If you're trying to figure out whether you're burned out or just stressed, knowing some of the common signs can help. The experience of burnout looks different depending on the person, but there are some common signs of burnout that doctors and therapists use to diagnose burnout. If you think you might be burned out, here are 10 signs to look out for:
- Exhaustion or fatigue
- Disrupted sleep patterns
- Feeling cynical about work
- Decreased productivity at work
- Changes in your appetite
- Increased risk-taking
- Inability to complete basic tasks
- Foggy memory
- Overwhelmed by decision-making
- Catching a cold often
Some of these signs of burnout point to other health issues (for instance, depression, hormonal imbalances), so it’s a good idea to schedule an appointment with your doctor to discuss your symptoms and figure out the next steps from there. The first step of healing from burnout is to become aware of how you’re feeling and acknowledge your feelings. Secondly, remind yourself that burnout doesn't mean anything bad about you as a person. It doesn’t mean you’re a failure, or that you’re not productive enough. It doesn’t mean you’re falling behind. It doesn’t mean you’re doomed to be stressed forever.
Experiencing burnout is simply a result of chronic stress that you haven’t been able to balance. A lot of factors can contribute to this imbalance - your work environment, your obligations outside of work, debt, a global pandemic, your lifestyle, etc. Many people are in your shoes, and burnout has become widespread in this era of workaholism, especially amongst millennials. Know that you’re not alone, and things will get better with the right support.