How to Recognize Burnout

What’s one thing we refuse to acknowledge, but know is coming? No, not midterm season! I’m referring to burnout. As someone who is dealing with it now, I can promise you it is something you want to distance yourself from. Since the beginning of the semester, I have been running from one class to another, one meeting to another, one mandatory event to another. It’s mentally and physically exhausting. I see too many people around me who are in the same boat, but won’t acknowledge it. Why is it so bad to accept that we may have made a mistake? There is this stigma where if you are not doing everything, you are doing nothing. Many people, including myself, take on too much, and then refuse to let go of anything. We must realize that sometimes you need stop for a moment and reevaluate how we are feeling. I have listed out a couple feelings I felt when I was approaching burnout. Hopefully, recognizing these symptoms will help you make a change in your lifestyle.

Via GPOnline

1. Immense fatigue

If you feel constantly drained emotionally and mentally, there’s a good chance burnout is around the corner. There is a difference between being tired after a long day, and feeling tired to the point where you physically cannot get work done. Not only is it counterproductive, but it can impact your mental health.

2. Forgetfulness

When I was in my phase of approaching burnout, I noticed that a lot of things were falling between the cracks. I kept on forgetting meetings and assignments, plus I was running late to everything. That can be a red flag, especially if you are someone who is always organized.

Via American Psychology Association

3. Anxiety

Initially, you may start worrying a little more than normal. However, if you find yourself so stressed that you feel incapable to focus on what you are doing, it’s a sign. I noticed myself being anxious everyday. It may be because I woke up late for a class because I was up at 4AM doing assignments, or because I am running late to a mandatory meeting because I was trying to stuff my mouth with Hot Cheetos, my only meal of the day. That constant anxiety made me feel miserable, and personally, was one of the larger signs for me.

4. Loss of enjoyment

I started noticing that everything I do is mandatory. If you find yourself only doing things you HAVE to do, because you have no time to do things you WANT to do, it can lead to bigger problems. While you may love what you have to do, the restriction of not being able to go on adventures or hang out with friends may drain the fun out of your work. In addition, working and being on-the-go may be fun at times. However, doing that consistently for days will no longer be fun, it will be tedious and redundant.

5. Lack of productivity

When you have a lot on your plate, chances are that you won’t be able to give 100% to all of your commitments. After a while, you may start half-assing your work due to lack of time and/or motivation. After a while, it becomes counterproductive. Doing a lot of things adequately well is not as great as doing two things extremely well. That was a hard lesson that I had to learn, and realized that the only way fix it was by dropping one of my commitments.

If these “symptoms” resonate with you, don't worry! This means that you have caught yourself, and understood that something needs to change! I understand that sometimes we have the mindset that we can do everything under the sun. Honestly, there are people who can and still be happy. However, if you are like me, you may be accomplishing everything you’ve ever wanted but you are not enjoying the process. Be your own best friend and tell yourself to put on a facemask once in a while! Order some pizza and watch Netflix! Or the best one of all, SLEEP. Start taking care of yourself, girl!