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Are You Dealing With Burnout? Look Out For This Early Warning Sign

0 2 years ago

Avoiding burnout completely sounds like a tall order, but can you be better prepared for it? You bet. We recently sat down with Wall Street Journal bestselling author Mollie West Duffy (and co-author of the recently published Big Feelings) on the mindbodygreen podcast to discuss how to manage negative emotions in a healthy way, including how to recognize burnout before it reaches its peak.

“The early warning signs are really key with burnout,” she says. “It’s very tricky to see how it’s manifesting itself until you’ve hit a wall and you’re completely burned out.” Knowing these just might help you handle this common state with a bit more ease and grace:

Early warning signs of burnout.

In order to catch burnout before it hits the point of exhaustion and all-too-frequent overwhelm, pay attention to the smaller triggers. Specifically, take note of when “everything and everyone feel irritating,” Duffy says.

If you find yourself dreading activities you previously enjoyed (or at least didn’t previously hate), you might be inching toward burnout. Does going to the grocery store feel like the ultimate chore? Are your closest friends bothering you, even if you can’t explain why? When another task gets tossed onto your daily list, does it automatically make you feel overwhelmed? You might be on the fast track to burnout, Duffy says.

As you head further along this path, Duffy notes that many people secretly wish for a tangible reason to slow down, instead of taking the time they need for themselves. She frequently hears: “I’d really like to get a cold right now and be forced to shut down.” At this point, burnout has arrived. “That’s not a great, healthy mental space,” Duffy says.

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