There’s a thin line between stress and burnout and sometimes it is hard to tell which is which.
Considering that stress can be a good thing sometimes, it is also important to be aware of what too much of it can do to your body and lifestyle, more importantly if it is escalating into burnout. Burnout is when your body goes into shutdown mode after a constant period of stress. And when you reach that point, it is more difficult to manage your personal state of mind, as it goes beyond the physical exhaustion. Here are five tell-tale signs:
1. You suffer from digestion problems
When stomach problems persist, even with your diet monitored, that could possibly indicate that you’re on the brink of burnout. Your gut works almost like your second brain, so that could mean that your mental health needs some TLC. If you’re still unsure, it’s best to see your doctor about it.
2. You are constantly exhausted
If you still feel extremely exhausted and lethargic even after clocking in sufficient hours of sleep, that could mean that your body on its breaking point. Try to take a few days off work to rest and recuperate your body and soul.
3. You’re irritable most of the time
Your patience will always be wearing thin when you’re on the verge of burnout. That means frequent disagreements or constant snaps at your other half, friends or even colleagues.
4. You’re constantly falling sick
Your immune system will take the fall for sky-high stress levels. And that’s when you easily catch any bug that’s going around the office or home, so do check in with yourself when you have been falling ill way too often or when your common cold is taking too long to recover.
5. You’ve stopped going out
If you’re always turning down invitations to head out with your friends just simply because you feel like staying home by yourself, that could be a sign of imminent burnout. When this happens, there’s no need to force yourself to socialise immediately but try heading out of the house for a walk or to get a cup of coffee. Baby steps!
This story was originally published in SHAPE, April 21, 2017.