Today - more than any time I can recall - far too many people are burned out and don't know it. There are a lot of reasons behind their stories of course; but I've found that the signs of burnout are fairly common. This list is from several sources that I've used in my coaching work.
See if you're at risk:
1. Interpersonal problems - If you're emotionally drained at work, it becomes more difficult to deal with others. And when conflicts occur, you may overreact (emotional outburst or increased hostility). Then, you'll start to isolate from other people.
2. Emotional fatigue - Most of us feel dissatisfied, angry, frustrated or depressed from time to time. But caught in the burnout cycle, these negative emotions become predominant. Just maintaining yourself throughout the day becomes tiring - you can lose the ability to face challenges with a positive attitude.
3. Low productivity - During a burnout phase it's common to experience a loss of enthusiasm for projects. You may feel disillusioned or cynical, making it difficult to concentrate and harness the energy required. You may begin to question whether your job is meaningful.
4. Health Problems - Do you feel constantly tired and run down? As your emotional reserves are depleted, you begin to experience physical problems. Common symptoms include headaches, back pain, colds, insomnia, rashes, chest pains, GI problems. Sleep problems are common.
5. Addictions - An increase or decrease in food intake may accompany job burnout - keep an eye on your weight and sleep cycles. To cope with the chronic stress, some people resort to an increased intake of caffeine, prescription drugs, pot, and/or alcohol. Normal activities such as television or computer use can also become addicting.
6. Obsessive Thinking - After hours, work continues to preoccupy your mind, - even when you're physically involved with other pursuits. Spiritual, religious or recreational practices fail to offer relief. Your thoughts might continually focus on problems rather than on solutions.
If you find yourself in these situations, get help. Therapists, doctors, counsellors, coaches, family members or friends may be able to get you moving in the right direction. Don't try to 'turn your back' on them...
Here's to your future.