Michelle Courtney Berry - 4 Signs of Burnout

According to the Centers for Disease Control, over a third of American adults are sleep-deprived (receiving less than six hours of sleep per night or less), and most lack quality nutrition and adequate hydration. A majority of chronic diseases could be prevented by eating better and moving more.

Add in that we don’t sleep well, we tend not to eat well, and we burn out doing the very things we thought we’d love and you have a recipe for a health disaster. Harvard Business Review reveals that a whopping 80 percent of employees are close to being burned out in most “typical” organizations. The time devoted to attending meetings, answering calls, and responding to emails takes up most of the day, leaving “little time for the critical work they must often complete on their own.”

Performance suffers as employees feel literally swallowed up by demands and requests. This leads to taking work home and becoming rightfully resentful about the lack of work-life balance or work-life integration.

Each day, most of us face some sort of internal conflict or conflict with another person at work or in our relationships.

Given all this dire news, I ask you:

  • Are you feeling exhausted all the time?
  • Are you starting to dislike or even hate your job?
  • Do you feel like you lack both capability and capacity at work?
  • Do you no longer enjoy the things you used to enjoy?

In environments of tight deadlines, conflicting expectations, perfectionism, workaholic tendencies, and changing rules, we are all at risk for burnout. Not only can burnout be harmful to emotional and physical health, but it can also damage our personal and professional relationships.

Although workers may use the terms “stressed out” and “burnt out” interchangeably, it is important to note the difference between those two states. Although they seem alike, stress and burnout aren’t the same things. Simply put, stressed-out means “too much of something.” Signs of being stressed may include overreacting to events or circumstances, increased anxiety, sweating palms, irregular emotions/hyperactivity and over-functioning that can lead to a weakened immune system.

Burnout, on the other hand, means “not enough of” or “depleted.” Signs of burnout include disengagement, blunted emotions, feelings of helplessness, loss of motivation, and depression. Burnout is a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion that will negatively impact every area of your life, if not interrupted and treated by trained professionals.

Know that it’s not your fault and seek help. Many of our current systems are broken and create conditions of overwork, overstress, and overwhelm.

If you or a loved one are facing burnout, please seek medical attention, psychotherapy, and see a trained health coach with deep experience in treating burnout and reversing its adverse effects. The road to recovery is just ahead.