Have you been feeling sluggish lately? Overwhelmed at work? Easily irritated?
These signs of stress can indicate that you’re on the path to burning out, which can lead to depression, anxiety, and weight gain. And they may also mean that you’re in serious need of a vacation.
Experts say it’s important to take care of yourself at the first hint of burnout to ensure you’re not working yourself into the ground. So, if you’re experiencing one or more of these signs, consider giving yourself a break to de-stress and clear your head:
You’re always tired.
If you find yourself feeling tired more often than usual, ask yourself if it could be a symptom of a bigger problem. Chronic fatigue, in which you move slowly, take extra time to do daily tasks, and constantly feel drained, is a sign you’re burnt out. This type of physical exhaustion can lead to psychological exhaustion, even creating a sense of dread about going to work in the morning.
You don’t take care of yourself.
When you’re feeling overly tired or stressed, unhealthy habits begin to take over. If you find yourself constantly craving junk food, drinking more than usual, or relying on coffee to keep you moving, it might be time to take a load off.
You’re always working, but still feel like you should be working more. Or maybe your heavy workload causes you to feel guilty when you don’t complete everything you wanted to that day, forcing you to work more. Working yourself to the bone won’t help you be more productive, so give yourself a break.
Your phone is a source of stress.
Phones can be helpful, allowing us to make sales, solve problems, and keep in touch with friends and family. However, if the sound of your ringer gives you anxiety or makes you feel overwhelmed, it’s a sign you’re getting burned out.
You have a negative attitude.
If you find your usually optimistic self constantly frustrated, cynical, or in a bad mood, it might be a sign that you need to recharge. Though everybody has their off days, if you’re experiencing them more than normal, you need to take a step back.
You can’t concentrate.
When you’re mentally exhausted, it becomes difficult to concentrate, focus, and remember important information. If projects start to take twice as long as they should, or you find yourself re-reading things multiple times, it might be time to take a break. Once you recharge, you’ll be able to be more productive.
You can’t sleep.
If you’re constantly thinking about the mountain of work you need to face the next day to the point where you can’t sleep, it could be a sign that you’re on the path to burning out. Though insomnia may start as trouble sleeping a few nights a week at first, it can turn into a nightly problem preventing you from getting any sleep, no matter how tired you are.
You’re always thinking about work.
Even after you’ve left the office, you find yourself worrying about what might go wrong in tomorrow’s meeting or a tiff you got into with a coworker earlier that day. If stress puts you constantly on edge, you’ll likely forget the reasons you actually like your job.
You’ve lost your ambition.
Starting out, you push yourself to be the best at your job, to get promoted, and to help your company grow. But if you’ve lost your competitive spirit, you’re probably stuck in a mental rut, which isn’t doing your career any favours. Give yourself a break, and take time to rethink your goals.
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