Monday mornings consist of noisy alarm clocks, rushing to put on clothes, and the impending doom of the work week ahead. The Monday blues are a typical sentiment amongst working individuals.
However, if you are feeling this way into the middle or even the end of the week, then maybe it’s best to ask yourself this question — am I feeling burned out? We’ll review the most frequent symptoms, tips for recharging, and the stages of burnout recovery to help you avoid burnout in the future.
Burnout is a state of physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion that can occur when your personal and professional expectations don’t align. Identifying its symptoms will help you pivot towards a healthier physical and mental state.
There is a difference between feeling tired from work and feeling burned out. These are some of the most common symptoms that can help you identify early signs of burnout.
You feel emotionally drained: Your usual hobbies no longer make you happy and they feel like a chore.
Your body feels exhausted: You feel your body cannot handle as much as it used to or your daily routine is more difficult.
You feel a lack of motivation: Your usual activities take more out of you than normal and your productivity has gone down.
You feel lonely and secluded: Distancing yourself out of lack of motivation or feeling overwhelmed.
If you are experiencing the symptoms above, then now is the time to pivot to a recovery method. The time length of recovery looks different for every person with some feeling better in a matter of weeks or a few years.
Burnout researcher Diane Bernier, claims that the recovery journey includes six stages:
Starting any recovery journey first requires admitting you need to change. Admitting you are burned out will start your process and help you create the next steps.
Tip: Talk to a professional
Identify what is stressing you out and be proactive in setting boundaries. If you have the opportunity, take sick days or any action to minimize outside pressure.
Tip: Set boundaries and track your stress levels
Do activities that promote your physical and mental well-being such as getting sleep or socializing. Whatever makes you bounce out of your slump even if it’s unconventional.
Tip: Nourish and move your body
Do a self-reflection on what is missing in your life and if your work is bringing you meaning. Prioritize what is important to you such as personal hobbies, family, or friends.
Tip: Try journaling
Now that you know what you are missing and identified your needs, explore options at work. Set stress boundaries even if the work does not get done or explore other jobs.
Tip: Practice stress management techniques
Consider making changes if you choose to stay at your job. Create a work-life balance with a new project, more screen breaks if you work remotely, or advocate for yourself in advance.
Tip: Practice self-compassion
Burnout has proven to impact your physical and mental well-being — this disrupts work performance. Identifying the key symptoms and following all six stages of the recovery process will help you bounce back into a more productive and happier person.