Are you feeling burnout? Here are the 12 stages of burnout and symptoms to help you figure it all out.
Between 2012 & 2017 the reported levels of stress in the US remained fairly consistent between 51% & 54% of adults reported feeling stressed.
In a world where stress has become a topic we now know and openly talk about, and where burnout, in particular, is a topic discussed in both the startup and corporate world – how is this possible?
Late on rent? Having trouble at work? Not being a productive person? Whatever has you stressed, perhaps being able to identify exactly where you might be on the scale of stress & burnout could help so that you are more able to identify how to counterbalance what is going on before it gets too serious.
These phases were first written about in the Scientific American Journal.
The 12 Stages Of Stress And Burnout
1. Proving yourself instead of working with a sense of ease
It is easy to get caught up in the mindset of wanting to do the best job possible in order to prove your own worth & talents to other people. Analyze how you are working, are you doing it from a sense of your own fulfillment and joy, or to prove something to yourself and others?
2. Inability to switch off at night rather than winding down and relaxing away from work
One of the earliest signs, and one which is noticeable is finding it difficult to go to sleep at night. Do you have the days problems running through your head? Do you need to use alcohol or drugs or excessive amounts of watching television or Facebook scrolling to switch off? If you are finding it hard to relax in the evening and wind down after the day you could be in stage two of burnout.
3. Not looking after your fundamental needs such as sleeping, eating properly and interacting with your friends and family
You have probably heard of Maslow's Hierarchy of needs. If you regularly ignore the foundational levels which include food, rest and friendships, this could be in stage three.
4. Displacement of conflict
At this stage, you aren’t sleeping very well, you feel overworked, you have lost some of your social connections and might feel out of sorts when you do go and see your friends. You know something is wrong but you can’t put your finger on what it is & you don’t identify it as being overworked.
Jaimie Crooks, Founder of Definitely Definitely & Global Success Coach comments on the physical symptoms which could be present at this early stage, “Mental fog is one of the first and most inescapable signs of burnout if you find yourself reading the same page five times, and still having no idea what it said, it's a key sign you've spent too long in fight or flight and it's affecting your ability to think clearly.”
5. Values are adjusted. Work becomes the only thing that is important in life
The lack you feel is now replaced by an adjustment in your fundamental values. Work becomes the most important thing in your life even if you aren’t able to see that. You might still believe your values are about love, connection, family and friends, but they have been replaced with work.
6. Denial of emerging problems
Your social contact drops even more and your personality starts to change. You blame the changes on a heavy workout and being very busy, so busy you can’t address the issues.
You’ve withdrawn now almost entirely from your friends & family. Work becomes the most important thing in your life and it becomes the only thing that helps you to feel normal.
8. Changes in behavior which friends and family notice
The changes in your personality and behavior have become so obvious now that friends and family comment. Some may become worried and some relationships can start to seriously suffer and or crumble.
Your life just becomes about the mechanics, you only view it in the present time without being able to see a view of the past or future. You are just putting one foot in front of the other now, it’s all you can do.
10. Inner emptiness
Your entire life has not been consumed by work and you feel a sense of inner emptiness. To try and fill the hole you might lean towards drinking more or taking drugs.
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Depression sets in at this stage your future is looking very bleak.
12. Burnout Syndrome
At this point, you need urgent medical attention as the symptoms can be manifesting themselves as physical symptoms.
It is important to remember that burnout can be beaten and we must all be aware of the dangers. Balance is very, very important and it is easier to address imbalances in work-life pursuits at the earlier stages of burnout. Take care of yourself and make sure you have a support network around you at all stages of your working life. Take a look at a list of positive words that'll have you feeling motivated. With some lifestyle changes and self-care in your daily routine, you can turn things around if you are feeling burned out.
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