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Understanding Burnout

The symptoms to watch out for.

BY Beryl Karimi-La Patrona

Feb 28, 2023, 10:31 AM

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We are living in a capitalistic society and that means that we have to constantly be productive because the system we live in has led us to believe that we are only useful when we are being productive.

The downside to that is that the human body has its limit and when we do not balance work and life as we should, the body reaches its limit in the worst way possible. 

Burnout is what happens when the body can no longer sustain productivity. It manifests as mental and physical exhaustion and, if not handled well, can lead to a complete breakdown. 

It is vital to recognize the symptoms of burnout from early on. Here are some of the indicators you should watch out for. 


Irritability shows itself as getting upset at minor details that would not be otherwise a bother when you are at your best.

If you find yourself getting more easily angry than you usually are or screaming at the people you live with when you are usually not like that, then it could mean you are overwhelmed at work and you need to take a step back.

Insomnia Or Sleep Problems.

Our bodies are regulated by sleep. If you suddenly find yourself unable to sleep it is a clear indication that there's something that is not going right with your life and it is affecting you.

Sleep problems could also be categorized as waking up tired after a night's sleep. That is not normal. Sleeping should make you feel well-rested and if that isn't the case then you are probably experiencing burnout and your body requires rest. 

Lack Of Motivation.

The key to a healthy working relationship with yourself is your ability to stay motivated and interested in your work.

If you find that you have lost all the drive and passion for your work, you have reached your limit and your body can no longer sustain productivity.

Emotional Exhaustion.

When you are experiencing burnout, it starts by affecting your mental health. Feeling emotionally tired and drained both in your personal life and at work is usually the first sign and one that should not be taken lightly.

This is easily noticeable. It often manifests itself as not being able to sustain conversations with the people around you and needing to go home and take a nap when you are at work. 


Feeling a complete lack of love for your work when it's something that used to excite you when you started means that you have given everything you have to give and you are now experiencing burnout and you need some time off. 


Avoiding work-related conversations because they overwhelm you is another sign that you are on your way to burnout. 

Work should be relaxing. What you do every day should not be causing you anxiety but it happens when you are pouring from an empty cup. 

Increased Absenteeism.

When some people are experiencing burnout, they find that they are struggling to get out of bed in the morning when they should be getting ready for work.

If you find yourself calling in sick more often just to stay in bed you should take a step back and re-evaluate the state of your mental health as far as work is concerned. 

Physical Illnesses.

This is usually your body's last defence in forcing you to rest. They start as regular headaches, and fatigue and sometimes can be as fatal as blood pressure and heart disease.