We all have those moments when we look around and realize the way we’re living and working…well, isn’t working. When we have that wake-up-call moment, we realize that we’d been missing some signs — be they physical, emotional, interpersonal, or professional — that something wasn’t right.
Burnout is a significant issue across most career fields, with dire consequences for individuals and businesses alike, according to a growing body of research. As we push through the whirlwind obligations of our busy lives, it can be hard to recognize the symptoms and signs of burnout before they reach a critical point and demand to be addressed.
1. Making Careless Mistakes
It was only in retrospect that I recognized that one of the signs of burnout was making the kind of stupid, careless mistakes that lead to minor irritations such as being locked out, leaving my laptop at home, scratching the car, or getting the date wrong for an important family event. At work, I was (just about) keeping my head above the water.
2. Losing Your “Voice”
When I look back on the signs I was heading towards a burnout, the biggest one that stands out for me is the feeling of losing my voice. Not physically, but metaphorically. When I’m not taking enough care of myself my ideas dry up. I feel like I have nothing to say or share. Now, as soon as I start to feel this way, I immediately evaluate if I’m making time for me, and if not, I get right back to it.
3. Taking Everything Personally
I began to get really tearful and sensitive to conflict. As a manager I was always okay with confrontation, but then all of a sudden I started to take things really personally and get upset by peoples’ comments. Suddenly conflict was all about me.
4. Exhaustion Despite Regular Sleep
My wake up call came when I realized that despite sleeping 8 hours a night, I was experiencing many of the symptoms of chronic insomnia! This realisation caused me to evaluate whether the stress was really worth it and made me think about my longer term goals. To improve things immediately, I started taking proper breaks, including having lunch away from my desk.
5. Inability To Concentrate
The effects of burnout were insidious. I lost the ability to concentrate. My thoughts worked more like a Twitter feed of ideas with no follow through. I no longer had patience for reading a long book or watching a movie. How did I fix? I taught myself how to learn again.
If you’d like to see the full list of 13 Hidden Signs of Burnout from Thrive Global, you can click here!
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