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How Do You Know If You’re Burned Out?

A Burnout Therapist in Los Angeles, California Discusses Signs of Burning Out.

People are quick to use different stylizations of the expression, “I’m burned out.”. However, is there a difference between being stressed and burned out? And how do you know if you’re burned out?

Burnout is the state of being emotionally, physically, and mentally exhausted. It’s due to excessive and long-standing stress. Those moments when you feel overwhelmed, emotionally drained, and unable to meet your typical demands, there’s a high chance you’re burned out.

It’s not just about losing your energy or feeling a level of urgency, it goes as far as feeling hopeless and helpless and detached from your usual life activities.

Whether it’s your work or family that’s making you burn out, its negative effects will usually spill over into other areas of life and affect your productivity.

There’s a number of things that can contribute to burnout. Most of the time, it’s due to demanding job expectations or a chaotic work environment. For some others, it’s because of lifestyle, social or personality traits like taking on too many responsibilities, not getting enough sleep and being a high-achiever.

Tell-tale Signs of Burning Out

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Burnout is an insidious process. You don’t just wake up tomorrow and feel burned out all of a sudden. It’s gradual, subtle, and harmful. It builds up with time until it gets to a point where it cannot be hidden.

If you pay attention, there are early signs that show that you’re getting stressed. As mentioned earlier, prolonged stress is what leads to complete burnout. However, if proper care is taken at the early stages, it can prevent a major breakdown. Some of the indications are:

Exhaustion and Lack of Motivation

Do you easily feel exhausted and completely spent even without doing so much? Or you have no motivation to do anything, even the littlest things like standing up from bed? These are clear signs of burnout.

Confusion and Frustration

Constantly feeling pessimistic and disconnected from what you’re doing may be an indication of burnout. Do you just think or look at the things you have to do and immediately get frustrated? Or you constantly get confused as to what you have to do with your life? You may be feeling burned out.

Interpersonal Problems

It’s not far fetched for a burned-out to have constant emotional problems with those around. Either it’s more conflict or complete withdrawal from them. One major thing that can cause these interpersonal problems is bringing work home and subconsciously talking about work with every given opportunity.

Friends and family want to have personal time with you, but instead, they find you referring back to work with every opportunity. This may be a sign of burnout.

Strained Thought Process

Being in the burnout zone for a while can begin to affect your cognitive process and general mental performance. When stress becomes chronic, it affects the brain and causes difficulty in paying attention to things. You may begin to ‘forget’ most things, and this can, in turn, affect your job performance.

Health Issues

Suffering from extensive burnout takes its toll on your health because you’re likely to neglect taking care of yourself. And when you don’t take care of yourself, you gradually begin to experience health issues like depression, heart or digestive problems, and the likes.

How do you Deal With Burnout?

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Dealing with burnout involves a lot of personal conscious efforts. No matter the point where you discover it, whether it’s just starting out or it’s already at a breaking point, there’s always something you can do to deal with it.

Most of the time, the burnout we feel is due to losing our sense of self. We are already tied to whatever we have to do – like jobs, family responsibilities, and the likes – that we forget to watch out for ourselves and the things that matter to us. Thus, the best way of recovering from this will be to return to ourselves. Here are some things you can do;

Unplug and get Enough Rest

Never underestimate the power of sleep. However, before getting the needed rest, it’s important to unplug from all stressors so you can get a fulfilling rest. Not getting sufficient hours of daily sleep time can be a risk factor for getting burned out. Remove unnecessary stress by getting the required sleep time and feeling refreshed every time you wake up. Also, spend enough time with and by yourself.

Get Involved in Activities Outside Work

If all you do with your days is sleep, the chances of getting burned out will be very high as well. However, you can look within yourself, are there some activities or hobbies you derive pleasure from? Dedicate meaningful time to explore, unlearn, and relearn things about yourself, so your sense of self can be restored.

Get Organized

A significant sign of burnout is the feeling of confusion. To deal with this, you’ll need to take control of your time and days and get organized. Clear your head, put down your thoughts, prioritize your activities and work with to-do lists. This way, you’ve simplified the things you have to think about, and you’ve set out a structure you’ll work with.


Burnout is something that should be dealt with as soon as you notice it. It affects the output in the different areas of your life, and you may not experience the satisfaction you see until you deal with it.

Find a burnout therapist with us today to develop your unique coping skills to deal with the burnout.

Begin Therapy for Burnout Recovery in Los Angeles, CA, and NYC, New York

Here at Yellow Chair Collective, we understand that burnout can be emotionally, physically, and mentally exhausting. An individual therapist can provide the compassionate space that you may need to process your experiences and navigate burnout recovery.

Our Los Angeles, CA, and New York City, NY-based therapy practice has many neurodivergent-affirming, trauma-informed therapists who specialize in supporting burnout, anxiety and stress management, depression, relational issues, and more. For your added convenience and simplicity, we offer online therapy for anyone in the state of California or New York. We know that your mental health is important, and we want to help you work through whatever’s holding you back. Follow the steps below to begin.

  1. Fill out the contact form to get connected with us.
  2. Get matched with a skilled sensitive therapist.
  3. Start understanding your sensitivity and improving your self-care today.

Relevant Resources

Yellow Chair Collective: The Podcast | Recovering From Burnout with Kat Chan