5 Signs of Burnout (and How We Can Help)

Hey, have you paid attention to your own well-being lately? The best way to manage your inner well-being is to catch these 5 telltale signs of burnout, early. 

Burnout is defined as “the state of having no energy or enthusiasm because of working too hard.” 

It is often described as a negative reaction to prolonged or chronic job stress. 

(Source: Photo by Nataliya Vaitkevich from Pexels)

Sadly, it has become increasingly common with searches for ‘signs of burnout’ showing a 24% increase throughout 2020, compared to 2019.

“Working from home has negatively affected the mental health of more than half of our workforce. 57% of Malaysian employees say they feel lonely and isolated, because they’ve been working from home.” - Ipsos (Market research firm)


1. Obvious Disinterest At Work

If you are experiencing burnout, you may view your job as increasingly stressful and frustrating, growing more cynical about your working conditions and daily tasks.

One sign is a clear lack of interest or enthusiasm regarding any task you’re working on (big or small).

Even the projects that used to make you feel fulfilled, now only leave you feeling completely depleted. 

In the worst case scenario, this attitude of indifference can extend beyond your work and negatively impact your private life – outside of the office.

If you’re struggling to muster up even a shred of enthusiasm for things that used to energise you, that’s a giant, waving red flag not just for burnout, but for depression too. (If you think you might be depressed, talk to your doctor or a mental health professional.)

(Source: Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels)

2. Alienation From Colleagues

Burnt out employees also tend to stay away from their peers at work, preferring to keep to themselves. 

If you’re suddenly exhausted all the time and skipping on social events, it could be a sign of burnout. You may also become quite cynical about your relationships with other colleagues or how you perceive yourself. 

Source: Photo by Keira Burton from Pexels

3. Decreased Performance And Productivity

You may hate work tasks and find you have difficulty concentrating. You may also experience a dip in self-esteem, which could lead you to believe that you are incompetent, disliked, or unwanted.

This could manifest in behaviours such as taking multiple breaks in a day, turning in your work later than usual or having trouble focusing.

As you might expect, this disinterest in daily tasks often leads to poorer performance—because people who are burnt out simply don’t care enough to do things well.

(Source: Photo by Tara Winstead from Pexels)

4. Mental/Emotional Exhaustion 

Burnout causes you to feel drained, unable to cope, and tired, without the energy to get things done. You may also notice yourself saying things like “I feel so lethargic” or “I have no energy to carry out any of my tasks”.

Fatigue and an overall feeling of exhaustion are commonly-cited indicators of burnout. You’ll not only deal with a lack of energy physically, but you can also feel emotionally depleted and drained.

So, if getting yourself out of bed and to the office each day is a more demanding challenge than normal, you could be tiptoeing into burnout territory. Or if you suddenly notice yourself feeling dispirited or disengaged compared to how you usually are, that could also be a sign of burnout!

(Source: Photo by Tara Winstead from Pexels)

5. Physical Symptoms

Burnout can cause physical symptoms such as headaches, stomach aches or intestinal issues. If you notice yourself complaining about ailments which result in your sudden behaviour of taking many sick leaves consecutively, start seeking counsel with your doctor.

Burnout doesn’t have a consistent physical manifestation for everyone. However, these numerous physical complaints have been reported to be associated with burnout:

  • Insomnia
  • Chest pain
  • Headaches
  • Increased illness
  • Heart palpitations
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Gastrointestinal pain

There could be other explanations for these sorts of aches, pains, and issues. But especially if you’re experiencing them together with the emotional/mental exhaustion signs discussed above, then it might serve as a physical indicator of your burnt out state. 

(Source: Photo by Pixabay from Pexels)

We’re Here To Help

If one or more of these signs above sound like what you might be experiencing, it’s time to consider maintaining a healthy balance of work and play!

Check out what our team of experts at Enfiniti Academy have carved out in our Creative Corporate Wellness & Stress Relief programme. 

Our latest training “Corporate Wellness & Stress Relief Techniques” is one-of-a-kind as it uses drama techniques to help alleviate stress and improve your overall well-being. 

Good news is, we’re available both online and in-person! (Do take note that we’re located in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.)

So, why not give it a go and join us for a session! Email us at enact@enfiniti.com.my or fill in our enquiry form here

You can also connect with us on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter!

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