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The Tell-Tale Signs Of Burnout & What To Do About It

Workin' Girl

Most of the time, we don't recognize burnout until it's too late.

By the time we realize we're unmotivated or depleted, it's already in takeover mode in multiple areas of our lives and we're ready to snap on anyone in our path, if we haven't already. Despite how it might feel, burnout doesn't have control over us. It can only come in and wreak havoc when we allow it.


While it might seem like a sneaky monster, there are ways to know burnout is headed your way, making it easier for you to overcome it. Take a look at the tips below!

Negative Vibes Only

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If you find yourself resenting everything around you, and you're having a nearly impossible time being optimistic about even the smallest things, burnout might be on the horizon. Don't take those moments of irritation and annoyance lightly. The truth is, you might feel that way because you're overwhelmed in one (or multiple) areas of your life, and that's the method you use to react, even if it's subconsciously. As a remedy, try taking out some of that frustration at the gym. A good workout to flush out all of the stress you're experiencing can do wonders for you sis.

Eatin’ Too Good

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I'm guilty of this as much as the next chick. Emotional eating can come when you're in a really amazing mood and want to celebrate with cake and ice cream (cue Rihanna "and it's not even your birthday") or when you're ready to quit your job on sight so you indulge in whatever carbs and fat you can put your hands on. I can't lie, it tastes amazing, but it's not physically or mentally healthy, and could be a sign you're struggling from burnout. One solution is to discover your triggers for emotional eating and be more intentional about how you respond with your favorite foods. When those cravings come along, a glass of water could do the trick.

No Motivation

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When we do the same thing day in and out -- home, work and back again -- it can be difficult to find the excitement in life. Getting stuck in a rut is no joke. If you realize that you're not motivated at a job that you were once in love with, or that it's really hard for you to stay focused as your attention span declines on a daily, you might just be over it -- in other words burned out. It's not a bad thing at all. It happens to all of us. But it can be stopped by taking a vacation, even if all you can do is a staycation at home on a Saturday. Whatever you need, take a break from the grind and the hustle of life and unplug so you can go back recharged and motivated again to do what you love. (Also, make a habit of scheduling free time for you to do this regularly so prevent more frequent burnout in the future.)

Sleep Pattern Is Way Off

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If you're experiencing one extreme of chronic fatigue or the other, of insomnia, you might just have too much going on, and could be struggling from burnout. Having no energy and feeling completely depleted for even the smallest things and already dreading the next day before it arrives is a sign of burnout. Another side is having trouble going to sleep to begin with (and that melatonin just ain't working). While these could mean other things, they could also be an indication that you're experiencing burnout, sis. You can prevent fatigue by cutting out things like caffeine and alcohol. You can also try seeing a therapist and lowering your stress levels. When it comes to insomnia, you can get moving and exercise before bed, but also try not to go for that midnight snack.

When It Gets Physical

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Physical signs of burnout consists of heavy chest pains, not being able to breathe normally, suffering from headaches and even fainting. It might be easy to overlook some of these things as normal or just how your body operates, but the truth is, you might be doing your body more damage than good without evaluating if burnout could be the root factor. If it is, try seeing a doctor about ways to treat these symptoms and boost your energy level, ultimately winning your battle against burnout.

Going Solo

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We all like to be alone sometimes. In fact, some of us more than others. While we can put it off for the sake of being an introvert (raises hand slowly), sometimes even the most social side of us could be going through it. At work, you might find yourself closing your door more often, not wanting to do the regular chit chat with your coworkers and being a little more antisocial than your norm. At times, you could get to the point where you show up late just to steer clear of having to talk to people. If you're feeling burnout at this level, or any level, a break might be in order for you, sis. Remember, there's nothing wrong with needing a vacation. Just do what you feel is needed to get mentally clear.

Your Performance At Work Is On The Decline

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We all know when we first start a job, we're energetic, full of bright ideas and sometimes, they can't get us to stop talking. Once we get comfortable and use all of the energy we have to complete even the smallest tasks, it's easy to feel a certain level of burnout. We find ourselves speaking up less in the meetings, and not feeling like going to the meetings at all. In these moments, you can either alter your attitude or the pressure you have on yourself at work, or both. I think one of the biggest lessons learned is that we can't expect someone to look out for us when it comes to our health and mental status. So doing what's best for you shouldn't be frowned upon. Take a break and make your comeback even better than when you left.

Featured image by Getty Images

Want more stories like this? Sign up for our weekly newsletter here and check out the related reads below:

Minimize Burnout: This Is What Self-Care Looks Like – Read More

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