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How to Spot the Signs of Burnout

While many of us are juggling households, finances, relationship responsibilities, and personal lives, we’ve all come to understand the idea that too much stress is toxic. Both for our bodies, and our minds.

So, what happens when we begin to feel like our fire for life is slowly burning out?

While stress is talked about in nearly every arena of mental health, burnout is a lesser-known condition with equally detrimental effects. Experiencing burnout can make life feel more like a chore than something that is meant to be lived and enjoyed. 

What exactly is burnout? Is burnout the same thing as stress?

How do you know if you’re beginning to experience this exhausting phenomenon?

Most importantly, how can you deal with the symptoms of burnout?


How Do You Describe the Feeling of Burnout?

The feeling of burnout is thought to be a physical and emotional state of exhaustion stemming from chronic stress. Oftentimes there’s no one specific cause of burnout but rather many different layers on top of one another.

Burnout is most commonly experienced by an overwhelming job or constant workload that never seems to end. However, burnout can seep into other areas of your life as well. An individual can feel burnt out from relationship strain, health problems, or financial burdens.

In addition, burnout can also be felt by parents as they juggle the full-time job of children, on top of a career.

When our work-life balance is thrown out of whack, burnout can occur. When stress is ignored or neglected for long periods of time, the result is a total body, and mental state of emptiness.


How Do I Spot the Signs of Burnout in Myself?

How do you know if you’re burned out or just tired? While feeling burned out is a state of extreme exhaustion, there are a few more signs to look out for, especially in regard to work.

If you feel as though you might be burnt out, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I often wonder how I’m going to make it through the day?
  • Do I feel tired or drained most of the time?
  • Do I often feel hopeless or defeated?
  • Do I feel trapped? (this can be in a job, with a partner, or in parenthood)
  • Do I often feel alone or detached from others?
  • Do I typically see this in a negative light?
  • Do I often doubt myself and my ability to make positive changes?

If you’re experiencing burnout, your thoughts in the morning may sound like,

I can’t do this anymore. 

I don’t want to live this way. 

No matter how hard I work I can’t seem to catch up. 

What is wrong with me?

In a nutshell, you may be suffering from burnout if you’re constantly feeling dread, stress, exhaustion, or defeated in one or more areas of your life. Instead of waking up with the motivation to get through the day, your thoughts have become much darker and hopeless. Unlike short-term stress that requires you to work harder and longer, with burnout you may feel zero motivation to put in any effort at all. 


How to spot the signs of burnout

How Can I Alleviate the Feelings of Burnout in My Life?

If you are experiencing burnout, it can be hard to get back on track and live a calmer life. However, it is by no means impossible. Living a calmer, more fulfilling life is entirely within your reach.

Here are a few of the best tips to help alleviate those feelings of burnout:

  • Identify Your Biggest Stressors: Burnout doesn’t often go away on its own. In order to get better, you have to take a good, hard look at the biggest causes of stress in your own life. Is your job taking up all your time? Is your relationship a constant source of drama? Write these down if you need to so you can look back on them later.
  • Track Your Stress Levels: When do you feel the most stress? You may not have a specific answer to this right now, and that’s okay. Track the way you feel throughout the day. Then, after a week, two weeks, or a month, look back to see if there are any patterns that emerge.
  • Seek Help: Reaching out for help doesn’t mean you’re weak or broken. Many of us need help to get through life, there’s just no way around it. If you’re feeling burnout by the responsibilities of motherhood, reach out to a trusted friend or family member. Even a few hours of alone time can do the mind good.
  • Boundaries: Since burnout is often caused by a negative work-life balance, it’s time to look at boundaries that are being crossed. Does your work constantly ask you to stay late, or work weekends? Are you always being scheduled on days you specifically request off? Setting boundaries with your boss may not be easy, but it will always be worth it. Don’t be afraid to say no, for your own mental health.
  • Self-Care: Take time every night to care for yourself. Even the littlest things show your inner child that you love and care for them. No matter if it’s a 10-minute bath at the end of the day, or a cup of tea and your favourite book in the mornings, taking care of yourself is crucial to maintaining a healthy state of mind.
  • Prioritise Relationships: It may hurt to hear, but work can always hire another employee. Your children will never have another dad. Above all, prioritise relationships over your career. This may take some time and adjustment, especially if you are used to always bending over backward for your boss. However, in the end, everyone is happier.
  • Journaling: Journaling is thought to be an extremely helpful form of self-care that can usher in positive thoughts, help you solve problems, allow you to dump all your stressors out of your brain and onto paper, and create a safe space to express how you are really feeling. Journal about the things you want to change. As you write, you may just find you solve the answer to your problem.
  • Therapy: If all else fails, there are many therapists who can help you alleviate your feelings of burnout. Not only can a therapist help you identify what is causing you so much stress, but they can be an unbiased third party to go to when you begin setting boundaries with others. Therapy can work to rewire any negative thoughts you may be dealing with that are contributing to your fatigue and defeat.

If you have a feeling, you may be burnt out, or you’re beginning to experience any of the symptoms we’ve discussed above, understand you are not alone.

Stress is simply a part of life and we all must learn healthy coping skills to manage it. If you were never taught how to create a healthy work-life balance, you may not realise just how much it is affecting every area of your life.

Burnout is a very real, very debilitating phenomenon. However, it’s a phenomenon that can be healed. Begin by prioritising yourself and your personal wants and needs. Even that simple act will put you right on track for a more peaceful life.


Orchestrate Health offers bespoke mental health services that people can access from the comfort of their own home or within their community, with rapid response times and even daily visits if needed. Orchestrate Health can provide help for those struggling with burnout, and remove the inconvenience of travelling to and from appointments.







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