Sometimes burnout is a sign that you're simply overwhelmed and need a break, but it can also be an indication that you're going in the wrong direction in your life, and other times it's just a sign that you have pushed yourself too far.
What Causes Burnout?
The causes of burnout are varied; it's hard to know exactly what's causing it or how to avoid it until it spirals into full-on depression. Although there could be many burnout causes, it's widely agreed that stress is one of the most common causes of burnout for anyone who is suffering.
These symptoms below can indicate burnout, but there are other issues that may be at play, like anxiety and depression. If you think your burnout might be moving into the zone of depression, this article by the Life Adjustment Team on how to cope with depression is a great resource.
A Constant Tiredness
You are tired all the time. You feel like you're just dragging yourself through your days. You're irritable all the time.
An Emotional Blunting
Emotions just don't come as strong anymore. You're numb to happiness and sadness and are feeling completely indifferent about things.
You often feel like you're completely wasting your time on work or hobbies, or you can't see the point of completing anything. You aren't happy that you have to do things at all.
An Increase in Food and Drink Consumption
You've found yourself overeating or undereating, leading to binge eating and an overall unhealthy relationship with food. This is particularly true with unhealthy foods that are full of sugar; you'll find your body is craving them more often.
You could also be using alcohol or drugs more frequently, hoping to give yourself a break from the pressures of life.
You're having trouble getting enough sleep, and/or you're waking up in the middle of the night and can't get back to sleep.
An Overwhelming Feeling of Isolation
You've found yourself withdrawing from your friends, family, and partner. You're not sure why.
You've lost drive – you used to be super motivated, and you're not anymore. You've lost interest in projects that used to be important to you.
Heightened Imposter Syndrome
You often feel like you're not good enough or that you're not worthy, and it's making you feel down about yourself and like you don't belong.
You're feeling a lot of shame over things you've done or said in the past. You feel like you've lost a part of yourself and don't want to get it back.
Unexplained Anger and Cynicism
You've started to be angrier and more cynical about everyone around you. You've lost all faith in humanity and the world.
Pursuit of Perfectionism
You're trying to achieve perfection in everything that you do. You're needing everything to be just right all the time.
You've actually become more critical and intolerant about certain aspects of your life. You don't know why, but it's happening.
A Rise in Ailments and Illnesses
You're finding that you're always getting sick, and your body doesn't feel healthy anymore.