Spotting the Signs: A Guide to Recognising Burnout at Work - The Indigo Project

Spotting the Signs: A Guide to Recognising Burnout at Work

Feeling fried, frazzled, or just plain exhausted by your job? You might be dealing with burnout. It’s that time when even the thought of work drains your battery. Let’s break it down and talk about how to spot, understand, and tackle it head-on.

What Is Burnout, Anyway?

Burnout is the emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion that comes from dealing with constant stress at work. A step up from just feeling tired, burnout can make it nearly impossible to finish daily tasks.

Two pigeons sit next to each other on a building ledge but seem separated by the contrast of white and black as their background. One sits in front of a black background, the other in front of a white one. two more bird silhouettes are seen flying above.

It’s more than just having a rough week; it’s when every day feels like a sluggish Monday morning.

The Telltale Signs of Burnout

Feel like you might be burnt out, but not sure what symptoms to look out for? We’ve put together a list of signs to make detecting it easier, like:

  • Perpetual Exhaustion: Feeling tired isn’t just for mornings anymore; you feel it all day, every day.
  • Cynicism at Work: Suddenly, everything about work bugs you, and your once-favourite tasks now feel like a drag.
  • Feeling Ineffective: That sense of achievement has left, leaving you feeling like nothing you do makes a difference.
  • Isolation: You’re having less chats with your favourite work colleagues, family or friends.
  • Work Daydreams: Constantly thinking about escaping your day-to-day while working — or turning to substances when those fantasies aren’t enough.

Digging Deeper: Why Burnout Hits

Burnout doesn’t just show up, it’s the result of prolonged stress. Maybe it’s the mountain of work that never gets smaller, or perhaps it’s feeling like you’re on a solo mission without support.

Understanding the root cause is step one in tackling it.

Common Triggers of Workplace Burnout

  • Overload: Too much work and too little time.
  • Lack of Control: Feeling helpless or unable to influence decisions.
  • Insufficient Rewards: Working hard but feeling undervalued or underappreciated.

Kicking Burnout to the Curb

While you might think working overtime is a badge of honour, your work suffers when it results in burnout. Pushing yourself to the limit will rarely lead to amazing results for your mental health — while it may benefit your employers.

There are ways to push back and find your spark again.

  • Set Boundaries: Learn to say no and mean it. Your time and energy is precious.
  • Seek Support: Whether chatting with a manager or connecting with online counselling, you’re not alone.
  • Take Time for You: Self-care isn’t selfish. It’s essential. Whether that means diving into hobbies or just chilling, make it a priority.
  • Eating & Sleeping Well: Make sure you get enough sleep and eat a balanced diet. It sounds obvious, but it’s the best way to feel better ASAP.

Beyond the Burnout: When to Seek Professional Help

Sometimes, self-care and workplace changes aren’t enough. If burnout messes with your daily life, makes you dread each day, or impacts your health, it might be time to chat with a professional.

Online counselling from our inclusive and accessible Indigo Project therapists can offer you the tools and perspective needed to navigate out of the burnout zone. Use our Get Matched tool and get started with our friendly team today.

The Benefits of Online Counselling for Burnout

When tackling burnout with friends and family isn’t enough, asking for help is a great strategy. There’s no shame in getting outside help, our team is trained to turn stress around for you.

  • Accessibility: Get online therapy support from the comfort of your space.
  • Flexibility: Therapy that fits your schedule.
  • Confidentiality: A safe space to unpack your feelings without judgement.

Rekindling Your Work Flame

Burnout can make work feel like a never-ending tunnel.

But with the right strategies and support, you can find the light at the end of it. Recognising the signs, understanding the causes, and taking actionable steps can help you manage burnout and reignite your passion for work.

It’s okay to ask for help, and it’s more than okay to put your well-being first. By tackling burnout, you’re not just surviving work, you’re setting the stage for thriving in your career and beyond.

So, next time you’re feeling the burn, take a step back, breathe, and know that there’s a way through it.

PhotoANNIA BARON

annia baron, Clinical Psychologist

PhotoDR NAVIT GOHAR-KADAR

dr navit gohar-kadar, Clinical Psychologist

PhotoMAJA CZERNIAWSKA

maja czerniawska, Senior Psychologist

PhotoEUNICE CHEUNG

eunice cheung, Psychotherapist & Counsellor

PhotoAYANTHI DE SILVA

ayanthi de silva, Registered Psychologist

PhotoTAYLA GARDNER

tayla gardner, Psychotherapist & Counsellor

PhotoKATIE ODONOGHUE

katie odonoghue, Relationship Coach & Couples Therapist

PhotoLORNA MACAULAY

lorna macaulay, Senior Psychologist

PhotoSHUKTIKA BOSE

shuktika bose, Clinical Psychologist

PhotoDEEPIKA GUPTA

deepika gupta, Clinical Psychologist

PhotoEVA FRITZ

eva fritz, Senior Psychologist

PhotoDR EMER MCDERMOTT

dr emer mcdermott, Clinical Psychologist

PhotoNICOLE BURLING

nicole burling, Senior Psychologist

PhotoNATASHA KASSELIS

natasha kasselis, Senior Psychologist

PhotoDR PERRY MORRISON

dr perry morrison, Senior Psychologist

PhotoGAYNOR CONNOR

gaynor connor, Psychotherapist & Counsellor

PhotoSHAUNTELLE BENJAMIN

shauntelle benjamin, Registered Psychologist

PhotoLIZ KIRBY

liz kirby, Psychotherapist & Counsellor

PhotoSAM BARR

sam barr, Clinical Psychologist

PhotoDARREN EVERETT

darren everett, Senior Psychologist

PhotoJAMIE DE BRUYN

jamie de bruyn, Senior Psychologist


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