Work Burnout Symptoms and What to Do About It

It’s no secret that the modern workforce is experiencing high levels of stress and burnout. The impact is not just on productivity and job performance but also on our mental and physical health.

Burnout-related mental health issues include depression, anxiety, and even suicidal thoughts. Burnout can also worsen pre-existing mental health conditions. And that underscores the importance of addressing burnout and finding ways to prevent it.

Whether you’re an employer or an employee, you will benefit from being aware of the symptoms of burnout.

Work Burnout Symptoms

The following symptoms are often present in individuals experiencing job burnout.

Feelings of Exhaustion and Fatigue

Have you suddenly lost motivation and enthusiasm for your job? Do you feel drained after work, even if there hasn’t been an increase in workload or responsibilities? These can be signs of burnout.

Although it’s normal to feel tired after a long day of work, constant exhaustion and lack of energy can indicate that your job is taking a toll on your mental and physical health. Don’t ignore these feelings – seek support and ways to manage your workload and stress.

Difficulty Concentrating and Making Decisions

Burnout can lead to a foggy and unfocused mindset, making it difficult to concentrate and make decisions, causing mistakes and decreased productivity.

If you struggle with your work tasks and feel overwhelmed, take a step back and reassess your workload. Make sure you’re not spreading yourself too thin, and take breaks throughout the day to recharge and refocus.

Feeling Cynical or Detached from Work

Do you feel detached or disconnected from your job? Are you unmotivated, unfulfilled, or cynical about your work and colleagues? These can be signs of burnout, and you should address them before they worsen.

Take some time to reflect on what is causing these negative feelings – are specific tasks or responsibilities draining you? Is there a lack of support from colleagues or management?

Drop in Performance and Productivity

Burnout can lead to a decrease in performance and productivity and an increase in mistakes and errors. This can result in negative consequences for both the individual and the company.

If you notice a drop in your performance at work, take a closer look at the potential reasons for this decline. Are there external stressors, such as a heavy workload or difficult team dynamics? Are you taking care of yourself and prioritizing self-care?

Constantly Having a Bad Day

Feeling like you have a bad day at work every day can be a sign of burnout. You should take steps to address these negative feelings before they worsen.

If you are experiencing constant stress and unhappiness at work, consider talking to a therapist or reaching out to an Employee Assistance Program. It may also be helpful to re-evaluate your career goals and assess whether your current job aligns with them.

Depending on Drugs or Alcohol to Cope

Turning to substances – whether alcohol, drugs, or even excessive caffeine intake – as a coping mechanism for work stress can indicate burnout. While these may provide temporary relief, they can also lead to substance abuse issues and worsen mental health problems.

If this is your coping strategy, seek support and address the root cause of your burnout. Consider talking to a therapist, having a conversation with your boss about work stress, or finding healthier coping mechanisms like exercise or meditation.

You Feel Underappreciated or Undervalued

Feeling underappreciated or undervalued at work can lead to burnout, resentment, and frustration.

If this is an issue, discuss your feelings with your boss or HR department and work to find solutions. It may also be helpful to reassess your career goals and consider finding a job where you feel valued and appreciated.

Practical Solutions for Work Burnout

There are several practical steps to prevent and manage work burnout. These include:

Prioritize self-care and make time for relaxation: Regular breaks and taking care of your physical and mental health can help prevent burnout. Vacation time is also important – use it to recharge and come back to work refreshed.

Communicate with your boss and colleagues: Don’t be afraid to speak up about your workload and any stressors you may be experiencing.

Set boundaries: It’s important to set boundaries between your work and personal life.

Re-evaluate your career goals: Sometimes burnout can indicate that it’s time for a change. It may be helpful to reassess your career path and make a plan for a new job or profession.

Seek support from a therapist: Talking to a therapist can help you process and manage feelings of burnout. You may also benefit from therapy to address any underlying mental health issues contributing to burnout.

Practice healthy coping mechanisms: Find healthy outlets for stress, such as exercise, meditation, or spending time with loved ones. You will likely find that taking care of yourself and finding balance can help prevent work burnout.

It’s important to address burnout early on before it worsens and impacts your mental health and overall well-being. Taking care of yourself at work can lead to greater satisfaction and success in the long run.

Remember that it’s not a weakness to admit that you’re experiencing burnout and take steps to address it. Taking care of your mental health should always be a priority.

Say NO to Job Burnout. Do Something NOW.

Burnout is a serious issue that can negatively impact your work and personal life. Don’t handle it with kids’ gloves – address the symptoms and find solutions to improve your mental and physical health. Take care of yourself, and don’t be afraid to seek support if needed.

Remember, you deserve to feel fulfilled and happy at work. Don’t let burnout hold you back from reaching your full potential.

Jude Uchella is a research writer and a strong advocate for health and fitness. He takes pleasure in helping people live their best life. When he's not writing, he's probably researching the next topic to write about. :)