The Rise of Burnout: Signs and Symptoms of Work Burnout and How to Beat It

The phrase burnout is used pretty regularly in the modern world. We suffer from burnout from constant work stresses, over stimulation and toxic productivity. So how can we recognise it and beat it?

The Rise of Burnout: Signs and Symptoms of Work Burnout and How to Beat It
Nearly 90% of us have felt burnout from excessive workload. We’re in a society that is constantly chasing productivity and output, and it’s causing us to crash.

What is burnout?

Burnout isn't just a buzzword for feeling tired or stressed. It's a state of physical and emotional exhaustion caused by prolonged exposure to work-related stressors. If you work long hours or have high stresses at work it can cause you to feel constantly tired and begin to manifest in other physical symptoms.

What causes burnout?

The number one cause of burnout is excessive workload and work stress. But it’s also caused by other things.
  • Excessive workload. Excess job demands and constantly feeling overwhelmed with heavy workloads, tight deadlines, and unrealistic expectations can lead to burnout.
  • Lack of resources or management. Lack of support from management or a toxic work environment. Insufficient resources, such as time, tools, or staffing, can lead to increased stress and burnout.
  • Poor work-life balance. When work demands consistently outweigh personal and leisure time, it becomes challenging to recharge and recover from stress, leading to burnout.
  • Perfectionism and high self-expectations. Striving for perfection, setting unrealistic goals, and being excessively self-critical can contribute to burnout.
  • Lack of boundaries. Failing to set boundaries between work and personal life can lead to chronic stress and an inability to disconnect from work-related pressures.

Symptoms of burnout

  1. Physical and Emotional Exhaustion. Physical exhaustion is the most common symptom of burnout, with 44% of employees feeling physically drained from burnout. Emotionally, you may find yourself depleted, lacking the energy to tackle tasks that once excited you
  1. Reduced Performance and Productivity. Struggling to maintain the same level of focus and efficiency you once had. You may find it difficult to concentrate, experience frequent forgetfulness, or produce work that isn’t up to your usual standard.
  1. Lack of Interest and Detachment. Developing a negative and cynical outlook towards your work, colleagues, or even your own abilities. You might feel detached, and feel a little numb towards the tasks and actions you have at work.
  1. Lack of Effort and Motivation. Losing interest in tasks you once found fulfilling and feeling detached from your professional goals
  1. Lack of appetite and other physical symptoms. Such as headaches, muscle tension, sleep disturbances, or changes in appetite. These manifestations often arise from chronic stress and should not be ignored.

How to beat burnout

If you think you might be hitting burnout, you’ll want to do what you can to get yourself feeling top notch again. These are our top tips on how to beat burnout
  1. Take a Time Out Carve out time for activities that rejuvenate your mind and body. Engage in regular exercise, or practice mindfulness or meditation. If you need to take a little time off work, then speak to your employer and schedule in some time off.
  1. Learn to Say “No” Set healthy boundaries and ;earn to say "no" when you're overwhelmed. Set clear boundaries between your work and personal life.
  1. Take a Digital Detox Unplug from the constant stream of notifications and allocate dedicated time to disconnect from technology. Allow yourself to recharge by engaging in offline activities that nourish your soul.
  1. Seek Support Don't hesitate to reach out to friends, family, or a trusted support network. Sometimes, simply venting or seeking advice can provide immense relief and perspective.
  1. Practice Effective Time Management Assess your workload and prioritise tasks. Delegate when possible, break large projects into smaller, manageable chunks, and schedule regular breaks to prevent burnout.
  1. Get out in nature It might sound simple, but getting out every day in nature can help reduce cortisol and boost your mood. Plus leave your phone at home for pure disconnect.
By understanding the signs and symptoms of work burnout and implementing practical strategies, you can emerge victorious in your battle against burnout. Remember, self-care, healthy boundaries, digital detoxing, seeking support, effective time management, and celebrating achievements are the tools in your arsenal. Prioritise your well-being, reclaim your energy, and let your brilliance shine through.
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