Burnout - 7 Ways To Recognize The Signs


At some point in their lifetimes, 1 in 4 adults will experience Burnout, as reported by the World Health Organization (WHO). In addition to recently adding this condition to the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11), with a description of 'chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.' Burnout is categorized into three primary ranges of symptoms: decreased energy and exhaustion, detachment from reality, pessimistic or cynical viewpoints about work, and poorer job performance.

What Should You Look For In The Early Stages Of Burnout?

Below are the primary signs and symptoms that may indicate Burnout.

  • Exhaustion

This type of tiredness, the nagging fatigue not alleviated by rest, results in chronic feelings of being mentally and emotionally drained and physically worn out. You have reduced energy levels and regularly feel overwhelmed. According to research, when work overload is present, there is sufficient time to recover through rest and restore balance.

  • Reduced work enthusiasm.

More frequent negativity, cynicism, and resentfulness towards your job result from prolonged stress and frustration. Activities you typically enjoy no longer motivate you, and you create emotional barriers. A sense of loathing about work will be experienced when you wake up. According to studies, people become more susceptible to Burnout when they feel devalued; this feeling stems from poor control and inadequate recognition and reward (institutional, financial, or social).

  • Decreased work performance.

Your work efficiency is reduced, and you need help concentrating on work-related tasks. Completing work assignments feels like a chore, or you need help to meet them on time. You need to be more mindful. You also struggle to handle new stressors the more stressed out you are. The medial prefrontal cortex, the brain region regulating executive function, is also negatively impacted by stress.

  • Increased anxiety and worry.

Chronic worry and anxiety, mainly due to changes in work performance, are also associated with Burnout. Coming home to relax or engage in enjoyable activities may feel like an immense relief, but the same negative feelings return immediately after returning to work. In addition, research has indicated that unstable moods and symptoms of depression and anxiety are linked to Burnout.

  • Sleep problems.

Your sleep quality becomes hindered by ongoing stress, which may result in insomnia. You may also likely struggle to fall asleep, frequently awaken in the night, or wake much earlier than usual without falling back asleep.

  • Physical ailment symptoms.

Physical symptoms can accompany prolonged stress; common ailments include headaches (resulting from tension) and migraines, back discomfort, skin problems, and overall aches and pains. In addition, scientific literature on burnout review has indicated that it contributes to physical ailments such as head and back aches and problems with the respiratory and gastrointestinal systems.

  • Agitation and unstable moods.

Your moods may be more chaotic than usual. This is because the brain region correlated with fear and aggression, known as the amygdala, is more prominent in individuals experiencing Burnout. The amygdala also has a solid connection to brain regions connected to emotional distress.