Are you tired or is it burnout you're experiencing? How can you know the difference? Burnout can look different depending on the person, but there are some common themes and symptoms that have been studied in medical research on burnout. Here are 10 of the common signs that you might be experiencing burnout:
- You feel exhausted or fatigued
- Your sleep patterns are disrupted
- You feel cynical about your work
- Your productivity has decreased
- You’ve lost or gained weight due to appetite changes
- You’re taking more risks than you usually do
- You’re unable to complete basic tasks
- Your memory is foggy
- You feel unable to make decisions
- You’re under the weather often
Becoming Aware Of Burnout
Some of these symptoms could also be related to other mental health issues (for instance, depression) or illnesses, so it’s a good idea to schedule an appointment with your doctor to discuss any of the symptoms and figure out the next steps from there. The first step of healing from burnout is becoming aware of how you’re feeling and accepting it. It doesn’t mean you’re a failure, or that you’re not productive enough. Experiencing burnout doesn't mean you’re falling behind. And it also doesn't mean you’re doomed to be stressed forever.
You Are Not Alone
Being burned out is simply a result of chronic stress that you haven’t been able to balance. A lot of factors can contribute to this - your work environment, your obligations outside of work, debt, a global pandemic, etc. Know that it's okay to feel this way. There are millions of people around the world in your shoes. In fact, burnout is becoming a more widely discussed issue in the medical community given how widespread it has become - the World Health Organization (WHO) officially named burnout an "occupational phenomena" starting in 2019, and they have committed to developing more research in the area of mental wellbeing at work. Remember that you are not alone, and things can get better with the right support.