Signs that You’re Getting Burned Out and Will Soon Crash

If you read my article focused on taking a leap of faith, it talks about taking a chance. I followed through on one of the goals in that article by quitting my job, going to India and meditating in an ashram for a month. At least that was the plan.

But the best-laid plans…well, let’s just say that my ashram experience lasted about two days. After two days of getting in touch with myself, my brain exploded with ideas and I was overloaded with stuff I wanted to do. I excitingly then went and tried to accomplish most of those things. At the end of the month, I felt incredibly productive.

Alas, I had to come back to America and everything is now lined up to start my new job. But the problem was that this past week, I have literally crashed. Do you ever get that way? Where you do something that excites you and so in turn, you do more and more of it? Well, it all caught up with me and I didn’t realize how exhausted my body was.

Even when I crash, I can’t sit still. So I started reading more into exhaustion and it turns out that according to HBR, 50 percent of Americans say they are often or always exhausted due to work. If you really step back and look at it, that statistic is alarming. If you are among the one out of every two people who feel this way, there are multiple signs that you are going to crash that you should heed.

If you start seeing these signs, it’s time to think about how to not get to that point of exhaustion – and even burnout:

  • Feeling tired – When you get home and you are too tired to “adult.” You are too tired to go to the gym or cook or even talk to friends. If this happens more often than not, that’s something you should pay attention to and try to address.
  • Motivation – I rely a ton on the internal motivation for everything. It doesn’t take much to motivate me. When you start getting to that point of exhaustion, you might find that it’s harder to get moving again. I had a friend who went through a very serious burnout and she would tell me how it was draining to get to work every day and how it would get more difficult every day.
  • Mood swings – I saw this quite often with a woman I used to manage. Every time she would get too stressed or start experiencing burnout, she would lash out. Lashing out, however, is not the only form this can take – it can also take the form of anger or hopelessness.
  • Job performance – Another big indicator is your job performance changing drastically from one period to the next. It can be positive or negative.
  • Obsession – When you’re not at work, do you obsess over work? Do you keep thinking about it?

If you start feeling or showing these signs, it is time to reflect on your priorities. We only have one life to live and we don’t want to shorten it by increasing health risks along with emotional dissatisfaction. Your body will usually let you know when something is not right. Trust your intuition, if you feel like you need to take steps to avoid burning out, you’re probably right.

Trust yourself and pause a moment to avoid larger issues down the road.

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Avatar photo Leah Anderson

Thanks for sharing these tips and your experience dealing with burn out. I think many of us have a hard time admitting burn out because it can be perceived as weak or ineffective in a professional setting. Yet, if we allow ourselves to identify and avoid burn out before it happens, by taking a break or re-evaluating things, we’re actually much more happy and productive people!