If you went as far as to click this article to determine the signs you’re burnt out, it’s likely you’re feeling stressed in at least one aspect of your life, if not in all of them. Sometimes you just simply need to come face-to-face with the fact that you’ve been pushing yourself a little too hard before you can feel ready to make some necessary changes to get out of the situation.
We’ve all felt stress in our lives at one point or another. Whether you’re someone who is busily working at your desk 15 hours a day, a student, or have a different life entirely, we can all recognize the power stress has to completely crush our day sometimes. When we reach the point of burn out is when we start to encounter prolonged periods of stress, according to HelpGuide.org. Burn out can be characterized as a state of emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion, that site also noted.
Ultimately, if you’re spreading yourself too thin you might find both your work and personal life are suffering, and it could be affecting those around you, too. As we’ll get to below, allowing yourself to get burnt out can lead to all sorts of negative consequences on your life and on your body as well. Stress isn’t good for us — but chronic stress — even worse!
By considering the seven signs below you can come to terms with whether you’re truly burnt out, and then make some improvements to improve your situation and tone down your stress level:
1. You Feel Like Your Memory Is Failing You
If you’ve noticed your brain doesn’t seem to be cooperating like usual when it comes to recalling bits of information, take this as a hint you’re burnt out. Anne Marie Albano, Ph.D., the director of the Columbia University Clinic for Anxiety and Related Disorders, spoke to Oprah and noted, “We often see patients who are healthy yet extremely fatigued telling us that they're starting to forget things they should remember. I tell them about the shelf theory of memory: You can only put so much on the shelf at one time, and when you're exhausted, the shelf isn't supporting memories the way it should.”
2. Your Monday Dread/Friday Excitement Is At An All-Time Peak
For everyone who works a traditional Monday to Friday job, there are likely very few of you who haven’t experienced the rush of excitement on a Friday afternoon, or the DoomsDay feeling of a Monday morning. However, for those who are seriously burnt out, the thought of starting a new week is completely dreaded every week, according to Business Insider. Same goes for that Friday feeling — you’ll feel as though you’re being freed.
3. You’re Suddenly Unmotivated To Do Anything
According to the Christian Broadcasting Network, a telltale sign of being burnt out is lacking a sense of motivation. This, in turn, could lead to overall lack of productivity, whether it’s at work or at home.
4. You’ve Become Extremely Negative
Not only might you find that your thoughts becoming more pessimistic, you’re also finding that your mood swings like a pendulum throughout the day. INC. discussed some of the lesser-known signs of burnout, and cited a report published by the NASW Assurance Services, Inc. that reported burnout may cause emotional exhaustion and a loss of a sense of personal accomplishment, and therefore lead to depersonalization, alienation, and depression.
5. You And Your Partner Have Been Disagreeing Regularly
Those mood swings we just discussed… likely they’re not just affecting you, but also those around you. According to Forbes, when you’re burnt out it has mega-impact on your interpersonal relationships, so you might find yourself entering into far more arguments than usual. The other side of the coin when it comes to burnout, according to Forbes, is that instead of arguing most frequently you might withdraw instead. While you might be physical present, you tend to tune out the other person.
6. Your Boss Has Acknowledged Your Performance Is Slacking
This one seriously feels like a knife through the heart if you ask me. It’s downright awful when you’re trying to bust your butt at work and home only to feel like you’re failing at all of it. Why is your performance slacking, exactly? You’re likely tired as hell (most obviously), your memory is bruisin’, and you might be finding it really hard to concentrate. According to David Ballard of the American Psychological Association, that dip in ability to concentrate comes from the human brain’s design to only handle short bursts of stress. Ballard told Forbes, “When stress becomes chronic, this narrow focus continues for a long time and we have difficulty paying attention to other things.”
7. You’re Experiencing An Increase In Health Problems
According to Huffington Post, being overworked and overwhelmed can leave us more susceptible to health problems. WebMD noted some of the top health problems related to stress and they include heart disease, asthma, obesity, diabetes, depression, and more. If you’re as freaked out as I am about the scary connection between stress and some of those diseases, make the changes necessary to bring yourself out of the burnt out slump you’re in.
When all signs are pointing to you being utterly spent, changes can be easily made if you set your mind to it. Forbes suggests taking advantage of the time spent outside of your office (or away from the home, if you work there all day), and getting involved with something you’re passionate about, like fitness activities or volunteering. Also, they recommend you make time for relaxation, including turning off your phone and email. For other tips on winding down, check out my recent Bustle article on the topic.
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