Am I experiencing burnout?

Tuesday 16th April 2024 | Self-Care

What is burnout and how can we cope with it?

What is burnout?

Burnout occurs when we feel emotionally and mentally exhausted due to prolonged stress. It can lead to us feeling a loss of motivation and interest and we might find it is more difficult to complete tasks and make decisions. This can very often lead to low mood and anxiety.

We can feel burnout at any time of the year but in particular we can feel burnout during the spring months (as the weather changes we can feel a strong sense of needing to do lots), summer months (especially during exam season if we are at school, college or university), Christmas and New Year.

Burnout can impact our work, home and/or social life.


What can cause burnout?

  • Overly demanding work
  • High pressure work environment
  • Working beyond your hours
  • Not getting enough sleep
  • Finding it hard to balance your responsibilities
  • Wanting to make things perfect
  • Caring for loved ones


How do I know if I’m experiencing burnout?

Below are a list of symptoms that can indicate burnout – do you recognise any of them?

  • Feeling like a failure
  • Self-blame or self-doubt
  • Frequent illness (including infections, coughs and colds)
  • Changes in appetite
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Muscular pain and discomfort
  • Feeling tired and the strong need for napping in the day
  • Withdrawing from others
  • Low motivation
  • Finding it difficult to concentrate and complete tasks
  • Feeling alone and as though you are the only one experiencing this
  • Using alcohol to cope


How can I manage burnout?

  1. Recognising the symptoms of burnout and whether you are experiencing this – keeping a diary of situations, signs and symptoms of burnout can be helpful
  2. Find ways of managing stress including problem solving, talking to others about how you feel, identifying what pleasurable/routine activities you’re doing and whether you can re-balance them and include activities that you value. We may also find setting boundaries can be helpful, practicing relaxation and mindfulness.


You may also find our blogs post related to Stress Awareness Month to be helpful.