Symptoms of Burnout

According to, burnout is “a state of emotional, mental, and often physical exhaustion brought on by prolonged or repeated stress.” Burnout is often discussed within the context of the workplace; however, burnout can be seen in all areas of life. Outside of work, people often experience burnout related to parenting, relationships, and household management. Understanding burnout and learning to recognize warning signs and symptoms can help better prepare you to cope with it effectively.

Decreased Motivation and Productivity

Although symptoms may vary depending on the severity of burnout and individual circumstances, there are a few common symptoms that are seen. Often times, one of the first presenting symptoms is decreased motivation and productivity. As burnout increases, it often decreases our typical level of productivity. You may be noticing that it is harder and harder to complete your normal tasks in the same amount of time you usually do. Or mauve it is taking longer to motivate yourself to complete tasks that are usually easy for you.


Increased irritability is another common symptom of burnout. The irritability does not always come out within the actual source of burnout, but often comes out on family and friends. As a result of the prolonged stress, our frustration tolerance decreases, and we struggle more to manage our own emotional response. Additionally, because it is easy to overlook and be unaware of signs of burnout, we often struggle to identify the true source of our irritability which leads to increased displacement of emotions onto other people.


Fatigue is another commonly reported symptom of burnout. Chronic physical and emotional stress is hard on the human body. Increased stress decreases our emotional capacity and often decreases our sleep quality. As a result, there is often an increase in symptoms of fatigue. You may notice that waking up in the morning is harder, that you are more tired by the end of the day, and that you have less energy for activities you normally would enjoy.

Decreased Enjoyment

Burnout often comes with symptoms of decreased enjoyment. Maybe you find that you are not enjoying work as much as you previously did. Maybe you aren’t finding pleasure in interacting with your kids in the same way you normally do. Due to the high levels of stress and exhaustion, we often don’t have the same physical and emotional energy as normal. Therefore, it does not allow us to be as present or as able to receive enjoyment from these tasks.
Overall, burnout affects most people at some point in their life. Although experiencing burnout is common, it is not something that should be ignored. Burnout that goes unaddressed can lead to increased symptoms of anxiety, depression, and chronic fatigue. There are many ways to cope with burnout to include seeking out a therapist and taking some time off work. If you or someone you know is experiencing burnout, please reach out to us. We are here to support you in coping with and finding relief from burnout.