You’ve heard people say they are ‘burned out’, but what does this actually mean?

Being ‘burned out’ is a phrase that is used to describe when someone is feeling exhausted, both physically and mentally. This can affect your day to day life as well as your performance in work and overall behaviour.

Here are some signs that may suggest you are feeling ‘burned out’…

  • You feel constantly tired with little energy for the simplest of tasks
  • You are feeling more lonely and detached from things/ people than usual
  • You find yourself looking at things in a more negative light
  • You have a lot of self doubt which you do not usually have
  • You have a general feeling of being overwhelmed more often than not
  • Small tasks are taking more energy to do than they should and you find yourself procrastinating

Possible causes of this:

  • The workplace – stress at work is often a contributing factor to being ‘burned out’ due to a demanding workload and deadlines.
  • Boredom – feeling trapped in a routine with little excitement can lead to boredom and restlessness.
  • Poor health – the types of food you eat can affect your mood. Look at your current diet and research the foods you are regularly eating.
  • Finances – concern about your finances may be the biggest contributing factor to feeling ‘burned out.’
  • Lack of sleep – not sleeping for long enough or having a poor quality sleep will cause tiredness and affect your clarity of thinking.
  • Worries about the future – being unsure about your next steps, whether that be in work or in your personal life, can cause a lot of anxiety and make you feel emotionally drained.

Some steps to prevent these:

  • Speak to your employer to see if they can offer any help and guidance on the situation. Create a schedule to allocate days and time slots for each task to help spread them out more.
  • For boredom, find something that you enjoy doing or something to help you relax and clear your head. Incorporate this into your weekly routine, even if it is just for one hour. This will help to break up the routine and give yourself time to enjoy things.
  • Research what types of food can give you more energy and help you to feel healthier rather than weighed down. This will help you focus to complete tasks rather than wanting to take a nap after every meal.
  • Make a list of all your monthly outgoings and how much you get paid each month. Deduct your outgoings from your monthly pay to see how much you have left and budget that. Consider if there are any outgoings which are unnecessary and could be removed as well as alternatives for expensive items which could be made more affordable.
  • Set a sleeping schedule and stick to it even if you struggle to fall asleep, your body will slowly adjust to sleeping at a different time. Research products such as scents that could possibly help you in relaxing before bed.
  • Speak to a career guide about advice with your future jobs and career path. There are plenty of websites that offer advice on this as well as places you can visit in person. Identify any setbacks that you have and take steps to working on those in order to progress.