Recognising and Addressing Major Signs of Burnout

Kiran Singh

We’ve all experienced some form of tiredness or stress in our lives. This is normal, as it comes with the territory of being a well-adjusted adult. We are required to navigate our way through the challenges and issues that we are faced with on a daily basis. But how do you know when enough is enough? When can you be sure that what you’re feeling is out of the ordinary — that you may, in fact, be facing burnout?

One of the biggest indicators of burnout is stress. The Health and Safety Executive reveals that around 595,000 people suffered from work-related stress in the United Kingdom (UK) in 2018, thus making the threat of burnout more and more real in the country. Burnout has become such a real threat, that the World Health Organisation has officially included it in the International Classification of Diseases manual defined as a syndrome “resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed”.

Symptoms of Burnout

But how do you differentiate burnout from regular stress and tiredness? We’ve listed some of the most common symptoms so you can catch the early signs of burnout and do something to alleviate it.

Fatigue

Recognising and Addressing Major Signs of Burnout

Feeling a little more tired than usual? Fatigue and a feeling of complete exhaustion are the most common symptoms of burnout. The BBC points out how most cases of burnout are preceded by a period of extreme weariness, even without apparent reason.

General Disinterest

Recognising and Addressing Major Signs of Burnout

Another symptom is a general feeling of disinterest in everything. This doesn’t even have to be work-related, as people who are experiencing burnout don’t enjoy things that they would normally like in the past.

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Loss of Productivity

Recognising and Addressing Major Signs of Burnout

The two factors above contribute to an overall loss in productivity. Indeed, burnout can lead to repercussions in your professional life. A dip in performance is a by-product of exhaustion and the absence of initiative caused by burnout.

How to Deal with Burnout

Let’s say you are burnt out – what now? Below are some tips to help you deal with and manage burnout. And while they cannot substitute professional help, they might be what you need at the moment to get back on your feet.

Get Better Sleep

Recognising and Addressing Major Signs of Burnout

A major contributing factor you have to address is the quality of your sleep. It’s important to try and get seven to eight hours of shut-eye to avoid feeling burnt out and to try your best to be in bed before 11 pm. That last part is crucial, as 11 pm is when your body’s cortisol levels, or your stress hormones, are at their lowest. Sleeping within this window will help you get a better quality of sleep.

Find Green Spaces

Recognising and Addressing Major Signs of Burnout

Sometimes all you really need is to spend a little time surrounded by nature. A post by Carly Graf on Parsley Health titled ‘The Easiest Ways to Boost Your Health? Step Outside’ details how the Japanese art of shinrin-yoku or forest bathing can help relieve symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression. Carve out time in your busy schedule to take a hike in the woods, or just spend a weekend at your local park. Being surrounded by green space has a soothing effect that’s perfect for combatting burnout.

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Take Mental Breaks

Recognising and Addressing Major Signs of Burnout

If immersing yourself in green spaces is not an option, then you can just opt to take mini mental breaks in the week. Read a book you like after a long day at work or watch a film that you enjoy. Better yet, why not create your own nightly evening self-care ritual. To help you out with this, check out our ‘#FREE Evening Ritual Checklist’ that can help you stick to your personal routine. Taking these small steps towards self-care will go a long way in improving your overall health and well-being.

*Do connect with me on TikTok at @KiranSinghUK and Instagram at @KiranSinghUK for behind the scenes, daily updates, inspiration and more!

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