Burnout has nothing to do with your dedication to your work or productivity. Chronic stress caused by work leads to burnout. People who are passionate about their work and put in a lot of effort to achieve their work-related goals can also experience burnout.
Burnout is not a disease that suddenly appears. It is insidious and builds over a prolonged period. There are many negative effects of burnout on your memory, alertness, and creativity. People often do not realize that they are burned out at work. If you do not recognize that you are facing burnout, you will not be able to seek help.
Warning Signs that You Are Burned out At Work
Fatigue is often the first sign of burnout. Feeling tired after a hard day of work is natural. However, if you are feeling fatigued most of the time or even throughout the day, it is an indication that you are burned out at work.
From reluctance to get up in the morning and head to your workplace to the lack of enthusiasm for even light physical workouts, the fatigue is all-pervading. You struggle to stay alert and focused on your work and drink excessive amounts of caffeinated beverages to stay alert. This kind of fatigue becomes a part of your life, and you cannot get rid of it.
Overall, you feel less productive as compared to earlier.
Trouble in falling asleep or constantly waking up from sleep at night also indicates that you are burned out at work. Lack of sleep impairs your ability to concentrate on your work. You may even get nightmares about your work which results in disturbed sleep. To beat insomnia, you may be forced to take sleeping pills.
Addiction to food, alcohol, or drugs to get comfort from the work stress is an indicator that you are burned out at work Addiction worsens your stress problem and causes a number of health problems such as obesity, liver diseases, heart problems, and more.
Dependency on drugs or alcohol imparts a feeling that you cannot live without such things, and you get stressed even more in the absence of drugs or alcohol. You also feel completely drained out without your object of addiction.
Thus, if you have grown addicted to drugs or alcohol or any food item to cope with your stress, it’s a warning sign that you are experiencing burnout.
Feelings of Inadequacy
A consistent feeling that you are not fit for the job you are doing and the efforts you put into your work are useless is a sign of burned out at work. The feeling of inadequacy may not be confined to your work but also involve your personal life. You may feel that you are not a good spouse, parent, or son/daughter of your parents. The feelings of inadequacy make you feel demotivated to work or even perform simple tasks.
Thus, if you are getting feelings of inadequacy for a long period, it is highly likely that you are facing burnout.
A feeling of loneliness even though you are not alone is one of the warning signs that you are burned out at work. Loneliness is not because you are socially isolated but due to emotional exhaustion caused by burnout at work—the more the mental exhaustion, the greater the feeling of loneliness. Loneliness also makes you unable to confide in family members and friends. As a result, you stop socializing and impose self-isolation.
In a nutshell, you are likely to be facing burnout if a persistent feeling of loneliness has become a part of your life.
Your irascible nature damages your relationships with others, both in professional and personal life. Losing your cool frequently with friends, family members, and even strangers over even minor disagreements and small setbacks makes you very angry and frustrated, then it is a sign that you are burned out at work. Over a period of time, your friends and family members distance themselves from you, thereby exacerbating your feeling of loneliness.
The reason behind anger is emotional exhaustion caused by the draining of emotional energy due to burnout.
Disillusionment with life and a cynical outlook toward life are signs of burnout at work. You feel as if you have been a failure in life, and your work is meaningless. Even if you always have been a cynical person, persistent negative feelings affecting your peace of mind and a nagging feeling of melancholy at all times are signs of deep-seated cynicism caused by burnout.
Chronic stress harms your mental health and is detrimental to your physical health. Many illnesses are linked to burnout at work caused by chronic stress. Headache and Irritable Bowel Syndrome are the common results of stress-induced burnout. Heart diseases and allergies are also linked to burnout. Thus, even though there are many reasons for such conditions, if you are suffering from any such illness, it is necessary to figure out whether burnout is the reason or not.
Burnout also weakens the immune system. Thus, if you are suffering from frequent episodes of cold and flu, which take a lot of time to subside, it may be an indication that you are burned out at work.
A feeling of numbness towards normal feelings is also a symptom associated with burnout. Suppose you are not excited about anything, neither happy over pleasurable events nor sad over unhappy occurrences. In that case, it’s possible that you are experiencing burned out at work and heading towards depression.
Short Attention Span
Burnout impairs the ability to maintain attention, concentrate on things and memorize. Thus, if you cannot pay attention to anything other than your problems and have trouble maintaining focus, you may be suffering from burnout.
Burned out at work slowly erodes your health, career, and personal relations. Thus, in the event of the appearance of any of the above-mentioned symptoms, it is better to take remedial measures such as yoga, meditation, counseling, a break from work, and more.