Burnout is defined as physical or mental collapse caused by overwork or stress. As it turns out, there are ways to identify the early warning signs of burnout. And, there are many simple practices you can put in place immediately to prevent burnout from becoming an occupational hazard.
Here are 13 Early Signs of Burnout:
1. High levels of stress or anxiety.
Feeling frequently on edge, with adrenaline constantly coursing through your body. (Try this (free) 30 Day Meditation Challenge to feel more calm and peace in just 5 minutes a day)
2. Lack of engagement.
You don’t feel motivated at work. You have difficulty focusing or exhibit a short attention span.
3. Increased cynicism.
Feelings of resentment or disconnection. You may notice yourself being more negative and cynical. Feeling cranky and defensive or snapping at people easily. You don’t make time to talk on the phone or connect with the people who matter most to you. If you’re feeling a lot of resentment towards others, chances are it’s because you’re not getting your needs met and you’re on the path to burnout.
4. Distracted eating.
You eat your meals in front of a computer, television or while on the go (in the car, standing up, etc.)
5. Not getting enough sleep.
The suggested minimum amount of sleep is seven to eight hours each night, if you’re getting less than this, you risk some level of burnout. (Set yourself up for Sleep Success. Turn off all devices at least an hour before bed. I highly recommend earplugs, an eye mask, a white noise machine, and this Deep Sleep meditation + visualization to help you fall asleep easily and stay asleep all night.)
6. Low energy and exhaustion.
You’re tired. Not just sleepy tired, but emotionally fatigued. You may feel exhausted by the end of the day, with no energy left to exercise or even engage with others, you just want to crash and watch television or zone out in some other way.
7. Never enough time.
You feel as though you’re always in a hurry and never have enough time for all the things you’re trying to accomplish each day.
8. Excessive worrying, high level of self-criticism.
Your mind cycles through the same worry-filled thoughts again and again and you can’t seem to stop. The critical voice in your head is very loud, telling you constantly to do more, work harder, and no matter what you accomplish, you’re still not doing enough. There is no self-compassionate voice to balance out the critical voice, or if there is, it is very weak and you can barely hear it.
9. Physical illness.
Initially,the physical symptoms can be subtle. You may experience headaches, a persistent cold, have a stomach bug or an upset stomach frequently, or a weak immune system in general. If early signs are ignored, your body may hit a wall and receive a more serious diagnosis.