Warning signs you are headed for burnout.

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Match on fire

Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Burnout can derail your life.

Burnout is usually associated with the inability to continue to work. Burnout can result in

poor work performance, getting fired, or employees quitting. Burnout has also been reported in caregivers for the seriously ill. If your emotional exhaustion is interfering with your ability to work, and that work may include caring for ill family members, don’t wait for the breakdown. If you have any of the symptoms alone, seek help.

Whenever you experience physical symptoms, it’s wise to start by seeing a medical Doctor and rule out a medical cause for your symptoms. But if the doctor can find nothing organically wrong that doesn’t mean you should ignore the problem. When you’re under stress over a long period, your emotional system takes a beating. Here are some warning signs you may be headed for burnout and no longer be able to cope with the life you’re living.

Extreme low energy for no apparent reason may be burnout.

Burnout often begins with emotional exhaustion. When things come out you faster than you can cope with your emotional system can become stressed out. You are suffering from emotional exhaustion pay attention and make some changes in your life.

Reduced ability to sleep is common in burnout.

Whenever you notice a change in your sleep patterns, look for a cause. Having too much on your plate, getting to bed too late and getting up too early puts you at risk for emotional exhaustion and work burnout. But if you go to bed early and still can’t fall asleep, if you have frequent awakenings or wake up far too early in the morning and can’t get back to sleep, this suggests that something is impairing your sleep. Don’t ignore changes in sleep, do something about them.

Loss of appetite can be a sign of depression.

If you find that you have trouble eating, losing weight for no apparent reason, think about the emotional stresses taking place in your life. Loss of appetite can be a symptom of a serious major depressive episode. Your body can’t run well without healthy fuel. Don’t wait till your body has paid the price before you do something about reducing your stress.

Loss of ability to focus, concentrate, or remember may be from burnout.

People who are suffering from burnout find they will have difficulty with paying attention and focusing on tasks at hand. As burnout becomes more severe, there are less and less mental resources available to stay on task. Burnout by itself will impair your thinking. Add in the loss of sleep and changes in appetite and your ability to function can decline dramatically.

Burnout causes increased forgetfulness.

People suffering from burnout tend to forget. It’s the minds way of protecting you from too much to do. Pay attention to this warning sign.

Being both physically and emotionally drained are symptoms of burnout.

Burnout begins with emotional exhaustion but frequently progresses to leave you physically drained also. If getting extra sleep on the weekend doesn’t bring you back to normal pay attention to that worn-out feeling. Don’t wait for the nervous breakdown before acting. People who reach the more severe levels of burnout may be unable to return to their job or may even be unable to work in the future.

Burnout causes Loss of motivation.

People can get through some very difficult times if they have a meaning or purpose in life. If you stopped caring about what you do and why you do it life will become much more difficult. Think about ways you have motivated yourself in the past. Study motivation techniques. But if you find you are just to worn out to care you’ve reached a level of serious burnout.

Frequent illnesses can be the result of burnout.

Unhealthy stress increases the chances you will become sick. Stress reduces your resistance to infection. Burned-out workers use more sick days each year than there are emotionally healthy co-workers. Don’t lose a large chunk of your life to burnout related illnesses.

Physical symptoms with no apparent medical cause may be burnout.

Burnout related stresses put a heavy burden on many of the systems of the body. Burnout along with anxiety and major depression overlap a great many physical issues. Check with the doctor first but also consider ways to reduce the stress and to learn new more effective ways to cope with ongoing stressors.

Burnout could cause constant, high anxiety.

If the anxiety is your constant companion but others around you don’t perceive any real danger you may have become hyper-vigilant always on the lookout for something that could go wrong. Excessive levels of anxiety are another symptom of burnout.

Burnout causes an increase in anger and irritability.

As people’s level of burnout increases, they become harder and harder to be around. If you find it difficult to get along with people at work who used to be your friends, ask yourself if you’re becoming more irritable. Don’t wait for your irritability to become anger and your anger to result in doing things you regret. Coworkers suffering from burnout are a major source of workplace violence. Seek help before you do something you’ll regret.

More posts about – Burnout.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Three David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

SasquatchWandering through a hole in time, they encounter Sasquatch. Can they survive? The guests had come to Meditation Mountain to find themselves. Trapped in the Menhirs during a sudden desert storm, two guests move through a porthole in time and encounter long extinct monsters. They want to get back to their own time, but the Sasquatch intends to kill them.

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For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.


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