete projects, eating alone, being a poor team player.

These are just a few of the common warning signs that Dr. Carter labels symptoms of burnout. If you feel you fall into any of these categories, Dr Carter recommends you leave work early on Friday and have a work-free, relaxing weekend. If you still feel the same on Monday, it's probably a sign that you're pretty burnt out and need to make some significant changes in your life to feel better every day.

Running on Empty? | Psychology Today


    Ideally you want to become aware that you're over extending yourself or being put under too much pressure well in advance. To a large extent our culture encourages us to desensitise to our needs (including physical, psychological and everything else). If we can resensitise ourselves we have a much better chance at self regulation. This may mean engaging in some rejuvenating activities or taking a risk and just saying "No".

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