advise that out of control stress and burnout need to be handled as soon as
possible because various chronic conditions, like heart disease, diabetes,
depression, anxiety and insomnia are linked to it and burnout.
body has many ways of experiencing burnout, and it manifests in several
physical features, as discussed below.
is present at all stages of burnout. At the beginning, you may feel worn out
most of the time and lack energy for even the simple tasks. As burnout
progresses, a physical sense of complete emptiness takes over. You end up
feeling drained and unable to take on any tasks, even basic daily tasks such as
food shopping or personal hygiene.
is a reasonably common symptom of burnout, partly caused by a preoccupation by
work and/or other stressors. It is reasonably common to not sleep because you
have too much on your mind; when this continues for an extended period, the
insomnia can really affect your daily life. You might find it hard to fall
asleep, stay asleep, or find yourself waking up early each morning. Insomnia
has its own consequences, and affects the ability to perform basic day-to-day
Repeated colds, flu and other minor illnesses
the body is run down, it has a reduced capability to fight off infections and
illnesses. What starts out as a small cold can quickly progress to something
more serious; the body has no reserves left to fight the infection so it
rapidly spreads and takes over. You might find you seem to permanently have an
annoying cough or cold or perhaps you go through repeated phases of having
Unhealthy coping strategies
all need to get through every day, no matter what life throws at us. To do
this, we often develop coping strategies to help us manage the worst of times. However,
some of these strategies are more unhelpful and unhealthy than others. For
example, turning to alcohol or drugs is a common response to life stressors;
they can help ‘take the edge off’ and make the situation seem bearable, at
least temporarily. However, such coping strategies are not conducive to
burnout, and in some circumstances, can lead to addiction.
Changes in weight
people find when they are stressed they lose weight with very little effort. This
may be because they are not eating properly or eating less than normal. Combine
this with extra effort to keep up with everything and it is easy to see how
weight can simply fall off.
contrast, others find they are ‘stress-eating’ an increasing amount and
therefore gain weight. Even those who are active and usually maintain their
weight can struggle when they reach burnout. Simply, the body cannot do
everything and maintain a fitness routine or healthy diet. Both weight loss and
gain are both relatively common and are another indicator that something within
the body is not quite right. In many cases, weight fluctuations can be linked
to mental state – something most of us are all too familiar with.
all know that our blood pressure is responsive to our surroundings and
situation. It is therefore perhaps not surprising that when we are experiencing
high levels of stress and/or burnout, our blood pressure spikes. If this is
sustained, it is likely to require medical attention and possibly medication to
bring back down to normal levels. Hypertension brings its’ own set of symptoms
and consequences, with heart problems being at the more severe end.