Job Burnout Symptoms and How to Treat Them

Identifying the tell-tale burnout symptoms and helping you recover your drive and motivation at work


Ever start feeling like every day is like a really bad Monday at work?

You're exhausted, overloaded, and constantly watching for the clock to hit end of day. It's hard to feel excited or engaged with your work - you don't have enough energy and it feels impossible to keep up.

If so, you may be experiencing burnout.

In this article, we'll break down the classic burnout symptoms and how you can cope with feelings of burnout.

What is Burnout?

Burnout is a form of physical, emotional, and cognitive exhaustion often following periods of high stress. It most commonly shows up at work, but can also occur with school, hobbies, or personal relationships.

So, how does burnout happen?

Stress eats up a lot of energy. When we're up against high expectations and high volumes of work, for example, we may work longer hours. We need our brains to function at peak performance all hours of the day. We have less time to eat. We don't sleep. We stop making time to relax.

Learn helpful stress management tips that can help you avoid burnout.

Though it may feel like high urgency and adrenaline keep you going for a while, it isn't sustainable. Eventually you hit a wall and feel just plain drained. This is burnout.

Burnout symptoms more commonly pop up in work environments that don't reward success, have extremely demanding expectations, and include a lot of monotonous tasks. Imposter syndrome and perfectionist mindsets can also contribute to burnout.

Learn more about imposter syndrome →

5 Tell-Tale Burnout Symptoms

Think you may be experiencing burnout? Identifying the problem is the first step to feeling better. Here are 5 tell-tale burnout symptoms to look out for:

1. Feeling "Checked Out"

The main burnout symptom is disengagement with your work. You may feel like you're just going through the motions like a zombie without being particularly invested or interested in your work. This makes it harder to focus, stay organized, and meet goals.

2. Lack of Job Satisfaction

Job burnout that goes untreated for too long can lead to dissatisfaction with your job period. You may have trouble finding redeeming qualities about your current position or career path and even want to change jobs entirely.

Many people dealing with burnout feel stuck in their jobs because they don't have the energy to find a new one.

3. Negative Thoughts

The extreme exhaustion and piling up responsibilities can cause you to start feeling depressed or hopeless in the face of it all.

Your sense of confidence may erode slowly, causing you to start engaging in negative self-talk. It's common to feel inadequate while dealing with burnout symptoms.

4. Procrastination

The more burned out you feel, the more difficult it is to manage your workload. You may be so exhausted and uninterested in your work that you start procrastinating and putting things off until the last second. This causes work to pile up to unmanageable levels even more in a vicious cycle.

5. Physical Exhaustion

The fatigue associated with burnout symptoms isn't just emotional or cognitive - it's physical, too! You may notice changes in your body like more frequent headaches and sleep disturbances like insomnia or trouble staying awake.

Learn more about sleep deprivation and how it affects your body →

How to Treat Burnout Symptoms

If left untreated, burnout symptoms can have a serious negative impact on your job performance, career, self-image, and more.

Luckily, there are solutions that can help. If you're struggling with burnout, try:

1. Giving yourself a break

Remember all that unused PTO you've been racking up? Yeah, now is a good time to take some. Even just one day of rest can make a huge difference in helping you recharge and reset.

2. Talking to a supervisor you trust

Together, you can brainstorm solutions to relieve some of the pressure you've been dealing with. Maybe it's time to hand off a project to someone else on your team or change up your responsibilities to be more in line with your strengths and interests.

3. Take care of your body

When you're dealing with burnout symptoms, you're physically drained. Make sure to get a good night's rest, eat well, get outside, and try to move your body. All of these things can help you get a little energy boost to carry you through.

4. Taking care of your mind

Incorporating mindful activities like daily journaling into your routine can help you notice burnout before it gets out of control. A CBT-based guided journal app like Jour can help you change negative thought patterns and feel more motivated.

Learn more about the scientifically-proven health benefits of journaling →

Beat Job Burn Out

Burnout is extreme exhaustion and disengagement that follows periods of intense stress. Stress puts our bodies and minds into overdrive, depleting all of our energy until we hit a wall.

Popular burnout symptoms include feeling "checked out", dissatisfied, depressed, and physically exhausted at work.

You can mitigate the effects of burnout symptoms by taking breaks where you can, talking to your supervisor, and making a concentrated effort to nourish your mental health. Next time you're feeling overwhelmed and need of a recharge, come check out the Jour app - we'll help you get through it!