Burnout is a very real risk for many people in today’s “always on” society. Beyond feeling stressed or exhausted, this condition can have genuine physical and mental consequences and should be avoided at all costs.
Unfortunately, people often don’t recognize the warning signs until they’re too far gone (or very close to it). That’s why today, we’re looking at some common signs you may be headed towards burnout and ways to lessen the load.
The Office Commute Seems Unbearable
If you wake up every day with no desire to head to the office, this is a clear sign that something isn’t right. Your commute can play a significant role in your overall well-being, and if it’s the drive or public transport causing stress, alternative arrangements should be sought.
If nothing can be done to improve your commute, it may be worth asking your employer about the possibility of a flexible office space alternative. Working from home or a conveniently located serviced office a few days a week could do wonders for your mental health.
You Feel Like No One at Work “Gets” You
If workplace diversity isn’t a priority in your company, you may feel like there’s no one you can genuinely connect with at work. A sense of isolation and disconnection can also arise when you simply don’t click well with your colleagues. However, if the feeling of not belonging or being understood is new, it could be a sign you’re on the path to burnout.
Everyday Tasks Seem Impossible
Even the simplest tasks or chores can seem like massive undertakings when you’re overwhelmed. If this happens occasionally, it’s a sign that you didn’t get enough sleep the night before or are dealing with other stressful situations. However, if it’s a common occurrence, this can be a warning sign that you’re approaching burnout.
Combat this by taking steps to make tasks easier. At home, this could mean meal prepping or switching to more efficient induction cooking. At work, it could mean finding ways to automate repetitive tasks or asking for work to be delegated more equitably within the team. If these steps don’t help, you will need to consider that burnout is a real possibility.
You Never Feel Rested
Speaking of sleep, if you’re not feeling rested no matter how much you get, this is another sign that you could be headed toward burnout. When you’re headed down this path, the stress your mind and body are under can disrupt your sleep schedule and leave you feeling out of it even when you’ve managed to get enough shut-eye.
Building a relaxing nighttime routine can help, allowing you to unwind and get better rest.
You’re Emotionally Out of Whack
Finally, if your emotions are all over the place and something doesn’t feel right, this could be a sign that you’re close to burnout. When we’re highly stressed and unable to shut off, it becomes harder to regulate our emotions, turning our feelings into a wild ride.
If this sounds uncomfortably familiar, it’s essential to speak with a mental health professional to ensure nothing else is happening. In the meantime, meditation and walks in nature can also be beneficial in rebalancing emotions.
Burnout is a serious issue, and these warning signs should not be ignored. If you experience any of the above factors, and they’re just not getting better, it may be time to speak with your manager and a healthcare professional. The crucial first step is to ask for help – the sooner, the better.