No one is a robot. Balancing your full-time job, family and other responsibilities can be overwhelming and stressful even to the strongest person.

You will experience days when you feel too lazy to go to work and want to return home early so that you can relax, but you have an endless list of tasks that have to be complete before you put your needs first.

Sound familiar to you?

It can be difficult to recognize whether what you are going through is burnout, or you are just tired. Burnout is associated with massive psychological discomfort due to excessive and prolonged stress rendering you helpless and hopeless.

This article has put together 12 warning signs that indicate that you’re headed for burnout and those that you need to watch out for and what self-care practice you can put in place to put your life back in track.

1. Feeling physically and emotionally exhausted

Burnout drains your energy both physically and emotionally. You will feel tired most of the days, experience fatigue and a lack of enthusiasm to practice healthy habits such as exercise, diet, and good sleep.

2. You are becoming negative and cynical

Have you become pessimistic, and frequently, you feel that nothing is working out?

You are negative and begin to doubt your value. Maybe you’ve become resentful and disconnected from your colleagues, friends, and family. You feel cranky, and always talk negative about yourself and snapping at people because you doubt their motives.

3. You have lost passion for the things you enjoyed doing

Burnout makes you feel that there is something better you can spend your time doing other than taking care of yourself. You practically find no time to do any hobbies and other interests thus lose passion in those activities.

4. You are always thinking about work

If you can’t put the work brain on shut down, you are exhibiting the most common symptom of burnout. It is characterized by constant thinking about work-related problems and trying to solve them even when you are supposed to be getting rest.

5. You become less productive than before

Burnout sucks out the energy and motivation of becoming fruitful and doing better at work. You will find your pace has slowed down and are working long hours yet producing very little.

6. You experience physical illnesses more often

When headed for burnout, your body will start responding to the anxiety that comes along by causing unexplainable physical symptoms such as chronic headaches, lingering colds, muscle aches, different rashes, etc.

7. You become unreasonably angry with little things

Your mind is in a constant state of fight or flight. You feel tense at all times and are no longer thinking straight, and minor issues might bring out a heightened anger outburst that doesn’t match the situation.

8. You feel that time is never enough

On your way to burnout, you will always think that you have many things to accomplish in one day and 24 hours is not enough time. This feeling might make you be in a constant hurry to do things and never really finishing any tasks.

9. You are not getting enough sleep

With the feeling that your time is limited and not enough to accomplish tasks, you will develop a tendency of working late and taking overtime. You are also anxious about work; will spend your sleep time thinking about what to activities to do the next day.

10. You are unhappy about your work

The bad mood will eventually manifest at your workplace and performance. It is an aspect of burnout that makes you feel that nothing is satisfying anymore. Being overworked with no sleep will result in frequent mood changes.

11. You feel you are not doing enough

If you are heading to burnout, there is a constant voice in your head screaming loud at you about the need to do more, put more effort and that whatever you are doing is not enough. This feeling of inadequacy will affect your work and relationships negatively.

12. You are more than just tired

When you’re burning out, sleep time or time off no longer recharge your energy and motivation to face new days. You don’t feel refueled or charged with new energy when you rest.

How do you practice self-care to avoid heading for burnout?

●       Engage in activities that nourish your mind, body, and soul – Take that vacation you have been procrastinating for all these months. Engage in your hobbies.

●       Make your health a priority- Practise healthy eating habits, exercising and getting enough sleep. You can practice meditation to calm your mind to enable it to think straight and concentrate.

●       Set goals – What you wish to achieve at the end of each task, categorize the duties and deal with one at a time to avoid being overwhelmed by multiple tasks.

●       Take breaks during your work to recharge yourself – Find time to take a stroll or take a deep breath. Unplug during your time off and have fun.

●       Seek help – Do not underestimate the power of sharing your problem with a professional or someone who supports you.

Final thoughts

You are used to doing many things at once and are always rushing to achieve your goals. However, if you want to come out the other side of burnout, you must take everything slow and give yourself time to heal. Exhaustion doesn’t come overnight; therefore, don’t expect it to go away in that way.

Follow the above steps of self-care, and you will be more likely to lead a balanced, happier life both at work and at home. Make your physical, mental and emotional health a priority even if you have the busiest of schedules.

Dylan Menders