In essence, burnout is emotional and physical exhaustion caused by prolonged stress and can occur when you feel very overwhelmed and unable to meet constant demands.
But how can you recognize burnout? Here are 10 typical and common signs that it may be happening:
o a person with burnout often experiences overwhelming feelings of hopelessness, powerlessness, isolation, feelings of being trapped, and often strong feelings of despair
o a person with burnout is much more irritable and edgy than usual. He or she can be very "snappy" and cynical... much more than usual
o a person with burnout often experiences major disruption to sleep... insomnia is quite common but some people with burnout sleep for much longer and have great difficulty in waking up
o a person with burnout often feels detached and disconnected from what he or she is doing... whether that is with work, relationships, or even with him or herself
o a person with burnout typically experiences absolute total and utter exhaustion
o a person with burnout may experience increased drinking (alcohol), drug taking (e.g. sleeping pills, painkillers, aspirin or disprin), smoking, sexual activity, or increased shopping (for unnecessary and often expensive items)... all in an effort to escape what they are experiencing and to escape from the negative feelings they have
o a person with burnout often experiences major changes in eating habits... some may experience a complete loss of appetite, regularly skipping meals, picky eating... whereas others may increase their food intake and eat more comfort food and therefore put on more weight
o it is not uncommon that relationships fall apart for a person with burnout... relationships with family, friends, work colleagues, partner and children often tend to become strained and difficult
o the person with burnout frequently becomes unmotivated and appears to be very uncaring
o a person with burnout has an overriding feeling that he or she cannot take any more!
Please note: everybody experiences some or all of these signs fairly regularly but that doesn't mean it is burnout. The big difference is that these signs of burnout are experienced over a long period of time -- many weeks or months.
Sounds heavy... well it is for the person experiencing burnout and also for those close to the person.
But the good news is... lots can be done to prevent burnout from happening in the first place... but if it has happened... lots can be done to alleviate it!