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5 Signs of Burnout (and How to Prevent It)

Personal Insights

Burnout happens to everyone at one time or another. Constant stress, working long hours, burning the candle at both ends….all of these can lead to a head on collision with burnout.

According to Harvard Business Review, one in five employees is at risk for burnout at the workplace. However, if an employee feels that they are on the way to a crash and burn, there are a few ways to stop getting burned out at work.

Get Enough Sleep

Even though someone may be exhausted, insomnia is a common symptom of burnout. Getting little to no sleep can lead to serious consequences such as lack of good judgment, higher likelihood to be involved in a car accident, and increased risk of developing a chronic disease such as cancer, depression, diabetes, or hypertension.  Studies have shown that adults need around 8 hours of sleep per night.

Exercise More

It seems counterproductive to leave work and go work out. However, studies have proven that exercise is a stress reliever. Exercising on a regular basis has been shown to increase productivity and memory. Rather than sitting at a desk all day long, take a long walk at lunch or get up 30 minutes earlier to fit in a workout. Exercise is an excellent way to prevent physical and emotional burnout.

Get Out and Socialize

At the end of a long workday, the last thing many people want to do is to go out and socialize. However, if the only interaction a person gets is with their coworkers, they may feel emotionally detached and secluded from their friends. Keep a regular Sunday brunch date or go with friends to a movie or bowling one night per week. Interaction with friends can keep a person’s mind engaged and active.

Have a Few Laughs

Laughing has been proven to relieve stress. Researchers cannot pinpoint the exact reason that laughter is the best medicine, but every study conducted on laughter has shown that laughing produces positive results. Why not grab a few friends and go see a comedian or romantic comedy?

Just Say No

Workaholics have a tendency to say yes to taking on every project, speaking weekly at conferences, or traveling around the country to gain new customers. People with a go-get-them mentality find it extremely hard to just say no. However, these people are usually the first ones to burn out. Carefully choose the projects or commitments you say yes to and focus on staying energized, excited, and engaged about work.

Keeping a good balance on work and pleasure can make someone on the edge of burnout actually more productive, happier, and less stressed. Don’t let burnout creep up. Instead, keep a daily or weekly check to ensure that you are not working too hard.

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