If you’ve experienced prolonged stress, you may eventually get to the point of burnout. The problem is burnout can sneak up on you. Here’s how to spot burnout before it burns out of control.
Do any of these descriptions apply to you?
- Sunday rolls around, and once again you experience a growing sense of “Monday dread“.
- You consider doing some kind of social activity, but you just can’t muster up the motivation.
- After work, you often have a drink or three and fall asleep in front of the TV.
- Every day is the same: too much work, not enough time, no appreciation.
- Your significant other complains that you are irritable and cranky all the time.
If you answered yes, then it’s possible you’re suffering from burnout: physical, mental and emotional exhaustion caused by prolonged and excessive stress. Burnout is usually job-related, but it may also be caused by a particularly difficult personal situation.
Because burnout can sneak up on you, and the nature of its symptoms makes it hard to bounce back, the best recourse is to identify the warning signs before you suffer full-blown burnout.
Check this list of symptoms
Job burnout is serious, and usually requires more than a holiday to resolve. Do you:
- Snap at others?
- Make cynical, critical or sarcastic remarks?
- Not care or feel too “wrung out” to care?
- Drag yourself to work each day?
- Feel too tired to work, socialise or exercise?
- Feel hopeless and filled with despair?
- Feel like you are powerless, trapped or completely overwhelmed?
- Isolate yourself from others?
- No longer have the ability to laugh?
- Numb painful feelings by using food, drugs, alcohol or shopping to escape?
- Experience changes in sleeping patterns or appetite?
If you’re experiencing more than a few, it may be time to take a break, seek out career counselling, or talk to your boss about making some changes to your job. You should also speak to your doctor for additional help.