What is Burnout?

In plain words, burnout is a state which usually occurs when someone is overloaded with workplace pressure. It makes them physically and mentally exhausted and overwhelmed. Who doesn’t rant about their work in this capitalized society where your value is based on your workload? You probably have heard the word “Burnout” mentioned by many people as they rant about their work! People are becoming more conscious about their mental health than before. In short, burnout is the culmination of long term chronic and acute stress that leaves you feeling completely out of energy, apathetic, and irritable. If you haven’t heard of it before, you’ve come to the right place. Because after finishing this article, you’ll realize that there are so many people around you going through this state! But you never knew before today that it has a name, types, identifiable symptoms, and ways to recover and cure burnout

Symptoms of burnout

“Burnout” is not that hard to figure- out. It’s so common that even you might be facing this too. Look for these signs to be able to notice if someone is on burnout or not.

Physical signs: 

  • Being drained all the time
  • Complaining about headaches
  • Aches in different parts of the body
  • Stomach hurts due to acidity
  • High blood pressure
  • Trouble falling asleep
  • Easily catches cold
  • Muscle pain now and then
  • Complaining about not feeling hungry

Emotional signs:

  • Feeling like they aren’t doing enough
  • They think that they can never win or lack self-confidence
  • They are constantly being negative about everything in their life
  • They feel like no one understands them; they feel helpless and lonely
  • They suddenly lose their purpose for working towards their goal
  • They never acknowledge their worth and always have regret

Behavioral signs:

  • They get aggressive and vent out about their frustration in every situation
  • They don’t like responsibilities, so they avoid them most of the time
  • They delay getting done simple work and reschedule it again and again
  • Interacting with others becomes meaningless to them
  • They get irritated anytime someone asks something of them.
  • Using drugs and self-harm as a coping mechanism
  • Avoids work and difficulty in dedicating themselves

There can be more specific, personalized, and vague signs other than these. Also, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the person going through burnout will reflect all these signs together. You need patience and empathy to figure out if the person is facing “Burnout” or not.

Types of burnout

Yes, there are different kinds of burnout, and you must get an idea about them to understand this state more accurately. 

Overcharge burnout: This occurs when someone puts too much effort into their work than needed; taking more pressure and more challenges to prove their worth can lead them to face burnout. As they work hard, their expectations reach their peak, so they are never satisfied with their work. They also feel like they aren’t doing enough, which pushes them to do more work that can wear them out. They face continuous exhaustion and physical pain. They can take out their anger on others to express their frustration. 

Under-motivated burnout: People who face this are those who feel unchallenged by their work. It’s not like they don’t want to work. Rather, they can’t find any reason or purpose to put their effort into their work. Most of us are used to working under pressure; for example, we only feel motivated to study when the test is near. If there is no test, we don’t feel motivated enough to study, so education seems meaningless. This can lead to burnout because people facing this kind of burnout feel the necessity to do their work and feel demotivated to get started. It can cause self-doubt, depression, lack of appetite, etc. 

Burnout due to abandonment: This kind of burnout is faced by people who don’t feel needed by their workplace. Everyone is capable of doing something, but if they are neglected and underestimated, then they’ll never feel the need to do their best. Humans are social beings; their work efficiency depends on their surroundings. If someone feels unimportant or not needed, they will lose their confidence, motivation to show their best, pessimism, etc.

What causes burnout?

It’s important to know what causes this “Burnout” to lessen it. I am sure by now, you’ve figured out what can cause this. Take a look to add more causes behind it:

  • Getting too much workload than normal
  • Lack of acknowledgment from employer
  • Lack of motivation in the workplace
  • Not giving attention to self-care
  • Lack of reward after achieving something nice. A bonus is an essential source of inspiration to carry on the good work and even to do better.
  • Having no control over how much work one will take. If someone is facing uncontrolled pressure, it’ll feel overwhelmingly exhausting. They’ll feel hopeless and might give up trying to do their best. They’ll possess negative thoughts about hard work. 
  • Lack of support from one’s surroundings is also a big reason behind burnout. People expect help in their effort from their people the most. Without it, they fail to recognize their value and importance. As a result, they become frustrated.
  • If someone feels like specific discrimination is going on, they will try harder than they have to and will get depressed.
  • A clash of moral values can also cause burnout. One can’t possibly focus on doing best and getting the pleasure of doing work when they are facing a conflict for their own beliefs. 

Is burnout stress?

In short, stress is one of the reasons for burnout, and that’s how they are related. Stress is a minor incident compared to burnout. Burnout is more complex and tough to deal with in comparison with stress. People facing stress know that they can unload their pressure after a certain time or work. But if someone has burnout, they often have no idea or hope about when they’ll be relieved from their pressure. Stress doesn’t necessarily take away one’s motivation, whereas burnout is identified with this symptom.

 Stress takes a toll on physical health, and burnout can damage physical and mental health. Too much stress can cause excessive strain on the body and lead to premature death, but burnout pushes people into thinking that life is worthless. Anxiety disorder, over activeness, and restlessness are signs of stress. Self-doubt, lack of containment, and hopelessness are prominent in burnout. So stress is a small portion of burnout reason why stress and burnout are not equal. While the same advice for dealing with stress will help you deal with burnout, you usually need more heavy handed approaches such as taking a sabbatical from work or school for a 6 month recovery period.


“Burnout” might seem like a personal problem that should be dealt with by the person facing it. Also assumed that burnout isn’t something that can affect people other than the sufferers. But by the time this mentality has started to change, people are now more concerned about their mental health than before. It is also vital to reach out to the people in our surroundings who are going through this situation because we are the source from which many people can gain motivation and encouragement. Because if this problem is left ignored, then the number of people facing burnout will go off the scale. And if that happens, people will lose their skill, faith, and productivity which will cause a disaster in every part of our life. You can also consider helping your body recover with additional supplements such as Tok Wellness, which uses researched adaptogens to help the body recover.

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