Burnout is one of those frightening things that working professionals often read about, hear about, but think it won’t happen to them. Regardless whether you are a high-performer, an entrepreneur, a seasoned professional or a fresh graduate entering the working world, burnout can happen to you. Burnout is a by-product of chronic stress over a long-period of time and it doesn’t just “happen” one fine morning. Hence, how can we recognize the symptoms of burnout before it hits us? Here are 8 signs that you are on the edge of being “burnt-out”.
1) Chronic Fatigue
This goes beyond the “Monday Blues”. It starts off with feeling tired or lethargic on occasions, and most people think that the tiredness will go away after spending the weekend sleeping. However, in the latter stages, you may feel constantly drained, both physically and mentally and will definitely not look forward to going to work the next day.
2) Constantly Sick
We all fall sick several times a year, from nursing the flu bug to having a fever. That is inevitable. However, when you are burnt out at work, your immune system becomes weak. Hence, the flu bug you caught never seems to recover and to make matters worse, you may be vulnerable to other medical problems.
3) Mood Swing
In a day, we all go through different emotions and moods, from feeling stressed in meeting deadlines, to feeling happy when there is a celebration. If you are burnt out, you will experience sudden mood swings and the slightest of things will make you irritated.
The problem with Asian work culture is we tend to be thinking about work even when we reach home, and thus may prevent us from sleeping properly. However, for people who are burnt out, insomnia happens on a regular basis and hence, they go to work the next day feeling more tired than the previous day.
5) Avoid Socializing
There are days when we feel like crawling into bed, reading a good book, with a nice cup of coffee. If you intentionally avoid socializing, especially with colleagues, then you may just be burnt out. People who are burnt out tend to isolate themselves and intentionally avoid interactions with people.
6) Committing Silly Mistakes at Work
We are all humans and we do commit silly mistakes at work, such as forgetting to send an email or overlooking details when preparing reports. However, if these isolated mistakes start emerging as a pattern, then you may just be burnt out from the constant work stress that you are facing.
At first, it just may be negative self-talk or that you are not confident in coping with a complex project at work. In the chronic stages, you constantly doubt yourself, and despite previously excelling at work, you start convincing yourself that you can’t do the work and that the previous successes was just down to luck.
8) Changes in Appetite
When stress, we tend to binge eat or not eat at all as we are worried about other things. However, if you experience a change of appetite and it goes on for a period of time, you are burnt out.