Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on November 27, 2020

7 Signs You’re Burnt out (And How to Bounce Back)

7 Signs You’re Burnt out (And How to Bounce Back)

If you are in a fairly stable career, the likelihood that you’ve experienced feeling burnt out at some point is quite high. We all have moments where we get tired of doing the same thing, day in and day out. Fortunately, there are ways to get out this funk.

Burnout can happen to any of us. It can happen as a direct result of a toxic work environment, or it can creep up on us as we pour all of our energy into doing the work that we love. Either way, when signs of burnout become apparent, they tend to look the same. Furthermore, adjustments must be made to reverse burnout and to prevent it again in the future.

Behaviors and habits that can lead to burnout include staying up long nights working on projects, saying yes to every request or opportunity, taking on extra work from co-workers, and decreasing connections with your family members and friends outside of work.

Outside forces, such as ineffective leadership, unclear expectations, a toxic work culture, a persistently high workload that blocks work-life balance, and no room for growth can all raise stress levels and add to burnout.

Keep in my mind that burn out may mimic other conditions such as depression or anxiety disorder. Please see your trusted doctor or mental health provider to rule out any of these conditions.

Keep reading for some key signs and symptoms of burnout:

1. Poor Performance and Loss of Self-Confidence

Noticeable declines in work performance and confidence in your ability to complete previously mastered assignments are signs of being burnt out.

The pace of the work environment can seem faster and more demanding than ever. The goal of you doing world-class work may diminished to hopes of you barely getting by. You may have decided that staring into space or searching for a new job seems like a better alternative to working.

Poor work performance can become a routine and often leaves the person wondering how this became a problem in the first place. You may even think that your boss will call you out on your performance sooner or later.

How to Bounce Back:

Think back to the motivation you had when you were hired or when you were getting your job done with ease. Think about your thoughts and actions that allow you to perform well. The ability to perform at or around this level is still within reach.

Advertising

Make a plan to eliminate distractions at work. Also, prior to coming to work, make sure you are well rested and are eliminating interactions that drain your energy levels.

2. Pessimism

Talking about the amazing work you do has given way to negative talk. Constantly complaining over small tasks that didn’t bother you in the past is a sign of pessimism. Your co-workers may even point out that you have been increasingly negative with your communication lately.

Your outlook on life, especially work, is in the dumps. It’s harder to find positive things to say.

How to Bounce Back:

Even in the midst of feeling burnt out, your time should be spent on forward-moving thoughts.

Change the way you are looking at your current situation. Your body will do everything in its power to make sure that your actions are in alignment with your mindset and thoughts.

Therefore, thoughts that are negative and self-defeating will need to undergo a productive reframe. A high level of awareness must be initiated. Coaching yourself through negative thinking can be the first step in awareness.

When you catch yourself having negative thoughts, first ask yourself “How does this make me feel?” Then, decide if those feelings will push you closer towards your goals and priorities or keep you from taking action.

If your thoughts are not forward-moving, ask yourself what thinking and feeling the opposite of this looks like? It may seem awkward at first, but keep at it until positive thoughts are at the forefront of your thinking once again.

If this doesn’t work, try implementing a long-term gratitude practice. Studies have shown that increasing a sense of gratitude is a major factor in determining overall well-being and optimism[1].

3. Feeling Unfulfilled

Sometimes, the workplace is known for being a fast-paced, high-stress environment. Feeling like you’re part of the team and your contributions matter can really help increase your level of fulfillment.

Advertising

When our talents and strengths are highlighted in an environment, we will thrive as we get things done.

When we are constantly left out of vital conversations, we will feel irrelevant and as if things are happening to us and not on behalf of us.

How to Bounce Back:

Talk to the person in charge and discuss your concerns. Confiding in a trusted and knowledgeable co-worker prior to meeting with your boss will help to make your communication with your boss fair and objective.

Set goals and deadlines with your boss or team leader to help increase your fulfillment. Follow up with your plan of action on your goals.

Keep in mind that there will be some level of compromise, but making your boss aware of your viewpoint and feelings is a major step in feeling fulfilled and feeling like a contributing member of your team.

4. Poor Sleep Quality

Staying up late at night, tossing and turning, thinking about your day’s work can really affect your sleep quality. Studies have shown that just a few hours of missed sleep is detrimental to our performance and mental capacity[2].

How to Bounce Back:

If you’re burnt out, try setting a bedtime routine and stick to it. Make sure that your bedroom environment is supportive of a good night’s sleep[3].

Bedtime routine when feeling burnt out

    Social media never sleeps, and it’s best to cut back or eliminate your social media time for about 1 hour before you go to bed. Blue light interferes with your ability to feel sleepy and messes with your sleep cycle[4]. Your electronics can be set to switch to a softer light prior to bedtime.

    5. Dread

    The thought of work sends you into a tailspin of negative thoughts and bodily sensations. You wonder if this will ever end, and the amount of tension in your neck is at an all-time high.

    Advertising

    The feeling of dread can make you retreat from your daily activities to ruminate on the idea of returning to work. Feelings of dread steals valuable time.

    How to Bounce Back:

    Develop a routine to relax and practice deep breathing. Stress management is key when experiencing burnout.

    Consider a short breathing exercise that you can practice at work if dread or overwhelm creeps in. Go into an empty room or the bathroom, close your eyes, and take 10 deep breaths. Control your breathing as you inhale and fully exhale.

    Notice what time of the day you are needing to step away to take a breath and start scheduling your routines.

    Neck massages at bedtime or therapeutic massages may also help to relax your body and prepare you for the work week ahead. Keep in mind that self care is a necessity.

    6. Lashing out

    You notice that you are short-tempered and lash out at your loved ones more than usual. When you are feeling burnt out, you may find yourself less patient about certain things and snapping at your loved ones.

    You know they don’t deserve this treatment, and you want to get this behavior in check so that you can restore the loving, supportive environment you are used to having.

    How to Bounce Back:

    Be aware that your loved ones may not understand how your work environment is affecting you.

    Consider how you would feel if you were the recipient of irritable interactions when you didn’t have the whole picture of what was happening.

    Take time to explain your situation with your support system. Also, seek services through your work or independently in order to preserve the relationships within your support system.

    Advertising

    7. Exhaustion

    Does the phrase “this job is sucking the life out of me” ring a bell? Mental exhaustion is totally apparent when work has taken its toll on you.

    Being too tired to do simple house chores or attend events that you once loved is a sign of exhaustion.

    How to Bounce Back:

    Rethink your priorities, and set small goals to take action daily on your priorities. If your priorities include keeping a clean living area or hanging out with your friends once a week, stick to your plans.

    You will find that your mood is improved, and you are not as drained once you are doing things in alignment with your goals and priorities.

    The Bottom Line

    Feeling burnt out can creep up on you. It can be caused by personal behaviors, habits, or toxic work environments. Regardless of the factors that lead to burnout, the signs are the same.

    Awareness is the first step of knowing what is happening. The next step is taking action based on the specific signs you are displaying.

    Recovery from burnout may look like identifying the culprit that caused you to feel burnt out so that you can continue making progress in your work.

    Recovery can also require you to make a strategic exit from your current situation to restore your peace of mind and fully recover—and never look back.

    More on How to Stop Feeling Burnt out

    Featured photo credit: Niklas Hamann via unsplash.com

    Reference

    More by this author

    Mary Stewart

    Mary Stewart is a wellness coach. She helps successful professionals and entrepreneurs to take back control of their life and work.

    7 Signs You’re Burnt out (And How to Bounce Back)

    Trending in Life Balance

    1 13 Ways to Seize the Moment and Enjoy Life More 2 5 Reasons to Live in the Moment and Stop Planning Too Much 3 7 Reasons Why You’re Feeling Restless and Unmotivated 4 Balancing The Tight Rope Of Your Personal And Professional Life 5 34 Ways To Live in the Moment And Grow in the Moment

    Read Next

    Advertising
    Advertising
    Advertising

    Last Updated on January 14, 2021

    13 Ways to Seize the Moment and Enjoy Life More

    13 Ways to Seize the Moment and Enjoy Life More

    A life filled with joy is the one thing everyone wishes for. There are countless ways to reach for what you want, but when it comes to happiness, little things make all the difference. You have no idea how the simple joys of life can skyrocket your mood levels. But since you are here, you will find these 13 ways easy to practice, easy to apply in your own life and actionable in order to enjoy your life more.

    By using these methods, short moments of bliss will compound over time in huge amounts of happiness. The smallest changes recommended in this article, practiced as a way of life, will make you stand out from the overworked, overbooked, and somehow bored crowd that seems to fill every street and every room nowadays. Focus on what matters and everything else will just fall into place.

    Make sure you take the time to read all 13 tips and tricks to seize the moments. Even if you only take what resonates with you – based on your personality and bigger life purposes – you can still highly improve your life starting today.

    1. Say Yes and Say No

    Both are equally important.

    First, saying ”yes” more often can expose you to tremendous new experiences. You can think big – like finally taking that trip, or more local – like going to an improv show. Both are equally effective in transporting yourself to new states of mind.

    The other side of the always saying ”yes” coin tells a different story. You know what I’m talking about. The one that Jim Carrey got himself into in the movie ”Yes Man”. While at first saying ”yes” transformed his life in this wonderful adventure, by the end of the film, he couldn’t take it anymore. It was too much.

    This is when ”no” comes to stage. In order to be able to say ”yes” to the things you want, you must also be comfortable saying ”no” to anything and everything else. Here I include: that informal get together, that wedding, that deadline no one asked if you can make it, that shopping list and so on. You know better than I do what I am talking about and I bet you can already think of a few examples.

    Need help in saying no? Leo Babauta has this advice: The Gentle Art of Saying No

    2. Take Care of Yourself

    There is a reason why we are instructed to put our oxygen masks first in case of an emergency. If we don’t, we can’t function. If we’re not able to function, we cannot help others. During a normal week, helping others can translate to doing your job or going on with your day.

    This tip goes even further. Think about it. When you take care of yourself, you feel good. You feel good about yourself and about the day ahead. You feel like you can take on any challenge that might come your way.

    Try to look like you care about yourself.

    The quote above is from a 90s TV show. Just start there. Clean yourself up, put fresh clothing on, comb your hair and that’s it. You are ready to face the world.

    Do this every day and you’ll be ready for anything at anytime.

    Try to recall a day when you didn’t shower, didn’t change clothes and your big plan was to stay in, watch TV and indulge in some junk food. The only problem was that you needed something from the store, so you left the house looking like a mess, secretly hoping you won’t bump into anyone you know. But you did.

    Advertising

    What happened then? You tried to hide behind the shelves. When that failed, you felt uncomfortable even making eye contact and you tried to shorten the conversation as much as possible, so you could return back to the cave as fast as possible.

    Now imagine the exact same interaction with you looking nice and smelling like someone who cares about themselves. Much better, right?

    If you need more advice on how to take better care of yourself, here it is: 30 Self-Care Habits for a Strong and Healthy Mind, Body and Spirit

    3. Make a Bucket List

    You’ve seen the movie (the Bucket List, if it wasn’t clear!) You know what happens. Two elderly, facing death, decide to cooperate on one last special adventure.

    Now tell me: Why is it that only when we’re in front of something terrible do we realize how finite our life is?

    Why, when making plans, are we always thinking ”some day”?

    Why is the future always better for our most desires and the present is only good for our day-to-day tasks and responsibilities? You know: mopping the floor, grocery shopping, doing laundry.

    If you never wrote a Bucket List, don’t freak out. It doesn’t have to be filled only with life changing dangerous experiences or expensive stuff. Start small instead.

    Make a Summer Bucket List: wine in the park, that free outdoor concert. Write a Winter Bucket List: go on a sleigh ride, build a snowman.

    The idea behind this tip is to write it down. Read it every day and seize the opportunity when an item can be checked off the list. At the end, you’ll find yourself smiling every time you do it. And that’s how you turn your mundane day-to-day life to something that’s exciting and outgoing.

    4. Find a Form of Exercising That You Enjoy

    One of the best ways to seize the moment and to enjoy your life more? Exercise!

    Now, I’m sure you’ve already read this tip before, probably a gazillion times. But you have to know that it’s simply true. I’ve met so many people who have turned their life around by finding a form of exercising they enjoy. I’m a pretty good example myself as well!

    Finding a form of exercising that I like (running) has transformed my life. It has helped me cope with stress, anxiety and boredom more often than I can remember. It is both an outlet and a source of fulfillment for me, and I can’t imagine my life without it.

    And I’m not even that good of a runner! I’d call myself a passionate hobbyist. I don’t really care about racing and being the fastest, because I’m obviously not able to compete on that level. I mean, I have a friend who runs 15K in under an hour and I still find it hard to believe that such speeds are possible. I run purely because it allows me to do one of the following:

    Advertising

    • Feel good about myself
    • Challenge my body
    • Meditate
    • To blow off steam when stressed
    • To burn calories (I would probably be obese if I didn’t run, considering the amount of food I consume)

    So whenever I have a busy day at work, I go for a run afterwards and feel great.

    Feeling bored? I go for a run and feel energized again! Feeling energized and want to feel good about myself? I go for a run!

    Simply put, running always has a positive effect on my happiness. That’s why exercising is ALWAYS featured in guides on how to be happy![1]

    Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

    5. Go off Your Usual Path

    There is nothing more simple than this.

    Think about changing your route to work and back home from time to time. Think about trying that food on the menu you don’t even know what it is. Think about getting that new soda flavor. Think about listening to people you usually dodge.

    Everyone has a story to tell and most have mind-blowing ones to share. You can learn something new from every person you meet and every single new experience you try. Be prepared that sometimes the lessons come in the form of a ”no-no” example.

    6. Spend Time Outside

    You heard this one before. I know.

    But let’s try another exercise. Think about your life from the last months. I will share with you mine, so I won’t make any assumptions. I mostly work from home. Sometimes I have meetings with others, usually at their office. My parents live in an apartment, so are my friends. I shop at the mall, because I find everything I need in one place. During the summer, the days are so hot where I live that I can not stand the heat, so I avoid it. During the winter, the city is mostly grey than white, and unbelievably cold.

    What do you think these items have in common? The fact that my normal days are spent mostly inside. Even if I go to the theatre or to concerts, most are organized under a roof.

    All of us who live in the city are lacking sun exposure, some fresh air and the peace that comes with it. Just make sure your days include some down time in the sun.

    If you say it can’t be done because of your busy schedule, try walking more from one building to the other. Or just going outside while taking those short breaks from work.

    Little moments like these count and they add up in the long run. Don’t overlook them and don’t underestimate their power.

    7. Whatever You Do, Don’t Plan Every Minute

    Yes, I understand. We all have so much to do. We’re always feeling like we’re running a marathon, sometimes like we’re in the army. But we are not. And we don’t have to be.

    Advertising

    Let life happen a little bit.

    If you are reading this, chances are that you have at least some control over your schedule. Don’t book every minute with activities. Leave time for leisure, for spontaneity. Your brain will thank you for this. Your energy levels too. And even your moods.

    This way, you also make room for the unexpected. For being able to say ”yes” to that impromptu invitation to see a street performance, to enjoy a picnic or simply a walk in the park or a coffee date.

    8. Ditch the Digital

    Hear me out. I’m not saying to go completely off-grid. I do benefit from the advantages technology has to offer too. But I keep it under control.

    The studies are clear on this. The World Happiness Report that comes out every year backs it up. People spend more time online than interacting in person with each other, which has unprecedented negative side effects on our happiness levels[2]

    The logic is simple. If you want to keep your happiness level up or to give it a boost, all you have to do is go old-school. Pay someone a visit. Read a magazine. Instead of watching a movie at home, look for an art exhibition. Possibilities are endless once you focus on the little things.

    Try these 5 Simple Ways to Unplug and Be More Mindful In Your Life.

    9. Ditch the Map, the Clock and the Reviews

    Just go. Aziz Ansari did a stand-up where he pointed out to the fact that recently we all feel complied to make the best possible decision every time. Even if it’s all about buying a toothbrush.

    I know this applies to you too. When leaving for a vacation, I bet you already had an itinerary planned for every day of your stay. Right? If not, my apologies. But if that’s you all the time, I will make a bold recommendation.

    Ditch the map of the city. Don’t read the reviews for the restaurant, just sit down at a table and order. Don’t look at your watch, do what you feel like, be it 2 in the morning or afternoon.

    10. Learn Something New Continuously

    Don’t get comfortable in your ways. ”You don’t know where the rabbit is jumping from” is a saying in my country, referring to the fact that we don’t know where or when the next opportunity will show itself.

    If you always wanted to cook better, but don’t have the time, the energy, or the skill to organize yourself to do so, look for a cooking class. You don’t know where the rabbit is jumping from and maybe you’ll meet someone who will change your life.

    Don’t wait for others to do things. I know we all wish to do things with our friends, but sometimes they don’t share the same interests. Don’t let that stop you. And remember, there’s no better time like the present, no perfect time in the future.

    You’ll thank yourself and you’ll have some good stories to tell next time you chat with someone new in one of your adventures.

    Advertising

    Some inspirations for you: How to Learn Something New Every Day and Stay Smart

    11. Reward Yourself

    This is for you and for you only.

    Reward yourself for every little thing you do the way you want. You had a good work day when everything you planned was done? Buy yourself an ice cream.

    Rewards have double powers. First, the more obvious one – you give yourself a moment, be it in the form of an ice cream, a new pair of shoes you had your eyes on, or movie tickets.

    The second power of a reward is that it acts as a motivation.

    Everything on this list is connected. You try something new, you meet someone new. You don’t wait, you make it happen. You challenge yourself, you reward yourself.

    12. Volunteer

    The correlation between volunteering and happiness is undisputable. The World Happiness Report says that even just giving time to others increases one’s whole well-being.[3] Prosocial behaviour, like volunteering, is a double edged sword.

    First, it makes you feel better which will make you act in the same positive way in the future; and second, it spreads happiness to someone else.

    You can volunteer to do thousands of activities, but remember, we’re talking about the smallest possible actions you can take to boost your joy. Think about holding the door, giving flowers, paying compliments, smiling, returning a lost item. These small things all do wonders when trying to spread other people’s happiness, and paradoxically, this also increases our own happiness.

    13. Sleep

    Now, this sounds a bit counter-intuitive, doesn’t it? Yes and no. The same principle from using the oxygen mask first applies.

    There are countless studies that state the same thing. Without getting enough sleep, we are more prone to errors, we fail to retrieve memories or to finish a basic task, even thoughts. The amount one needs differs from one person to another.

    I need an average of 8+ hours. I stopped trying to change and feeling guilty about it, I just work my life around the fact that I sleep more than most. Otherwise, I don’t function at full capacity and it keeps me from enjoying the hours when I’m awake.

    Why do that?

    The Bottom Line

    Being happy is a state of mind that can easily be influenced by the smallest actions we take every day. Make a commitment to yourself, cover the basics, set some principles – easy to follow, and breathe. What you need to remember is that you have to make your life work for you. As long as you know what you value, you’ll know what to do to seize the day and enjoy life more.

    More About Happiness

    Featured photo credit: Donald Giannatti via unsplash.com

    Reference

    Read Next