When you are struggling under immense stress for a prolonged amount of time, eventually you will get burned out. And while you would think the signs would be obvious, they aren’t what you would think.
When burned out, you could have several strange symptoms or the stress could bubble out in random, unexpected ways. Continuing to overwork yourself when you are burned out can make life very difficult.
The term was coined in 1974 by Herbert Freudenberger in his book called the High Cost of High Achievement. According to him, burnout is defined as “the extinction of motivation or incentive, especially when one’s devotion to a cause or relationship fails to produce the desired results.”
Some would perceive many of the symptoms associated with burnout as laziness- but if you are experiencing the following, you could be burned out.
1. You are exhausted.
Constant stress will weigh on you, much like any intense activity. It can interrupt your sleep, and when you are overworked and not resting, you will inevitably end up exhausted.
2. You feel cynical.
Stress at a job, or just in life in general in massive amounts can lead you to feel hopeless, or cynical. If you find yourself feeling cynical in life, along with the other symptoms I’ve listed so far, you are likely burned out.
3. You’ve completely lost interest after a long period of stress.
After a long stretch of stress and overload, it’s normal for someone who is burned out to completely lose interest. They may decide that continuing with a project or job is useless, and just let it go altogether. Or they may become increasingly apathetic.
4. You feel hopeless.
Feeling hopeless is a horrible feeling. It can cause you to feel like you are constantly trying to get things done, but that none of it’s worth it.
5. You lack motivation.
Being burned out destroys your motivation. It can be hard to get excited about doing anything when you are completely running yourself ragged.
6. You have cognitive issues.
When you are burned out, you may forget about important appointments, or lose things. When people are under immense stress, it can make it difficult to think clearly.
7. Your job performance is slipping.
Most people start out working hard at first, but when they are in situations where they are doing too much with little reward, their momentum is likely to slow. It’s hard to keep up and work hard when you are running on fumes.
8. You stay frustrated with others.
When burned out, you may get overstimulated easily. Getting overstimulated is extremely frustrating and oftentimes, those experiencing it can experience anger.
9. You are struggling to take care of yourself.
When you are lacking energy, motivation and feeling overwhelmed, taking a shower or eating a healthy meal may feel impossible. In turn, people who are burned out often struggle with self-care.