8 Signs That You Might Be Burnt Out & What You Can Do About It

Burnout can cause serious health risks. Here’s what you need to know.

By: Rebecca Jacobs

Burn out is becoming a serious issue. It’s affecting people of all ages. From the young college students to the stay at home moms, and the overworked corporate employees, burnout is literally affecting everyone. And, knowing the signs that you are burnt out is crucial to spotting it and doing something about it. 

Since no one is immune to reaching a point of total burnout, we’re diving into eight signs to watch out for, and what you can do about it ASAP.

#1 Your Exhaustion Levels Are At an All-Time High 

One of the most obvious signs that you are burnt out has to do with your energy levels. You may feel totally exhausted, even after a solid night’s sleep. It may seem like no matter how much rest you get, you still feel yourself dragging through the day. 

Your exhaustion levels may affect you on both a physical and emotional level if you are experiencing burnout. 

#2 You Start to Become a Negative Nancy 

All jokes aside, burn out can totally make you cynical. You may feel like you’re always being negative and suddenly looking at things you used to enjoy in a negative way. 

#3 You Lose Interest in All Work-Related Things

If the source of your burnout is your job, then chances are, you may lose interest in your job. You may start to dread checking into work each day, and your 8-hour workday may seem like an eternity. 

Losing interest in all work-related tasks is a big red flag when it comes to work-related burnout. 

#4 You Start to Lose Productivity & Struggle to Concentrate 

In fact, you may even start to feel like you can’t get anything right, so you start to lose the productivity you used to have when it came to important things in life. 

If you used to be a highly productive person, but have recently started dragging your feet and letting tasks fall to the wayside, it may be time to evaluate if burnout is at the root of the problem. 

#5 You Start to Feel Depressed

Research shows that even though burnout is most often linked to a job, if you are prone to depression, you may be more likely to experience burnout. 

The bottom line here is that if you’re experiencing symptoms of depression, don’t suffer alone. Reach out to your doctor and discuss any possible connection to burnout. 

#6 You May Become Short Tempered 

Let’s talk temper—if you feel like everything sets you off, it may be a sign that you are getting close to being totally burnt out, or have already reached that point. 

Those who are in burnout mode often have less patience and lash out at even small things that normally wouldn’t bother them. 

#7 The Stress May Cause Physical Symptoms 

Let’s face it, stress is to blame for many symptoms. And, when dealing with burnout,  you may experience a handful of uncomfortable symptoms. 

The psychologist who came up with the term burnout has talked about frequent headaches as being a common complaint with this condition. And, some studies have actually connected difficulty sleeping and staying asleep with burnout, in addition to digestive upset. 

It can truly affect us on all levels of our mental and physical health. So, if you suddenly start experiencing symptoms you can’t explain, speak with your doctor, and evaluate where your stress levels are at. 

Often times, chronic stress that leads to burnout causes more issues than we think. 

#8 You Resort to Caffeine to Help You Push Through Your Day 

If you are so burnt out that you can barely function, you may find yourself turning to that fourth and fifth cup of coffee to help you get through your day. You may quickly find that you have to keep reaching for more as your body gains a tolerance to the level of caffeine you require just to function. 

4 Things to do ASAP For Burnout 

#1 Start Saying No 

If you are dealing with burnout, it’s time to start saying no and setting boundaries around things that are currently not serving you. 

When you start to say no to obligations that you really don’t have time for, you’ll quickly see how you do have the time to take care of yourself. 

And, don’t feel bad about saying no. Saying no to things that don’t fit into your life at this present moment is an act of self-love and respect. 

#2 Add One Act of Mindfulness Into Your Day 

Being present in the moment is such a great tool to help calm the chaos going on around you. Try taking just 10-minutes to sit and be present. Try doing this through meditation, being mindful during a brisk walk, or just sitting in peace and quiet. 

When we do this, it allows us to calm the mind and the body and helps ease that sense of overwhelm just a bit. Plus, once you get the hang of being more mindful, you can implement it into other areas of your life as well, such as while eating and exercising to boost your health and fitness success. 

#3 Drop The Caffeine & Turn to Natural Energy Boosters 

Reaching for massive amounts of caffeine is often a sign of pure exhaustion and even burnout. And, while a cup or two per day is generally well-tolerated, excessive caffeine can actually make symptoms of burnout worse. 

Too much caffeine can cause our adrenals to pump out more adrenaline and cortisol, putting us into that fight-or-flight mode we don’t want to be in. 

So, instead of reaching for that fifth cup of joe, try an energizing herbal tea like Rhodiola or holy basil, or try diffusing some citrus essential oils. Getting outside for a walk or stretching the body may even be enough to give you that energy boost needed to push through your day. 

#4 Focus on Quality Sleep 

If you’re burnt out, you may not be sleeping well, and not sleeping well can make symptoms worse. Making sleep one of your top priorities is extremely important. The body needs sleep to rest, repair, and rejuvenate. And, if you’re burnt out, then you may be feeling completely exhausted every single day. Getting a good night’s sleep is only going to help. 

Aim for at least seven hours per night, and if you can, go for eight. So, say no to late-night TV watching and get into bed earlier as often as you can. 

Put Your Oxygen Mask on First 

We’ve all heard the saying that we have to put our own oxygen mask on first before taking care of everyone and everything else, and this is so true. 

If you’ve reached the point of burnout, then chances are, you have been slacking on your own self-care for a long time. We all do it, but it’s essential to make a change now and take care of you. 

If the signs that you are burnt out are glaringly obvious, prioritize yourself starting today. The first step is acknowledging that burnout is affecting you, and then doing something about it with consistent effort to put yourself first.