Soul Articles

Am I At Risk for Burnout? Symptoms of Burnout

Reading time: approx. 2 minutes

In this article, we want to give you some insight into possible signs and symptoms of burnout.

Luisa doesn't recognize herself at the moment. For the past few weeks, getting up in the morning and going to work has been a major struggle for her. Her daily trouble getting out of bed in the morning resulted in Luisa often missing the daily check-in with her team. Now she hasn't been to work at all for several days and has called in sick. Luisa herself doesn't even know how to describe her state of illness, but she simply can't manage to show up in the office anymore. Work now seems completely irrelevant to her and she has the feeling that she can't satisfy anyone with her performance anyway. Luisa used to really enjoy doing sports and spending time with her friends. In the last few years, she has let all that fade away. In the beginning, she devoted all her energy to her work, often worked late, and then had absolutely no energy left for her private life. In the last few months, she even felt that she got really angry with her friends when they contacted her and wanted to spend some time with her.

Luisa's story is just one of many ways burnout can make you feel. Everyone who is affected by burnout experiences it differently. There are some scientific models, such as the Freudenberger Burnout Cycle, that describe the typical burnout symptoms in phases. When looking at such models, it is important to keep in mind that each person experiences the possible symptoms differently and may switch back and forth between different burnout phases.

Similar to Luisa, typical symptoms in the early stages of burnout are an increased effort at work, for example, to meet one's high standards and/or to fulfill the expectations of others. This is often accompanied by an increasing neglect of one's own needs, such as sufficient sleep, exercise, or recreational activities.

In more advanced burnout phases, there is often the feeling that one's own work is not sufficiently valued, which in turn leads to less energy being invested in completing tasks. As in Luisa's case, one's social environment becomes more and more a burden. For many of those affected, it also becomes increasingly difficult to bear criticism as well as affection.

In the most advanced burnout phases, those affected often have the feeling that they have lost all their strength and they experience an inner emptiness. Their drive decreases more and more. This leads to the fact that it becomes incredibly exhausting for affected people to cope with their everyday life. Many people also experience suicidal thoughts during these phases.

A lot of people go through a similar situation as Luisa and often feel alone with it. It can be a helpful first step to get in touch with other people and share your feelings to get the support you need. We would like to encourage you to contact us. We will be happy to support you in reflecting on what you need right now and taking steps towards recovery. 

Author: Anna Seger


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