Depleted Physical Energy
Prolonged stress can be physically draining, causing you to feel tired much of the time, or no longer have the energy you once did. Getting out of bed to face another day of the same gets more difficult. If this is severe, it can also be a sign of depression or physical illness, so consider talking to your doctor if you feel there is something more serious happening. But if you find a general sense of avoidance developing, this could be a sign of burnout.
This is when you feel impatient, moody, inexplicably sad, or just get frustrated more easily than you normally would. You feel like you can’t deal with life as easily than you once could. Again, if moodiness becomes severe enough to affect your relationships or ability to do your job, it may be a good idea to talk to someone.
Lowered Immunity to Illness
When stress levels are high for a prolonged amount of time, your immune system does suffer. People who are suffering from burnout usually get the message from their body that something needs to change, and that message comes in the form of increased susceptibility to colds, the flu, and other minor illnesses.
Less Investment in Interpersonal Relationships
Withdrawing somewhat from interpersonal relationships is another possible sign of burnout. You may feel like you have less to give, or less interest in having fun, or just less patience with people. But for whatever reason, people experiencing burnout can usually see the effects in their relationships.
Increasingly Pessimistic Outlook
When experiencing burnout, it’s harder to get excited about life, harder to expect the best, harder to let things roll off your back, and harder to “look on the bright side” in general. You may also feel unmotivated or defeated in general, and less confident that you can make things better. Because optimism is a great buffer for stress, those suffering from burnout find it harder to pull out of their rut than they normally would.
Increased Absenteeism and Inefficiency at Work
When experiencing job burnout, it gets more difficult just to get out of bed and face more of what’s been overwhelming you in the first place. This may be an unconscious defense against burnout, but those experiencing it tend to be less effective overall and stay home from work more often. This is part of why it makes sense for workers to take some time off before they start feeling burned out, and why it makes sense for employers to refrain from running their workers into the ground; they might not get back up so quickly!