What is burnout – and do you have it?
It’s the term given to extreme exhaustion, after the body and mind have been pushed to their limits. “The body’s cells become saturated with toxins and free radicals that form due to stress,” says Dr Michael Barnish, UK Medical Director at Reviv. “Poor sleep and lifestyle choices [diet, smoking, drinking] can contribute, too.” Think you have it? Look out for these warning signs…
Those suffering with burnout often get fewer than six hours of pillow time a night and feel chronically tired, even after catching up on lost sleep. Basically your body is done in, due to prolonged stress and being on constant high alert. Yawning because you stayed in the pub for three hours longer than intended yesterday? That doesn’t count.
Tend to put others before yourself? Can’t escape a naggy, negative voice in your head that says you’re not good enough or working to your best ability, despite the fact you stay late in the office most nights? This is a big old sign of burnout.
If you’re struggling to stay focused on a task, it could be those eight Daily Mail Sidebar Of Shame tabs you have open and keep flicking between. If not, and you’re also struggling with memory, it could be burnout.
Feeling like you’re devoid of, well, everything really, is another red flag – both mentally, emotionally and physically. Keep a diary of how you feel for a few weeks to track what’s going on and if it persists, hit up the doctor.
If the thought of going to work on Monday fills you with dread, even though you love your job, it might be time to chat to your GP.