Burnout: Do you have the signs? What should you do about it?


Learning Logger Jenny
Social Work


Working hard and being overworked are two very different things but unfortunately there is a very thin line between them. Sadly occupational burnout is on the rise. Burnout is a state of chronic stress that leads to physical and emotional exhaustion, cynicism and detachment, as well as feelings of ineffectiveness and lack of accomplishment. When someone has fully burnt out they are no longer able to function effectively on a personal or professional level.

Some of the signs of physical and emotional exhaustion are things such as, chronic fatigue, insomnia, forgetfulness, problems concentrating, increased illness, anxiety, depression, and anger. Some of the signs of cynicism and detachment are, loss of enjoyment, isolation, pessimism, and detachment from things or other people. And finally, some of the signs of feeling ineffective and lack of accomplishment are, feelings of apathy and hopelessness, increased irritability and lack of productivity and poor performance.

Unfortunately, students are extremely susceptible to experiencing burnout, with all of our tasks and demands that we have to meet. The problem with burnout is that these symptoms creep up on you and can be masked by thinking that you are coming down with a cold or you might not have gotten enough sleep the night before. Make sure to keep an eye out for some of these signs before you burnout prior to even starting your career.

Luckily, there are ways to overcome burnout and stop these symptoms in their tracks. Something to consider trying is creating a list of things in your life that stresses you out. Once you finish this list you can come up with ways to reduce these stressors and work on them one-by-one. Another thing that is important to do when you are too stressed out is saying “no”. This is something that is hard for people to do, specifically when you’re a student and some of the things you might need to say “no” to involve a task that is required. Know when it is necessary for you to stay home and rest or not to take on another task on your already heavy list of things to do. Biting off more than you can chew is something we always catch ourselves doing and this can be detrimental to our health and can definitely cause fast burnout. Finally, you might need to consider getting some help, a possible support group might be therapeutic, going to talk to a counselor or even asking for support from friends or family.

Burnout is no joke and it can happen to anyone, don’t wait and ignore the possible signs that could be telling you that you are becoming too stressed out. Work on it now and you will thank yourself later.

Editors note: Carleton University is proud to offer it’s students TAO Self-Help. TAO Self-Help is free a private platform of educational modules and practice tools that can help you understand and manage how you think, feel, and behave. Learn more: https://carleton.ca/wellness/tao/

Recent Learning Log Posts

Read the latest from our student Bloggers

We're here to help you succeed!

Use our services search to explore our many support services.