12 Signals You’re Struggling With Burnout & Need A Break ASAP

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12 Signals You’re Struggling With Burnout & Need A Break
Health And Wellness

Are you experiencing signs of burnout, or just feel like you're not doing as well as you should?

The world has been a heavy and challenging place recently for all of us. Increased demands to cope while existing in a global pandemic have become complicated by politics, racial tensions, and the existing division in our country.

It pushed you and many other people way beyond their comfort zone of coping. Given this situation, a certain level of struggle is almost expected, unfortunately.

RELATED: 6 Reasons Why A Self-Care Routine Is Crucial More Now Than Ever

But do you know how to recognize when you’re in a state of burnout and need a break?

Fortunately, there are some symptoms to watch out for. Knowing these signs are imperative to getting the help and relaxation you need when you feel like your mental health and well-being are at stake.

These signals indicate that you're headed toward a major burnout and need to do something different now to avoid that!

Here are 12 signs of burnout you should never ignore. 

1. Irritability.

Irritability is one of the first signs to look for as an indication of how you're currently coping.

If you're feeling on edge or like everything and everyone is annoying, it's likely a sign that you've been pushed beyond your limit and could use a break.

2. Anxiety.

Feeling nervous, unsettled, or constantly worried?

This can also be a sign that your coping is not meeting the needs you have at the moment, particularly if you tend not to be someone who typically experiences anxiety.

3. Sleep challenges.

Do you feel tired even when you've slept? Or maybe you can't sleep at all. Sleep disturbances are a huge sign of burnout and stress.

One of the biggest challenges with this is that sleep can be hard to improve if you continue to feel stressed and do things like taking naps or not keeping a consistent bedtime. Even during a pandemic, keeping a regular sleep schedule can be very helpful.

4. Struggling to be present for your loved ones.

If you notice that you're tuning out from your family or other loved ones more than you would like, or even that you just can’t be bothered to call or text anyone, this is a sign that you're under too much pressure or demands.

5. Feeling overwhelmed and like you can’t catch up.

For many, making lists is a lifestyle choice. But if you find that you're making endless lists of lists of their lists, and feel like you just can’t take action on anything or catch up, you might be feeling burned out.

This could just mean you're at least feeling so stressed that you can’t take action on your plans, which unfortunately only increases stress and burnout in the long run.

6. Lack of interest in things you used to enjoy.

Feeling disinterested in things that you used to feel excited about can also be an alarming symptom, and you probably recognize when you feel this way.

People will say, “I used to love doing ___, but now I just don’t even feel like it.” This is definitely a sign that your life is out of balance.

RELATED: 6 Ways To Let Go Of Stress When You Feel Burned Out In Life

7. Depression or feeling hopeless.

While there are differences between clinical depression and burnout, often the two situations might mimic each other.

Particularly in the world right now, at times things do feel hopeless in terms of the pandemic and when it will be over. Feeling sad, lonely, and extra emotional can be a sign that you need to do something different to regain your balance.

8. Physical symptoms.

Physical symptoms of burnout can include headaches, stomachaches, and increases in pain or chronic symptoms you might already experience pretty often.

9. Looking to numb your emotions.

If you find yourself spending a lot of time seeking numbing kinds of coping skills like drinking, smoking, or watching TV, this is a sign that you're avoiding your current reality. Most likely, that's because it feels so difficult and hard to improve.

10. Obsessions.

Spending a lot of time thinking about the same things over and over and becoming fixated on them? This can be another sign that you're struggling and heading toward burnout.

11. Appetite changes.

Appetite changes can be wide-ranging and vary between wanting to eat too much, restricting your eating, not being hungry, being more hungry than usual, and eating foods you may not normally eat.

12. Lack of compassion.

This is a big clue that you might be having a hard time. Anytime you're being super critical of yourself or others, it's usually a sign that you're not in an emotionally healthy place.

I hope that this information helps you understand what you might be experiencing right now. During tough situations, it's truly a challenge to cope and avoid burnout; on some level, burnout might be inevitable.

Getting through this time is possible if you can try to understand what you're seeking and needing. Then, try to provide that for yourself in healthy and safe ways.

For many, this takes digging deep and really taking a look at yourself and your usual coping strategies.

Reading, meditating, healthy cooking, exercise, journaling, music, and creative projects may help you begin to feel better.

You might also want to take social media and news breaks, or limit the amount of time you interact with these platforms every day in order to improve your mental state.

RELATED: 4 Simple Steps To Calm Stress When You’re Experiencing Burnout

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Erica Wollerman is a licensed clinical psychologist who has held a passion for helping people since beginning her career in psychology in 2006. If you would like to read more about her work, check out Thrive Therapy Studio for more information.