Mental Health

How To Avoid Burnout? Signs, Symptoms, And How To Spot It Early

Work pressure and stress can often cause burnout. But if you identify burnout symptoms early on, you can reverse the damage in time. But, how to avoid burnout to start with? Well, read on and find out.

By URLife Team
30 Dec 2022

Sometimes, excessive work can cause fatigue and exhaustion, eventually leading to burnout. Burnout is the stage of chronic stress that working professionals may often experience due to prolonged work pressure. It not only affects the quality of work, but it can also lead to serious consequences that may affect the quality of life.

There are some signs of burnout that can dramatically affect the quality of your life. Hence, it is essential that you address the issues immediately.

What are the different stages of burnout? What are the signs of exhaustion related to work? How to avoid burnout before it becomes overwhelming? Gurugram-based certified executive coach, Debeshi Chakraborty answers to all your questions.


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Signs And Symptoms Of Burnout

Burnout creeps up slowly. If you’re proactive and spot the signs early on, you can be prepared to deal with it.

Here are the signs of burnout that you need to look out for:


Related story: Setting Boundaries: A Guide To Navigating Workplace Relationships


Physical Signs Of Burnout

Being tired at the end of the day is common, but if certain physical signs persist, you should know that you need to slow down.

Here are some physical symptoms of burnout:

  • Change In Appetite: Because of work stress, you may start stress eating or not feel like eating at all. You may also notice yourself indulging in junk food more than you usually do. This could be the initial signs of burnout. burnt out.
  • Feeling Tired And Lethargic: Feeling mentally tired almost all the time and waking up tired is a classic sign of burnout.
  • Lowered Immunity: Workplace conflicts, deadlines, etc., can increase blood pressure and lower immunity. If you experience stress every day for some reason or other, it may be another one of the burn out symptoms.
  • Frequent Headaches And Body Aches: Mental exhaustion can lead to frequent headaches and muscle pains. If you experience these signs of fatigue every other day, it could lead to burnout eventually.


Related story: Self-care To Elevate Your Work Game


Emotional Signs of Burnout

Burnout can take a toll on your emotional well-being. The stress can sometimes be so intense that it can cause you to mentally break down. You might find it difficult to stay calm and composed and notice some emotional burnout symptoms that indicate that a breakdown is near.

When things are difficult at work which is causing you stress, because things are not going your way, it can build up and result in a negative emotional state.

Here are the primary emotional exhaustion signs that you need to be on a lookout for:

  • Self-doubt and low confidence
  • Extreme feelings of hopelessness and helplessness
  • Lack of motivation for even everyday tasks
  • Negative outlook on life
  • Decreased job satisfaction and overall satisfaction in life


Behavioural Signs Of Burnout

You may notice some behavioural changes even in the personal aspects of your life despite it being work burnout. This is the escape mechanism that makes us find respite in unhealthy habits when under stress. Often, when things are not going in the right direction at work, you tend to carry that home and it reflects in your behaviour. This could be as simple as you being agitated and venting negatively towards your partner or kids, or even resulting in you wanting to be left alone as you are irritable.

Often, the behavioural changes can be negligible, and you might be able to take control of the situation, but with extreme burnout, these behavioural issues or challenges can escalate and result in:


Related story: Meet The Hustle Culture's Worst Enemy: Quiet Quitting


Whether you’re fighting burnout or looking for ways to prevent it, awareness and self-care are key. We have a detailed article on how self-care can turn your work game around and help you manage workplace stress smartly. You can read it here: Self-care to elevate your work game.


Need all your wellness solutions in one place? A whole new world awaits just a click away.


Stages Of Burnout

Before we move on to understand how to avoid burnout, we must first understand the stages of burnout so we can cope with it effectively. Each stage is different and more complex. The earlier you identify where you stand, the better you will be prepared on how to deal with burnout.

Let’s get started.


Stage One

The first stage of burnout has milder symptoms and is easier to recover from. It is where you may experience certain emotional and physical symptoms like:

Identifying these symptoms early on can help you tremendously with workplace stressors and stress triggers in general.


Stage Two

The second stage has longer-lasting symptoms and more adverse effects. The burnout symptoms become more challenging and irreversible with every stage.

Here are the signs you must look out for:

  • Disillusionment related to your job
  • Physical and psychological symptoms that last even after the situation subsides
  • Feelings of being ruled by a schedule
  • Aggression and irritability
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Substance use or abuse
  • Feeling bored


Stage Three

The third stage is the most severe. It happens when stress has taken a toll on you, and you are way past preventing burnout. When this stage hits, it is important to take professional help.

The signs of stage three burnout include:

  • Chronic anxiety
  • Chronic pains and headaches
  • Severe personal consequences like divorce, job failure, loss of job, shorter life expectancy


Related story: Self Care To Beat Monday Blues For Working Professionals


How To Avoid Burnout?

A simple Google search will pull up an article on how to avoid burnout; what’s difficult is following through and making your mind and body your priority. 

However, Debeshi Chakraborty shares a few super effective tips on how to avoid and recover from burnout. If you stick to these, you may notice a gigantic difference in the quality of your life.

  • Organise Time: The first step to avoiding burnout is to know that time plays the most crucial role. If you are able to complete your work-related tasks without falling behind and also catching up with personal life-related tasks, you will be good to go.
  • Take Regular Breaks: Overworking can cause burnout early on. If you feel overly exhausted from work even if you are just starting the day, you must be more frequent with work breaks. Irrespective of the work pressure, make sure to take regular breaks.
  • Reframe The Mindset: Burnout can be tricky; it makes us hyperfocused on the negative aspects of our job. But if you reframe your mindset and remind yourself why you started, the negative feelings may slowly disappear. Try to steer clear of words like frustrating, unbearable, stressful, etc., when it comes to your job. Try to stay as positive as possible.
  • Ask For Help: Asking for help is important because if you are burnt out, you may not be able to make the best decisions. Moreover, it would not only make your job easier, but it will also give you a sense that you are not alone. It will make way for collaboration and co-working, which removes the feelings of isolation and loneliness at work
  • Maintain A Social Life: Don’t make it all about your job. Talk to peers, go on coffee breaks, meet colleagues after work, and create a social life, so you know that it is not all about work. This is an important tip if you want to learn how to overcome burnout.
  • Set Boundaries: Learning to say no is important, especially if you are experiencing signs of burnout at work. If you’re already overloaded with work, don’t take up more work. If things are worst, quit the job because sometimes giving up is better than giving in.
  • Make Time For Self-Care: Self-care will take your mind off work and rejuvenate you for the next day or week. You can get a spa, go for a massage, have a relaxing day at the beach, or do anything that puts your mind and body at ease. Additionally, you must regularise your meals and eat well. Make sure to keep your body healthy, so your mind remains healthy.


Related story: 5 Strategies To Navigate Tough Conversations With Your Boss



The work from home culture caused burnout in employees in the post-covid world and made professionals realise the need to slow down. But we no longer need a pandemic to remind us to move at our own pace and enjoy a happy and healthy life.

Burnout can disrupt both your personal and professional lives, increasing the intensity every day. And eventually, it starts affecting relationships. What’s most concerning is that burnout affects your relationship with yourself, leaving you doubting and feeling under confident. Therefore, it becomes almost urgent to acknowledge the signs of burnout and seek help at the right time. Remember, you are surrounded by people who can help and support you – you just have to ask.


Need all your wellness solutions in one place? A whole new world awaits just a click away.













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