Symptoms Of Burnout And How To Combat Them

Updated August 28, 2020

Medically Reviewed By: Laura Angers

Feeling exhausted from your job, school, or life, in general, is very common. These feelings are commonly referred to as signs of burnout. Burnout is something that can happen when you are spread incredibly thin and feel as though you are lost in the mix of life’s happenings.Job burnout is not specific to any one group of people. It can happen to anyone who is excessively tired and stressed from work.There could be a wide variety of causes and symptoms of burnout that you are experiencing, whether you have identified them or not.

What Are The Symptoms Of Job Burnout?


Above all, it is important to note that stress and burnout are heavily related. According to Tania Diggory in an article from Medical News Today, “High volumes of stress over a long period can lead to exhaustion and, therefore, burnout.” Job burnout can lead to many unhealthy behaviors and a considerable amount of stress. There are many signs of burnout that one can exhibit. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms below, it is highly recommended you take steps to defeat job burnout.


The world is a fast-moving place that can be incredibly taxing and emotionally draining. According to an article from the Mayo Clinic, having a heavy workload can lead to exhaustion, thus causing job burnout. Exhaustion can make you feel like you have no more stamina left, or your creativity tank is running on empty. If you feel like your tiredness is overwhelming and trapping you, you may be overly exhausted and just trying to survive. When people hear the words job burnout, exhaustion is probably one of the first words to come to mind. From an outside perspective, this could be the first symptom that people pick up on for someone who is experiencing burnout. But as the person who is exhausted, you might feel so tired that you just get used to it and think it is normal. If exhaustion is something that feels like a daily thing or regular thing, you are likely to experience burnout.

Isolating Yourself Due To High Stress

Feelings of detachment are another symptom of job burnout. You might be unintentionally isolating yourself from other people, even if they are people that you love. Isolation is a common symptom, but it can also be a reason for the development of burnout. As harsh as it sounds, you might be ignoring those around you because you feel too overwhelmed and too anxious to socialize with them. Therefore, in your mind, you might be thinking, “Why should I even bother?” or you might not want to project your negative tension and energy onto other people. Feeling too tired to socialize for several weeks is a very serious sign of burnout that should be addressed.

Never Feeling Satisfied Or Happy With Your Work


If you are constantly reaching and reaching for status or level of perfection that does not exist, you will be left with feelings of dissatisfaction. Never being satisfied is generally coupled with never feeling good enough or worthy. If you do not feel worthy of being where you are, how can you even work?

Most people tend to hold themselves to higher standards than they hold other people. But you must be being kind to yourself. No one is perfect, nor is every piece of work we submit. You might be a perfectionist who is in a constant mental battle of highly sought-after perfection in your outcomes. The truth of the matter is that perfection is in the eye of the beholder. Getting wrapped in perfectionism can lead you down the road to job burnout. This road is often a short one. Beating yourself up about not being perfect or achieving a certain standard can be emotionally taxing and leave you feeling emotionally and mentally drained. You may feel like your time is being wasted if the outcome is not what you had planned. Just know that your progress matters too, and you learn from that progress.

Struggling To Get By Each Day                             

Another common symptom of job burnout is struggling to get by each day. Feeling so overwhelmed, anxious, stressed out to finish your day can be signs of experiencing burnout. These feelings indicate you are in survival mode.Are you putting on tunnel vision to get from point A to point B? If you feel like you are just getting through the day by the skin of your teeth, then you probably are not enjoying whatever you are doing. Not enjoying what you are doing at work and feeling stressed out by your tasks can cause you to struggle to get through the day. If you do not feel fulfilled by what you are doing, you have a higher chance of experiencing burnout. Love what you do and do what you love. You might need to switch up what you are doing and find something that you are more passionate about.

Using Physical Things To Mask Your Feelings

Sometimes when you are feeling down, you might try to mask your feelings by taking comfort in material things. Whether it be a shopping habit or an addiction to something, it might be something that you are unintentionally using to distract yourself from your inner feelings. It might seem to put a Band-Aid on the exhaustion or burnt-out emotions that you have stirring inside. But is it helping? Or is it just covering it up temporarily? If it is just a temporary fix, what is it solving in the long run? According to HuffPost Canada, bottling up your emotions or masking your feelings can lead to detrimental health issues. So, you must address these feelings healthily.

Too Much Is On Your Plate


You might feel ready to throw in the towel because you have too much on your plate. Have you overcommitted yourself, or have you been given more than you can complete on time? Maybe you feel behind schedule or not up to par. It is important to stay in touch with your expectations and other people’s expectations for you. If you often feel like you are falling short, you might feel tired. Experiencing burnout can occur because you are juggling several different things at once. You could feel like you are drowning in work tasks. When you are constantly on the go and never have time to relax, it is very easy to feel burnt out.

Hesitancy To Rely On Others Or Ask For Help

You might feel hesitant to ask others for help because you don’t want them to have experienced your stress levels for the same reason. The last thing you want to do it make others feel as stressed as you do. So, you might resist asking for help. Or, you might keep your stress locked up inside, and it might be eating at you. It could also be that you are so in your head about everything that you cannot even find the words to explain how you feel to anyone. You might not feel worthy of help. Doing all of these things can further make you put more pressure on yourself to do everything by yourself. Then, you will feel so exhausted from doing it all that you experience symptoms of burnout. Clearly, feeling burnout when others can help you is something that should be avoided.

How To Fight Burnout

Thankfully, there are multiple ways to combat the symptoms of burnout listed above. Many of these methods require you to take them for yourself to relax simply. This is much easier said than done, especially for someone who struggles with work perfectionism. However, getting over your feeling of job burnout is incredibly important. So, rather than completing all of your work tasks perfectly and as quickly as possible, consider slowing down and trying to cope with your feeling with the methods below.

Stop Relying On Things To Bring You, Joy

If your focus is on physical objects, it might be time to consider reorganizing your priorities for the sake of your emotional, physical, and mental health. You could just be going through the motions and relying on the same things to get you by. If you strip away these things to uncover why you feel the way that you feel, it could help to improve your situation and get you going on a better path. The “things” are covering up the reasons for why you feel the way that you do. You could be deceiving yourself unintentionally.

Don’t Bottle It Up

Seek help from someone who will listen to you and try to understand where you are coming from. This could be help from a licensed counselor, such as one from BetterHelp, or letting a family member in on how you are feeling. Maybe the problem is that the tension inside is about to boil over and needs to be released. This sounds simple, but sometimes, being vulnerable is a challenging thing to do. Having walls up, especially around things that make you feel unease, is hard to change. So, consider reaching out for help from someone you trust in your life.

Discover What Your Main Stressors Are and Make A Game Plan To Handle Them

Evaluate what aspects of your life are causing you the most grief and try to formulate a method to cope with them. Sometimes burnout could be from not knowing where to start on the path to feeling better. Mapping out the steps to how you think you could combat your burnout could be the first stage in your process of overcoming it! Some people need an A to Z plan to follow to make results happen. If that sounds like you, try thinking of the causes of your burnout and the effects of what curing it could look like for you specifically.



With the main symptom of burnout being exhaustion, it is important to get enough rest each night to fuel you for the day to come. The word rest could mean multiple different things. Rest, in most contexts, means sleep. However, it could also mean resting your mind. This could include doing mindless activities and having some chill time at home. Whether this is watching a heart-warming movie, listening to some music and drawing, or even scrolling on Pinterest, do something that allows your mind to rest. Soothing your mind could be the medicine you need to get you on the right track to combatting burnout. Your body needs rest to reset, recharge, and keep trucking along.

Dealing With Symptoms Of Burnout

Hopefully, the tips above help you to combat your signs and symptoms of burnout. Never hesitate to reach out to someone you trust about your job burnout. Many people experience it, and it does not reflect on your work ethic. Bottling up how you are feeling will not help you progress and move on from your exhaustion. Ask those in your life to sit down and talk with you about how you are feeling. Having someone on your side through this healing process can be tremendously helpful.

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