Are You Stressed? Or Burnt Out?
Do you know how to tell the difference between being stressed and being burnt out? They might be more different than you think.
While stress can be short-lived, identified and managed, burnout can be difficult to detect as it comes on slowly and builds over time, explains Rachel Montañez for Forbes.
“We don't become burned out after a couple of rough days, and unlike being stressed, burnout feels like there's no hope,” writes Montañez. “It's when the old you has disappeared, and all you're left with is the physical and emotional residue of burnout and a shell of yourself.”
Here’s some common signs that your stress may actually be more burnout than you think.
- You’re losing sleep. How much sleep do you get? In the early stages of burnout, you may notice more restless sleep or insomnia. According to the National Sleep Foundation, getting less than 6 hours of sleep can be a predictor that you’re feeling burnt out, writes Montañez.
- You’re overwhelmed. “If you constantly feel like you're completing a never-ending to-do list with no space to unwind and refresh in between and not enough support, then you may be experiencing overwhelm,” she explains. “Overwhelming workloads have sadly significantly increased during the pandemic.”
- You’re exhausted. No sleep and more work can really run down your energy. When you’re burnt out, you no longer can cope with these issues, explains Montañez. “When we're stressed, we know that we can find solace in the things that we love, but burnout whispers there's not enough time for them, and it certainly doesn't give us the energy.”
- You feel like you’re not doing a good job. “As feelings of cynicism, inefficacy and exhaustion increase, naturally, joy starts to dwindle across most if not all areas of life,” writes Montañez.