Did you know that about 23% of workers feel burned out more often than not? Did you know that 83% of workers in the U.S. struggle with work-related stress? People tend to be working more than ever, and while that might make you feel productive, you could just be busy and overworking yourself.
Maybe you’re working extra hours to get a project done. Maybe you’re a business owner trying to grow your marketing efforts without having a design team management solution. Whatever the case, work can be a huge source of unhealthy stress.
Unfortunately, that puts you at a greater risk of experiencing burnout. That’s more than just a buzzword that gets thrown around a lot today. Burning out due to work can have serious consequences on your mental and physical health. Burnout can contribute to:
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
It doesn’t necessarily have to be work that is causing you to burnout. Other factors of everyday life can contribute to it, including relationships, children, your social life, or schedule commitments.
The biggest problem with burnout is that many people ignore it until it leads to even bigger mental or physical health issues. So, it’s incredibly important to pay attention to the signs and signals your body might be giving you. When you do, you can know when and how to take a step back, give yourself some space, and breathe.
With that in mind, how can you tell if you’re burning out? Let’s look at some of the most common signs.
1. You’re Getting Sick A Lot
As stated above, excess stress and burnout can cause a variety of health problems. It can even weaken your immune system, opening you up to the risk of getting sick more often. If you find yourself feeling tired and sluggish all the time, or you’re frequently getting colds, the flu, or you just feel lethargic and drained, it could be one of the first signs that you’re burning yourself out.
It’s also one of the easiest signs to recognize. Additionally, if you find that you’re having trouble focusing or concentrating, or you get frequent headaches, it could be another sign of burnout. You know your mind and body better than anyone. So, be sure you’re staying in tune with yourself in order to know when to give yourself a break.
2. Struggles in Your Relationships
When you’re overly-stressed, it tends to bleed out into everything you do. Unfortunately, that could cause trouble in your relationships. If you’re married or in a committed relationship with someone, your partner may be able to “catch” your stress even if you don’t talk about it. It can make you more irritable, less patient, and you might find yourself “snapping” at your partner for no reason.
It goes far beyond romantic relationships. When you’re overly stressed and on the verge of a burnout, you might find yourself being more irritable with your co-workers, family members, or even your own children. If you’re starting to feel like your personality is changing due to the stress you’re under, you could be on the brink of a burnout.
3. You Take Work Home With You
Does it feel like there are never enough hours in the day to get your work done? Or, maybe you just want to complete one more thing, or one more project, or it will be on your mind all night. As a result, you might bring work home with you more often than not.
Unfortunately, doing so means you aren’t giving your mind a break from the stress of your workday. It’s important to have set working hours and stick to them each day, and that even includes answering work emails after hours. You need to give yourself time to rest, recharge, and reset. If you do consistently bring work home, the quality of that work might start to suffer due to the stress you’re putting yourself under.
4. You Don’t Feel Fulfilled or Satisfied
When you experience burnout, you rarely get excited about the things you used to enjoy. At work, you might experience a lack of motivation or a drop in productivity. When you’re home, you might not want to do the things you typically like to do, including spending time with loved ones.
It might seem as though nothing will make you happy or keep you satisfied. That can put you at a greater risk of depression, which can perpetuate some of the symptoms listed earlier.
It’s important to find satisfaction in life. It leads to contentment, which leads to feeling fulfilled. Without those things, it’s easy to regularly reel down on yourself and wonder what your purpose truly is.
5. Your Performance is Suffering
One of the ironic things about experiencing burnout, especially from work, is that it can negatively impact your performance. You might be working more because you want to do better, but you could be creating work that isn’t the same quality it once was.
When you’re burned out, you simply can’t produce high-quality work. You also will likely be less motivated to do as much, and your productivity will slip. One way to track this is to look at the work you completed six months ago. How does it compare to the work you’re putting out today?
Additionally, if you’ve been receiving more feedback or constructive criticism from your employer, it could be due to a lack of productivity or a slip in the quality of your work. There’s an old saying that suggests you can’t pour from an empty cup. If you’re not taking the time to take care of yourself, you can’t give more of yourself to your job, your relationships, or your life in general.