How to recognize the warning signs of burnout

We all have times when we’re not at our best, usually when we’re under pressure, have stresses and strains relating to our work or our personal lives, or are suffering from an underlying mental health issue. There are so many factors to take into consideration, it would be foolish to try to list them all. Yes, a lot of us have our ‘coping’ mechanisms, or we power through, we ignore it and hope the dread will depart and our mojo will magically reappear. And who wants to simply ‘cope’? 

We all deserve to thrive.

If we push ourselves too much, living on autopilot and neglecting our needs, we eventually crash and burn. Just when this will happen will vary from person to person, but it will happen if you don’t stop to take stock and address it.

Why does this happen to us?

When did taking care of ourselves become so hard? Why do we devalue and deprioritize our self care? When did taking care of our basic needs as people become something we need to be disciplined about?

We’re seeing more and more people suffering recently, especially as many are now working from home. There is always plenty to do whether that’s taking care of our family, our household, our work. Instead of telling ourselves we deserve to address our own basic needs, we put everyone and everything else first, thinking we either don’t have time to look after ourselves or that we’re not important enough to prioritize. Our life harmony is out of balance. And when we do eventually happen upon ‘free’ time, we crash and don’t have the energy or inclination to do anything significant with it.  

How do I know if I’m on the cusp of total burnout?

In order to make sure we’re looking after our wellbeing, we need to be consciously aware of our feelings, our thoughts, our behaviors and identify the signs that we may well be on our way to burnout. Once we know the warning signs, we can do something about it. It’s easier to prevent burnout than it is to recover from it. So if you’re feeling like this, you must take some time to address it. And I mean immediately. 

If you’re experiencing any of the below, it’s time to check in with yourself and take action towards creating space and energy for yourself to heal. 

  • You’re tired all the time
  • Not sleeping consistently or through the night, sleeping too much
  • You have no energy or feel little excitement, or can’t get going
  • You’re irritable and lack patience, get angry, or have a ‘short fuse’
  • Your concentration levels have dropped significantly
  • You’re tearful or depressed
  • You’re overwhelmed with day-to-day tasks
  • Your work is suffering
  • You have little enjoyment or enthusiasm at home, work, or both
  • You’re overdoing it, hyper-focused, being in overdrive
  • You’re experiencing more physical illness, pain, low immune system
  • You’re cynical and don’t believe things will get better
  • Your relationships aren’t nourishing you like they once did
  • You’re detached or disinterested in things you once enjoyed
  • You’re experiencing suicidal thoughts
  • You feel a sense of dread, fear, or anxiety 
  • You’re over or under eating
  • You self-medicate with alcohol, sugar, caffeine, drugs or other substances
  • You don’t like or respect yourself

There are other ways that burnout manifests itself so you need to keep an eye on things that just don’t feel right to you. And there are plenty of ways you can make sure you prevent burnout before it sets in.

If you feel that you need help or you’re on the train to  burning out, please read my post on the best practices to steer clear of burnout (link to post) and/or get in touch with me We can work together to find out where you are and what would best support your path to healing, thriving and living a life you’re excited and proud to live.