Signs you might be experiencing burnout

Signs you might be experiencing burnout

By Jake Lamberton.

The ideas of workplace stress and burnout have been around for a long time but with the current state of the world and workplace arrangements changing day to day, the ideas of workplaces stress and burnout have become even more relevant. Generally when we think of workplace stress we think of the demands of the work exceeding the capacity that a person has to cope with those demands. But this type of stress continued for a long period of time can lead to a much more pervasive condition known as burnout. Burnout is characterised by three main aspects:

  1. Overwhelming exhaustion.
  2. Feelings of cynicism and detachment from the job.
  3. A sense of ineffectiveness and lack of accomplishment.


The Victorian Better Health Chanel lists a number of common symptoms that can accompany burnout.

Physical symptoms

  • Fatigue
  • Muscular tension
  • Headaches
  • Heart palpitations
  • Sleeping difficulties, such as insomnia
  • Gastrointestinal upsets, such as diarrhoea or constipation
  • Dermatological disorders


Psychological symptoms

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Discouragement
  • Irritability
  • Pessimism
  • Feelings of being overwhelmed and unable to cope
  • Cognitive difficulties, such as a reduced ability to concentrate or make decisions


Behavioural symptoms

  • An increase in sick days or absenteeism
  • Aggression
  • Diminished creativity and initiative
  • A drop in work performance
  • Problems with interpersonal relationships
  • Mood swings and irritability
  • Lower tolerance of frustration and impatience
  • Disinterest
  • Isolation


If you recognise the signs of burnout in yourself it may be a good idea to work through the following list of changes and improvements to bring in to your life.

  1. Changing work patterns – flexible schedule, more/less WFH, taking more breaks, minimizing overtime.
  2. Developing coping skills – assertiveness skills, conflict resolution skills, cognitive restructuring skills, time management/organisation skills.
  3. Obtaining social support – talking to friends, family and colleagues about your current levels of stress.
  4. Utilizing relaxation strategies – yoga, mindfulness, meditation, breathing techniques, grounding techniques, progressive muscle relaxation, guided imagery.
  5. Promoting good health and fitness – focussing on getting 7-9 hours of sleep every night, exercising for 30 minutes every day, eating a varied diet full of vegetables, avoiding too much alcohol, caffeine and tobacco.
  6. Seeing a psychologist to help implement any of the above techniques and to develop a better self-understanding.


This blog was written by Jake Lamberton, to learn more about Jake’s experience, click here.

To book an appointment with Jake or one of our other Psychologists, click here.



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