Signs, Symptoms and Causes of Burnout

What is Burnout?

Burnout is a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion and part of neurology caused by excessive and prolonged stress. It occurs when one feels overwhelmed, emotionally drained, and unable to meet constant demands.

Burnout decreases productivity and saps energy, making one feel increasingly helpless, hopeless, cynical, and resentful. It is a situation when one feels constantly drained out all the time due to several factors such as personal, work, peer pressure and much more.

There are different causes of burnout. When someone cross the threshold from “really tired” to “too exhausted to function,” one might not recognize that they’ve experienced burnout until it’s too late.

As an alternative, one can have the personality type that likes to be active and may not realize when they are doing too much.

Are you experiencing these every day?

  • Every day is a bad day.
  • Caring about your work or home life seems like a total waste of energy.
  • You’re exhausted all the time.
  • The majority of your day is spent on tasks you find either mind-numbingly dull or overwhelming.
  • You feel like nothing you do makes a difference or is appreciated.

These are the triggering points that can be considered to state that one is facing burnout.

What are the signs of burnout?

Burnout looks different for everyone, although it can affect you physically, mentally, and emotionally. Following are some of the signs:

1. Fatigue– Fatigue is a major symptom of burnout and can affect all areas of your life. One might feel like sleeping or laying down all the time, or find that even simple tasks take longer to complete. People start having difficulty managing both their work and their personal life.
2. Feeling Apathetic– Everyone has days when they don’t want to get out of bed and go to work. When these feelings persist, it becomes a problem. This indicates a lack of satisfaction with the work you’re doing.
There is a problem of questioning that comes every now and then in the minds of the people. It has also been observed that people start questioning years of jobs and start feeling nothing. It comes to their mind why they are doing their job.
3. Headache– This is one of the basic symptoms that revolve around people experiencing burnout. Severe headache is experienced by the patients and a bit of irritation comes along with it.
4. Lifestyle modifications– There are several changes such as with respect to diet or sleep that are the primary symptoms of burnout.
Eating more (or less) than usual, or not sticking to a healthy diet is a primary sign. Additionally, sleeping at different times of day, or feeling the need to get more of it signifies a high level of burnout.

Causes of Burnout

Burnout often stems from your job. But anyone who feels overworked and undervalued is at risk for burnout, from the hardworking office worker who hasn’t had a vacation in years, to the frazzled stay-at-home mom tending to kids, housework, and an aging parent.

But causes of burnout is not solely on stressful work or too many responsibilities. Other factors contribute to burnout, including your lifestyle and personality traits. There are several divisions of burnout which are explained below:

                    Causes of burnout       

How to deal with Burnout?

Whether you recognize the warning signs or causes of burnout or you’re already past the breaking point, trying to push through the exhaustion and continuing as you have been will only cause further emotional and physical damage.

Now is the time to pause and change direction by learning how you can help yourself overcome burnout and feel healthy and positive again.

To properly deal with burnout, one needs the “Three R” Approach. It is:


  • Recognize. Watch for the warning signs of burnout.
  • Reverse. Undo the damage by seeking support and managing stress.
  • Resilience. Build your resilience to stress by taking care of your physical and emotional health

Some of the useful tips are as follows:

  • Be more sociable with your coworkers-

Developing friendships with people you work with can help buffer you from job burnout. When you take a break, for example, instead of directing your attention to your smartphone, try engaging your colleagues. Or schedule social events together after work.

  • Limit your contact with negative people-

Hanging out with negative-minded people who do nothing but complain will only drag down your mood and outlook. If you have to work with a negative person, try to limit the amount of time you spend together.

  • Take time off-

If burnout seems inevitable, try to take a complete break from work. Go on vacation, use up your sick days, ask for a temporary leave-of-absence, anything to remove yourself from the situation. Use the time away to recharge your batteries and pursue other methods of recovery.

  • Set boundaries-

Don’t overextend yourself. Learn how to say “no” to requests on your time. If you find this difficult, remind yourself that saying “no” allows you to say “yes” to the commitments you want to make.

  • Make friends at work

Having strong ties in the workplace can help reduce monotony and counter the effects of burnout.

Having friends to chat and joke with during the day can help relieve stress from an unfulfilling or demanding job, improve your job performance, or simply get you through a rough day.

  • Perform regular exercise-

Even though it may be the last thing you feel like doing when you’re burned out, exercise is a powerful antidote to stress and burnout.

It’s also something you can do right now to boost your mood. Aim to exercise for 30 minutes or more per day or break that up into short, 10-minute bursts of activity. A 10-minute walk can improve your mood for two hours.

  • Minimize sugar and refined carbs-

You may crave sugary snacks or comfort foods such as pasta or French fries, but these high-carbohydrate foods quickly lead to a crash in mood and energy.

  • Limit your contact with negative people in case of Burnout
Hanging out with negative-minded people who do nothing but complain will only drag down your mood and outlook. If you have to work with a negative person, try to limit the amount of time you spend together.


Burnout is visibly witnessed in the majority of the population these days. Causes of burnout can be in multiple ways. Implementing different strategies to manage and minimize burnout and work-related stress is very important in today’s demanding work environment.

Setting clear boundaries, practicing self-care, fostering a supportive work environment and several other techniques are feasible in preventing burnout. At the end of the day, it all comes down to balance.

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