10 Signs of Burnout You Might Not Recognize

The term burnout gets thrown around a lot, but do you actually know what burnout looks like?

The World Health Organization’s definition of burnout is “a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.” The three symptoms included in The WHO burnout list are feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion, increased mental distance from one’s job or feelings negative towards one’s career, and reduced professional productivity.

Here are ten real-world signs of burnout you might not know.

  1. Feeling drained
  2. Feeling disconnected from your work and others
  3. Getting sick after long periods of stress
  4. Sadness or depression
  5. Low Motivation
  6. Feeling cynical about everything, especially your work
  7. Isolating from others
  8. Catastrophizing and going to worst-case scenarios
  9. Analysis Paralysis
  10. Feeling revved up and anxious but not able to take action

You probably know that when you're feeling anxious and stressed, your body has responded to a perceived threat and sent you into fight or flight mode. If you've been stressed and dysregulated for a long time, your body might seem like it has a hair-trigger response to stress and send you into fight/flight every time a stressor comes up – even if it's not warranted.

What you might not realize is that if you’re stuck in fight/flight for too long, you will eventually go more into a ‘freeze’ state, which can manifest as any of the 10 things listed above. If you're hanging out in this zone for an extended period of time, I would classify that as burnout.

One of my favorite processes to guide clients through is a state-shifting exercise where you come to recognize what people, places, activities, etc you associate with each state and what emotions, feelings, sensations, and symptoms are common for YOU in each state (because we all have our own unique combos).

I know for me, I tend to pull away and want to disassociate when I hit a tipping point of extreme stress and anxiety. Which is unfortunate, because that’s when we need to lean on others for support the most.

Once I realized why I was doing it, it helped me to start working to develop healthier coping mechanisms.

Anxiety, overwhelm, anger, feeling drained – all of it is a little less scary when we can understand what’s happening in our bodies and that we actually have the power to shift ourselves from one state to another using our mind-body connection.

No feelings or emotions are inherently ‘bad’ but life feels a whole lot better when we’re able to get back to a regulated state whenever we want.

If you’re ready to get the tools you need to get out of burnout and get a handle on the stress, overwhelm, and anxiety that have been holding you back now is the time to join me for twelve weeks of one-on-one coaching.

Don’t put off your happiness and healing any longer. It’s time to get the support you need.

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