Burnout is a state of physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion caused by prolonged stress. It is characterized by feelings of cynicism, detachment, and ineffectiveness.

Burnout typically occurs in stages. The first stage is the “honeymoon” phase, characterized by enthusiasm and high energy. The second stage is the “onset of stress” phase, where stress levels begin to increase, and individuals may experience irritability, anxiety, and lack of focus. The third stage is the “chronic stress” phase, where burnout symptoms become more severe, such as chronic fatigue, insomnia, and physical illness. From there, you get into full-fledged burnout, which can become habitual.

If you’re experiencing burnout, it’s important to take action. Start by acknowledging your feelings and identifying the source of stress. Practice self-care by getting enough sleep, exercising, and eating well. Set boundaries and prioritize your time. Seek support from loved ones, a therapist, or a support group. Consider taking a break or changing your work environment. Remember, burnout is treatable, and with the right support, it’s possible to recover and avoid future burnout.