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7 Signs of Burnout: Part I

Updated: Jul 20, 2022

There’s no longer any debate: burnout is real. And it’s on the rise – especially now that the division between work and home has, for many, blurred beyond recognition.

In fact, burnout has become a leading cause of resignations in Australia since the pandemic.

Burnout results from ongoing stress. Mayo Clinic calls it “a state of physical or emotional exhaustion that also involves a sense of reduced accomplishment and loss of personal identity.”

Knowing what burnout looks and feels like is the first step to spotting it early. Here are 7 signs to look out for.

7 signs you’re experiencing burnout

1. You’re emotionally exhausted. You may feel powerless to change your situation and have little energy to carry on.

2. You’re isolated from others. You might be ignoring calls or turning down invitations because you feel that social interactions are more difficult than normal.

3. You have escape fantasies. When you’re at work, do you find yourself wishing you were somewhere else? Perhaps you dream of being back home in bed or on holiday. Some people may crave drugs or alcohol as a form of escape.

4. Your performance is suffering. Maybe you feel like you no longer care, or that you’re simply too drained to perform at your best level.

5. You don’t feel well. Even if you have a day off or a night of good sleep, you still wind up feeling tired or unwell. You may have stomach troubles or low immunity.

6. You’re more pessimistic. You adopt a “glass half empty” mindset and can’t see the positives in things.

7. You’re more irritable. Are you on edge with other people? Irritability can stem from feelings that you’re worthless or less capable than before.

“Recognising these signs can help us identify burnout early – in both ourselves and others, be it colleagues or family members.”

What employers can do

If you’re an employer, do share this list with your employees to help them better understand what they and others might be going through and encourage them to speak up.

Most employers also have an EAP in place to help employees and their families during challenging times. This comes at no cost to the employee and all cases are treated in confidence.

Check with your EAP provider for any resources they can share, be it collateral and/or webinars to help promote this awareness initiative.

Here's to helping people spot – and stop – burnout before it's too late. Want some ideas to help your team? Book a call today.

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