7 Major Warning Signs of Burnout

JobNow Contributor
April 13, 2021



Many people find that millennials are becoming the burnout generation (with gen z not far behind). All work and no play results in an entire generation of people who have become so entrenched in hustle culture that it's hard to break out. If you're feeling burnt out, you're not alone. We can help you identify it so you can take steps to feel better. Keep reading to learn a few burnout symptoms that you should look out for. 


1. Constant Fatigue

Are you finding that no matter how much you sleep, you never feel rested? Are your muscles sore when you don't work out? Does your brain feel fuzzy and dull after a long day in the office? This constant fatigue is a sign that you're burning out. When we go through too much stress for too long, we start to break down. This is when you know that burnout syndrome is starting to hit. No amount of sleep will help with this fatigue, but if you're able, take a break and let yourself do something that replenishes you. 


2. You Can't Leave Work at Work

When you get home, what do you think about? Is it work or school. Bringing work home increases your chances of experiencing burnout. Even if you don't have to bring work home with you, it can still be hard to let work stay in the office. If your thoughts are racing with anxiety about your next day of work or about things you have to do, you might experience burnout. Are you having those dreaded work or school nightmares? That's a sign that you need to decompress and start separating your work life and home life. When you can't stop preoccupying yourself with work, how can you recover from a stressful workday? 


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3. Emotional Eating

Emotional eating is a common symptom of stress. When you're overworked and undervalued, it's easy to try to find comfort in sweet or salty snacks. If you work so much that you're constantly fatigued, you may also find yourself without enough time or energy to cook healthier meals and snacks. Eating unhealthy foods as a result of burnout can result in future health problems. It also ends up costing you a lot of money. 


4. Apathy

Have you discovered that you no longer care about things that you once enjoyed? Your hobbies and interests have fallen by the wayside, and you aren't even interested in connecting with friends or family members anymore. This is apathy. Not only is apathy a sign of burnout, but it's also an early warning sign of depression. When you're feeling apathetic, nothing excites you anymore. You won't be satisfied with your work, and you may not enjoy favourite foods or otherwise exciting moments and events. It will be hard to find enjoyment in things. 


5. Lack of Motivation

Are you someone that used to be motivated and ambitious? Whether you wanted to excel in your current career or you've been trying to move up the ladder in other fields, when you're experiencing burnout, that motivation can disappear. This can create major setbacks. You need to keep motivation up if you want to thrive. When you're burnt out, you may find yourself in a rut that you're unable to escape from. How can you expand your horizons and reach your goals when you no longer have the motivation to do so? 


6. Poor Self-Care

This is a critical sign of burnout that you shouldn't ignore. Are you taking care of yourself? While self-care often falls by the wayside during a busy schedule, that doesn't mean that it isn't important. You need to take care of your mind and body if you want the energy and drive to continue working or learning. Are you not taking care of your hygiene? Are you not making time for things or people that you enjoy? This is a reasonably easy problem to fix. Create a self-care kit that you can turn to when you're feeling overwhelmed. It doesn't have to be extensive. Include some favourite snacks, supplies for an at-home spa day, games that you enjoy, or anything else that can give your mind a break. You can also try incorporating self-care into your normal routine. Try to make time for mindfulness activities like meditation and yoga.


7. Illness or Other Health Problems 

By the time you've reached this stage of burnout, you've already been experiencing the other symptoms for a while. After enough mental stress, your body can start to give out on you. Burnout and stress can result in high blood pressure, digestive problems, obesity, and heart disease. You can also start experiencing severe mental health problems, like depression or anxiety. You don't have to put your health at risk. If these things sound familiar to you, seek out a doctor or mental health professional. 


Are You Experiencing Burnout?

While some people consider burnout "part of life," it can be dangerous. Burning out is terrible for your mental and physical health, and it's counterproductive to reaching your goals or being successful at your job. If you're feeling burnt out, it might be time to make some changes. It's a good idea to seek out a counsellor to discuss your stress. This is also a great time to seek out mindfulness activities and spend time with friends. If you're able, it might even be time for a career change