Top 10 Signs You are burnt out and what to do about it

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healthcare, mental health, burnout
Tuesday, Apr 23, 2024

You wake up one morning and it hits you like a ton of bricks…  

You used to love to go hiking.  But you can’t remember the last time your feet pounded the trail and you took in the wondrous views of a mountain peak.  

And that guitar you used to play almost every day has been collecting dust where it has sat for months. 

And you have been contemplating selling all your arts & craft supplies.  Someone might as well get some use out of them.  

You feel you have lost control of your life and the things that lit you up.  The things you lived for.  

But how? And for what? 

Well, you could be experiencing the consequence of persistent stress.  Or even venturing into the realms of burn out. 

If life were simple, one could easily just make a switch. 

Just quit that job that is sucking your soul dry.  

Or move out of the neighborhood with your terrible neighbors.  

But for the times that don’t allow for such a black & white solution to your woes, we have curated a list of signs and symptoms of burnout and proposed solutions to turn turmoil to momentum as you get back to yourself and what you once loved.  

#1- You’ve Become Cynical & Apathetic 

You have an overall sense of disillusionment or indifference towards the future.  Life is just.  Ehh.. You are here you guess.  We all are until we die. That's just life, don’t you know? 

What You Can Do About It:

Reflect on personal and career goals, perhaps with the help of a career counselor or a life coach.  

#2- You Have Lost Enjoyment in Hobbies 

Activities that used to bring joy now feel like chores. And besides, who has the time? With the schedule you have, all you have time for is work and sleep these days.  

What You Can Do About It: 

Intentionally schedule time for rest and hobbies without any goal in mind, allowing yourself to indulge.  Life is too short to not enjoy the things we love, after all.  

#3- Physical Symptoms That Seem To Linger

You are experiencing consistent headaches, muscle pain, or stomach issues. You never used to have any of these symptoms, but you think to yourself “this must be what getting older feels like”.  There is no other explanation.  

What You Can Do About It: 

Regular exercise, adequate hydration, and consulting a healthcare provider can help manage and find solutions to all of these.  They are not just a normal part of life and you should not have to live with them.  

#4- You Have Detached from Colleagues and Family 

You have started to notice that you are disconnected or isolated from people you usually care about. You can’t remember the last time you went out to have fun.  Or when you do go out you just want to go home and be alone.  

What You Can Do About It: 

Make a conscious effort to engage in social activities, even if it's just a virtual coffee chat or a

#5- You Sweat the Small Stuff 

You have noticed you have increased Irritability with minor issues.  Things that never seemed to bother you at all now work their way under your skin until you either burst with anger or find yourself needing to walk away before you catastrophically explode.  

What You Can Do About It:

Practice mindfulness or meditation to enhance emotional regulation and response to stress. Find a yoga class or a meditation group to help keep accountability and build these actions into a habit.  

#6- Difficulty in Starting Simple Tasks

Tasks that used to be straightforward now feel insurmountable.  You just don’t feel you have the energy to start today.  Maybe tomorrow, you keep telling yourself.  

What You Can Do About It:

Break tasks into smaller, manageable steps and celebrate small victories to build momentum.  That way you don’t feel so overwhelmed and can find the celebration in the small victories.  Getting started is half the battle, after all.  

#7- Negative Self-Talk and Pessimism

Pessimism is commonplace, and you shift towards a more negative or critical inner dialogue: “I can’t do that”.  “I will never get that promotion”.  “I wish I looked like that”.  “My friends don’t care about”.  

What You Can Do About It: 

Engage in positive affirmations, seek professional counseling, and surround yourself with positive people.  They say we act and become like the top 5 people we surround ourselves with in this life.  Negative attracts negative.  By starting to be conscious of your thoughts about yourself, you will start to be more positive and emanate that energy out.  

#8- Changes in Appetite or Sleep Patterns 

You have had a significant increase or decrease in appetite.  Or you are now an insomniac or find yourself sleeping the days away.   

What You Can Do About It: 

Establish a regular, relaxing bedtime routine and maintain a healthy, balanced diet. There are a ton of apps on the market that help you regularly track your habits.  Along with fitness devices such as a FitBit, Whoop® 4.0, Apple Watch, Garmin, and more.  

#9- Feelings of Ineffectiveness

You feel that your efforts are unproductive or meaningless. What do you have to offer this world? Nobody cares about what you think or do.  “Just give up”, you tell yourself.  

What You Can Do About It: 

Set realistic goals and seek feedback to gauge your impact more accurately, or consider a mentor to help guide you as you work towards a more positive and fruitful mindset.  You will be surprised to see what you can manifest in this world by simply monitoring unproductive thoughts and putting a more positive spin on them.  

#10-  Withdrawal from Responsibilities 

Are you avoiding or delaying essential tasks at work or home? You know you need to take action, but just can’t seem to muster up the time and strength to get things done.  You simply just don’t care anymore.  

What You Can Do About It: 

Delegate where possible, and set clear boundaries around work and personal time to ensure you are allowing time to recharge your personal batteries before taking on things for others.  Schedule that much needed vacation and don’t check your email the entire time you are gone.  Regardless of what your mind or others want you to believe, you are allowed to and the world will not fall apart. 

And there you have it. 

Just remember that stress and burn out build over time.  It creeps up on us, so it isn’t easy to spot and recognize.  

Have some other ideas and solutions? Share below!