Thrive In Five: 5 Signs of Burnout

5 signs of burnout Man sat with head in hands

This Week’s Thrive In Five is About 5 Signs of Burnout to spot When You May Be On The Burnout Spectrum

This week I’d like to talk to you about the five signs of burnout, that show you may be moving on that huge burnout spectrum. Perhaps a few red flags going up in terms of your health and wellbeing, all the way through to burnout. Now it’s a long way to go from these early warning signs, but it would be great, wouldn’t it, if we could identify these things to stop things in their tracks in the early part of that burnout spectrum.

So here are our 5 Signs of Burnout

I’ve taken some of these or rather was influenced by Gail North and Herbert Freudenberger‘s burnout spectrums. They created the burnout spectrum with 12 points.

#1 sign of burnout apathy and anhedonia

Apathy and anhedonia. So apathy, can’t be bothered. Everything feels like an effort.

Anhedonia is a loss of pleasure in things you would ordinarily find pleasurable. So you used to love a game of tennis or a dog walk. Now you just don’t feel it. You don’t get the joy from it.

Combined with apathy, you can’t be bothered to go out and do those things and try and get that joy back. This is a sign on the burnout spectrum.

#2 sign of burnout is feeling deeply fatigued

So you feel deeply fatigued, real tiredness, tiredness in the bones. Tiredness perhaps that you just don’t seem to be able to overcome or even get enough sleep to overcome.

#3 sign of burnout is finding it hard to shut off

So you may feel you just can’t shut off. You might find that you’re dreaming about work or dreaming about some of the problems and anxieties in your life. That your mind is racing and you find it very, very difficult to close that off and to move on. You may find it challenging to get any Headspace.

#4 sign of burnout is mood or personality changes

So maybe somebody else, a spouse or a colleague has said, you know, you’re behaving a little differently. You seem unsettled. You appear distracted. You’re simply just not yourself. These changes in mood and behavioural problems can be a sign of being on the burnout spectrum.

Often a spouse can be a bit more direct, perhaps than a colleague. You may notice this in yourself as well. You may feel that you’re not your usual effervescent self.

#5 sign of burnout is that the body keeps the score

This last point is arguably the most important, which is just know that the body keeps the score. So even if you’re able to push through, ploughing on regardless, which is so common in business and British culture. Know that you can ignore the signs the body sends you, but it does keep the score.

So you might notice hair loss. You might notice weight gain or weight loss. Experience other kinds of physical symptoms such as headaches, unexplained, aches and pains. I’ve even known more dramatic symptoms than that. For example, the scarring of a forehead, which I referenced in my book, Rise and Shine. The body always keeps the score.

So you can try and push these signs of burnout stuff aside and ignore the red flags to your health and wellbeing, but it will come back eventually to rear its head. So please don’t ignore it. Check out our 12 stages of burnout resource, with what to look out for in yourself and others, and what to do at each stage should you be on the burnout spectrum.

However you’re feeling, please get in touch with us.

We’d love to talk to you or you can look at some of our content on the blog or listen to our podcast, download a free chapter of Rise and Shine. Talk to somebody about how you’re feeling if you feel you’re somewhere on the spectrum.

Look out for next week’s Thrive In Five, where we’re going to give you three powerful questions that a manager can ask. And three things to observe in teams so that you can try and spot burnout signs in your team members as well. Sign up to our newsletter in the footer and get this content into your inbox.

Stay healthy and all the best for now.

At Bodyshot Performance we work with businesses looking to bring energy and vitality to their teams, leading with wellbeing as a competitive advantage. Find out more about how we can support you and your teams. Check out our upcoming Workplace Wellbeing webinars.

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